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Difference Between Food Allergies and Food Intolerance

foodFood Allergies vs Food Intolerance

In general, the difference between food allergies and food intolerance, is how drastically your body rejects the food. It is said that a food allergy can be life threatening, even if the threat isn’t immediate. For instance, the condition known as Celiac disease or Celiac Sprue, is a long term allergy to gluten, that wears away the protective and nutrient grabbing cilia, which eventually can lead to cancer. Immediate life threatening symptoms can be more noticeable, like anaphylactic shock due to a peanut or milk allergy.

A food intolerance is something different. The body tends to react poorly to the ingested food, giving you symptoms like heart burn, indigestion, or diarrhea. When it comes right down to it, the discomfort you feel is your body’s inability to successfully break down the food for its nutrients, and process it normally.

Food allergies and food intolerance can also have very different causes. Food allergies are biological, and can’t be changed any more than an allergy to grass or mold can be changed. Food intolerance is often the result of poor dietary function. It can be caused by stress, poor eating habits, lack of fluids, medications, and other physical conditions.

Treatment options vary. Food allergies are not treated with the goal of eventually being able to happily digest the food. The treatment is avoidance of the food in question. If life threatening effects are likely, an adrenaline pen, also known as an EpiPen, is administered to the patient for use in emergencies.

Food intolerance is often treated in the hopes that the patient can resume normal, unrestricted eating patterns once again. This often means settling the digestive system with acid controllers and other types of digestive aids. Sometimes, this treatment is enough to prevent discomfort, and allow for the restoration of regular eating habits.

Food allergies are almost always present from birth, or the developmental years, and remain with you for the rest of your life. Food intolerance most often develops in adulthood, and can be a temporary situation. For most people, a food intolerance can indicate that their emotional state is in need of a little TLC. Food allergies have nothing to do with the state of emotions.

Food allergies almost always require medical attention to determine the exact cause of the symptoms. Food intolerance is easier to self diagnose and treat by yourself. Despite this, anyone suffering from either ailment should see a physician for advice and treatment plans.

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