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Is It a Food Allergy? Probably Not

Is It a Food Allergy? Probably Not

Almost 12 million people have food allergies annually and the prevalence is rising in the contemporary world. Food allergies cause roughly 30,000 emergency treatments and 100 to 200 deaths per year in the nation. 

Is food allergy and food intolerance same?

Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. While Food intolerance means either the body cannot properly digest the food that is eaten, or a particular food might irritate the digestive system.

Signs and symptoms of food allergy and food intolerance

Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems (vomiting, diarrhoea, or pain), rapid pulse, hives or swollen airways, tingling or itching in the mouth, wheezing or nasal congestion.

Symptoms of food intolerance includes nausea, gas, cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, irritability, nervousness, or headaches.

Intolerance, such as lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance, can cause someone to be ill, uncomfortable but Food allergies not only can make someone ill, but also can cause a life threatening reactions (called anaphylaxis).

Severe reactions can occur with as little as 1/5,000 of a teaspoon of the offending food.

Tests to identify Food allergies and Food intolerance

  • Skin Tests

The steps vary depending on what type of test you're having.

  • Scratch/ scrape test
  • Intradermal test
  • Patch test
  • Prick skin testing
  • Blood Tests

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, or EIA)
  • Radioallergosorbent test (RAST)

Try these strategies

  1. If you suspect you are intolerant to a particular food, eat the food 2-3 times in a row.
  2. Keep a food journal of what you eat and what reaction, if any you have.
  3. Serving size is important, if it’s a small problem, eat the food in smaller amounts or less frequently and if it's a larger problem, try the food in a different form.
  4. Know what you're eating and drinking, be sure to read food labels carefully.
  5. Be careful at restaurants, be certain that your chef, restaurant staff or server is aware you have the food allergy and make sure that the meal you order doesn't contain it.
  6. Talk with your doctor about prescribing emergency epinephrine, autoinjector (adrenaclick, epipen) if you're at risk of a severe allergic reaction.
  7. If you have lactose intolerance, you may be able to drink lactose-free milk, buttermilk, yogurt, cheese to aid digestion.
  8. Individual having gluten intolerance can have cereals such as corn, millet, sorghum, rice as they are safe to consume.
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