DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOOD ALLERGY AND FOOD SENSITIVITY?
Food allergy and food sensitivity can present with some similar symptoms resulting in many people mistakenly using these names interchangeably. It is important to know the differences, as a true food allergy could be life-threatening unlike food sensitivity which can cause immense discomfort and affect your quality of life but poses no life-threatening risk.
A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body and in some cases can be severe or life-threatening. Symptoms can include anaphylaxis, hives, breathing difficulties, severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
Food sensitivity symptoms are not life-threatening but can be very disruptive to your quality of life. These symptoms can include stomach pain, joint pain, fatigue, rashes, brain fog to name a few. Although the mechanisms involved in these symptoms are still being researched, it appears that for affected people, exposure to certain foods causes an immune reaction which results in a variety of symptoms. The symptoms are very specific to the individual and the type of food in question.
FOOD ALLERGY VS FOOD SENSITIVITY
|Antibody type IgE||Antibody type IgG|
|Typically immediate reactions||Reactions up to 72 hours after eating|
|Usually only one to three foods||Multiple foods may be involved|
|Life-long||Symptoms can clear after avoidance (3-6 months)|
|Can be life threatening||Fairly common (approx. 45% of population)|
|Primarily skin, airways and digestive systems affected||Any system in the body can be affected|
Are you suffering from any of the symptoms below?
|Abdominal pain||Mood disorders|
|Aches and pain||Itching|
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome||Rashes|
|Headaches||Unexplained Weight Gain|
|Hyperactivity||Unexplained Weight Loss|
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome||Wheezing/Asthma|
FOOD SENSITIVITY TESTING AVAILABLE AT BLOUBERG FAMILY PRACTICE
A Food IgG antibody test done with a finger prick blood sample can help to identify the foods that trigger negative reactions and those foods which can be enjoyed freely.
Ref: www.optiway.co.za; https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/food-allergy-intolerance-or-sensitivity-whats-the-difference-and-why-does-it-matter-2020013018736