Do you know the difference between food allergy and intolerance?

Food allergies and intolerances are very present in our daily lives. Many people suffer from the consequences of these digestive deficits that prevent them from eating certain types of food. Knowing someone in our circle of family and friends who suffers from them or being one of those affected is more common than we might imagine.

Finding the foods that we can't eat to prevent adverse reactions in our body such as diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, intestinal upsets, hives and other more serious symptoms is vital.

But how can we differentiate between food allergies and intolerances?

To begin with, we need to know that allergies can cause more dangerous symptoms than intolerances, as they can spread to the organs and body systems or even cause death.

These are the main differences:

Food intolerances are the adverse reactions to certain foods in our body that prevent proper digestion. In this case, the immune system does not intervene, the body simply cannot digest a type of food or a component of it. The most common causes of intolerance are lactose and gluten. The symptoms are all digestive and some are similar to those of allergies, so they can be confusing. These include diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal pain.

On the other hand, food allergies are caused by the ingestion, inhalation or even contact with a food or any of its components that causes an adverse reaction in our body. As a result, there is an immune system response to food as opposed to an intolerance. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced are: hives, swelling of the lips and eyelids, dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhoea, itchy throat, asthma or, in the worst case, anaphylactic reactions that may affect the system, organs or cause death.

Now that you know some of its effects, in the event that you detect any adverse reactions to any food, it is advisable to consult your doctor as soon as possible.