There is nothing fun about realizing you can’t eat a food you love any longer. Perhaps it’s seafood or perhaps it’s drinking milk. Whatever the issue is, it’s important to determine if you have a true food allergy or a food intolerance.
With a food intolerance, the problems associated with the food in question stem from your gut. For instance, if you can’t digest the lactose in milk and soft cheeses you may notice digestive issues related to that like constipation or an upset stomach. However, with a food allergy “your immune system identifies cow’s milk as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. Each type of IgE has a specific “radar” for each type of allergen.” (aaaai.org).
The symptoms of a food allergy can also involve digestive issues, but may also include hives, itchiness, or respiratory symptoms like trouble breathing.
There are some foods that are more likely to cause a true “allergic” reaction. These include:
• Cow’s milk
• Tree nuts
Food allergies can have life-threatening symptoms, so if you begin to notice anything out of the ordinary after eating, it’s best to get it checked out sooner rather than later.
If you notice that you or your child is struggling with any odd symptoms after eating a particular food, whether it’s an itchy mouth or a stomach ache, call Dr. Hallett. We can help you determine if you have a true food allergy or a food intolerance.
Already familiar with food allergies? Test your knowledge with this quiz from aaaai.org.