It is important to remember that there is a clear difference between allergy and intolerance.
In the case of a food allergy, antibodies react to contact with a specific allergen. They provoke the massive release of chemical mediators responsible for the appearance of symptoms that can be more or less serious: nausea, dermatitis, swelling of the throat, wheezing or breathing difficulties. Milk, eggs, peanuts, nuts, soy, wheat, fish, seafood, mustard and sulphites are responsible for most food allergies.
In the case of food intolerance, the reaction results from the body’s inability to metabolise food or one of its components. It can be due to a characteristic of the food in question, health problem or stress. While proteins provoke allergies like gluten, intolerances can happen by any component. For example, one can be intolerant to sugar such as lactose or a pharmacological compound such as caffeine and much more.
Symptoms of intolerance are generally concentrating on the digestive system: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, etc. But they can also take the form of headaches or skin rashes. That’s why it is sometimes difficult for a non-professional to distinguish between allergies and intolerance.
You need to know if you have allergies because this can affect your health very quickly. And you need to know your food intolerances to control them because the more you eat the food you are intolerant to, the greater the symptoms will be worst and the weaker you will feel. The idea is not to take it all away but to understand what our bodies need to improve our health and better manage the foods that are hurting us.
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