Food Allergies vs. Food Sensitivities
There is part of the population that has one or more food allergies. There are far more people that suffer from food sensitivities.
Many people claim to be allergic to a food group when they really have a food sensitivity.
What’s the difference? Mainly, it’s the involvement of the immune system.
For example, there are people that are lactose intolerant. When they consume milk products that haven’t had the lactose
removed, they experience significant gas, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea. However, this isn’t a true allergy. They simply lack the
enzyme to digest lactose. The bacteria in the colon feast on the lactose which would have been previously absorbed by someone that wasn’t lactose intolerant. All of the gas and other side effects are produced by these bacteria.
A true food allergy includes an immune response. It’s as if the body views the food as a foreign invader. Antibodies are released by the body to attack the food. The inflammatory response can be quite severe.
Food allergy symptoms include:
● Swelling of throat, tongue, face, or lips
● Abdominal pain
● Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
● Dizziness or fainting
In extreme situations, allergic reactions to food can even be life-threatening. There are just a handful of foods responsible for 90% of all food allergies. These are peanuts, milk, soy, eggs, wheat, fish, tree nuts, and shellfish. Fortunately, only 1-2 percent of the population suffers from one or more food allergies.
Food sensitivities are much more common. Most people have at least one food that leaves them feeling worse after they ate it than they did before.
Food sensitivity symptoms include:
● Mental fog
● Heartburn, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea
Food allergies are certainly more serious, but food sensitivities can be quite miserable, too. You might be shocked by how much better you feel simply by avoiding all of the foods that don’t agree with your body.
You may be able to determine which foods to avoid with the Elimination Diet process. If you feel like you’re still having issues with some foods, talk with your Functional Medicine Practitioner. They can determine most foods that cause a negative reaction within your body with a simple blood test.
If you notice symptoms that interfere with your daily life, CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment or call Tracey Mixon at 512-643-3631 to arrange to have your hormones and nutrition evaluated.