This Article is From Sep 23, 2020

Food Allergy And Food Intolerance: Know The Difference And Why You Must Not Ignore Them

Food allergies vs food intolerance: The main difference between the two is the kind of reaction they cause. If you feel you are allergic to food or have food intolerance, make sure you get the appropriate tests done and treat them at the earliest.

Food Allergy And Food Intolerance: Know The Difference And Why You Must Not Ignore Them

Food intolerance can be because of a weak digestive system

Highlights

  • Food intolerance causes indigestion issues like gas and bloating
  • Food allergy can cause hives and swelling
  • Ignoring food intolerance can lead to more serious health problems

Food allergy and food intolerance are often because of any underlying health condition or because of a poor digestive system. However, it is important to know the difference between the two. According to lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho, it is specifically important to be aware of food allergies. If you don't know what is causing your allergies, then it may end up causing multiple health problems and may even affect your immune system. In one of his recent IGTV's, Coutinho elaborates further on the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance and what you should know about the two.

Food allergy vs food intolerance: What you need to know

According to Coutinho, the main difference between a food allergy and food intolerance is your body's reaction to food.

In case of food allergy, the reaction is caused by your immune system. In case of food intolerance, the reaction is triggered by a poorly working or weak digestive system.

Also read: Our Expert Nutritionist Talks About These Everyday Foods That Can Cause Food Allergy

Food intolerance, or the case when you are sensitive to certain foods, can cause the following symptoms:

  • Gas
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps

Also read: Lactose Intolerance? Top 5 Non-Dairy Substitutes For Milk You Must Try

Food allergies, on the other hand, can cause the following symptoms:

  • Skin rashes
  • Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Hives

Food intolerance

If you ignore food intolerance, it can lead to more serious health problems in the long run. In this case, there are certain foods that can inflame your gut and cause all of the symptoms mentioned above.

Becoming sensitive to foods is also a sign of digestive system getting weaker. It can also be indicative of the fact that you don't have sufficient digestive enzymes to break down food.

Here are some common food triggers that can cause food sensitivity of food intolerance:

  • Eating junk, processed and packaged foods regularly.
  • Food additives and adulterated food can also increase risk.
  • Caffeine is a stimulant that can trigger food intolerance.
  • Legumes like rajma and chana can cause food intolerance. Soak them overnight and see if it works.
  • Cruciferous vegetables (since they are high in sulphur)
  • Not chewing food properly
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Regular intake of junk food can cause food intolerance
Photo Credit: iStock

Food allergies

In case of food allergies, the immune system identifies a protein or a few proteins in food as invaders. It produces antibodies that attack you and you end up with food allergies. An immunoglobulin E (IgE) test can help you identify if you have food allergies.

Ignoring food allergies can lead to constant gut inflammation, IBS, boating, and Crohn's disease, informs Coutinho.

Also read: Gluten Intolerant? Replace Wheat With This Protein-Rich Grain That Can Even Help You Lose Weight

According to him, 90% of food allergies come from the following:

  • Milk and dairy products (Lactose or lactase)
  • Gluten
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans

If you feel you are allergic to food or have food intolerance, make sure you get the appropriate tests done and treat them at the earliest. Ignoring them will never work in your favour.

(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach - Integrative Medicine)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.