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Food Allergy or Sensitivity? How to tell the difference

As gluten free and nut free food options take up more space on the supermarket shelves, we are more aware than ever about food allergies and sensitivities, but how do we know the difference and what are the symptoms of each?

A food allergy is a physical immune response to a particular food where the body produces antibodies to the “invading” substance. Symptoms of a food allergy include swelling of the tongue, itchy watery eyes, runny nose, hives and itchy throat that appear within seconds or hours of exposure. Some of the most common food allergies are dairy, peanuts, eggs and seafood. To determine if you have allergies, a physician can do a blood test or skin prick which will show the presence of the antibodies in your system.

A food sensitivity or intolerance is defined as difficulty digesting a particular food or protein, leading to gas, bloating, stomach cramps or diarrhea. The most common sensitivities are to lactose, (a sugar found in dairy products) or gluten, (a protein found in wheat). These sensitivities can appear at any stage in life. Many of us who are lactose intolerant also have gluten intolerance. (Lucky me!) The good news is, a nutritional health coach can be of great help

to you with many ways you can eliminate the offending food culprit yet still get the nutrients you need every day if you suspect you have a food sensitivity. Contact me for more info.

Patty KelleyComment