Food Sensitivity v’s Food Allergies
One man’s food can be another man’s poison in the case of food allergies and sensitivities. An emerging number of people are impacted daily from the way they are affected by food. It is estimated that 45% of the population could be affected by food intolerance, and a rare 2.5% being diagnosed with a food allergy. It is not uncommon for some to think they have a food allergy, when in fact they are intolerant. Both conditions are very unpleasant and in some cases fatal, however confusion often exists between the two.
What Is The Difference?Food allergy = immune reaction to a food Food intolerance = inability to digest a food
Food sensitivity is defined as a non-allergic adverse reaction to food. Knowing which food is the catalyst for particular symptoms can be difficult when, unlike the immediate reactions of a food allergy, food sensitivity symptoms may take hours or even up to several days to appear. It manifests itself differently in each person, with some people experiencing multiple symptoms.
Common Food Intolerance:
- Gluten intolerance
- Lactose intolerance
- Sensitivity to food additives
Common Symptoms of Food Sensitivity
A food allergy involves an immediate reaction of the immune system on exposure to a specific food or food component. Food allergies occur when the body develop specific IgE antibodies to ‘fight off’ allergens, these allergens are naturally occurring proteins found in food. When the food is next ingested the immune response is triggered and an overreaction occurs. Histamine along with other naturally occurring chemicals body are released, resulting in symptoms that affect the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as the skin and the lungs. Even a trace amount of the allergen can cause a reaction in sensitive individuals. Symptoms of a reaction will generally appear within a few minutes of either eating or coming in contact with a specific food, it may also be delayed by up to two hours.
Symptoms of IgE-Mediated Food Allergies: Gastrointestinal symptoms, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Abdominal pain, Colic, Cutaneous symptoms, Urticaria, Eczema or atopic dermatitis, Angioedema, Pruritis, Respiratory symptoms, Rhinitis, Asthma, Other symptoms, Laryngeal edema, Anaphylactic shock, Hypotension
The Most Common Causes of Food Allergies
Food Sensitivity Testing Available
Food Detective is a fast and efficient blood test designed for food antibodies (IgG). The testing tray can determine whether the individual has IgG antibodies to specific foods. A small blood sample is taken from a finger-prick, where it is then diluted an added to the testing tray which is spotted with different food protein extracts. The presence of food antibodies are identified through the appearance of one or more blue spots on the tray. The test is conducted in clinic, and results are displayed within 40mins.