What is the difference between a food intolerance and an allergy?
Allergies are an immune reaction to unique protein.
Proteins from foods (e.g peanuts, tree nuts, seafood) or pollens, house dust, animal hair or moulds.
Allergy testing: IgE antibodies to specific allergens can be detected by skin prick test (RAST)
Symptoms: Mild/moderate reaction, can progress to life threatening anaphylaxis
Reaction: immediate (minutes to 1-2 hours)
Dietary management: Complete avoidance of single food.
Food intolerances do not involve the immune system
Triggered by various food components including natural food chemicals, FODMAPs, lactose, whole foods, additives & natural colours
Reaction: Irritating nerve endings and/or are poorly absorbed and fermented in the bowel.
Symptoms can include:
Gut: bloating, reflux, gas, abdominal pain, altered bowels
Skin: hives, eczema
Nervous system: migraines, mood changes.
Reaction: Hours to days
Test: Elimination diet followed by food challenges under the guidance of specialists gastrointestinal dietitian
Dietary management: identify threshold, and maintain overall intake below threshold, tolerance can improve over time 🙌🏽
Ensure you see a specialist gastrointestinal dietitian for individualised advice so that you are supported through all stages of your journey. For more information get in contact with us here at the @dietetic.gut.clinic