Food Allergy or Intolerance: How to Tell the Difference?

Many people do not realise that a food allergy and a food intolerance are not the same thing. While both conditions refer to a person’s inability to ingest certain foods, they each affect a different part of the body.

A food allergy affects the immune system when a particular substance is ingested that it considers harmful. The immune system responds by releasing antibodies to fight it thereby causing an allergic reaction. 

A food intolerance, on the other hand, impacts the digestive system. If something your digestive system can’t handle is consumed, it becomes irritated or unable to digest the food.

Food allergies and food intolerances also present differently when it comes to the symptoms they cause.

Allergy Symptoms

  • Breaking out in a rash or hives
  • Itchy Skin
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Diarrhoea or stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Swelling of the airways

Intolerance Symptoms

  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Gas or bloating
  • Headaches
  • Changes in mood like irritability or anxiety

Common Trigger Foods
There are several foods and drinks that are found to be frequent triggers. Shellfish, nuts, eggs, and dairy are common food allergy triggers. 

Milk is the leading food intolerance, but some additives and chemicals in food and drink can be triggers as well. These include MSG, caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners or food colourants. The only way to effectively treat a food intolerance is by removing your trigger food/s from your diet.

Every person is different when it comes to which foods act as triggers for their food allergies or intolerances. If you are unsure whether you have an allergy or intolerance, you should seek out medical advice for further testing.

Food Allergy Treatment
If you are diagnosed with a food allergy, there are allergy medications you can use if you accidentally eat something you’re allergic to.

  • Epipen Auto-Injector: If you risk suffering from a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), carrying around an Epipen Auto-Injector could be life-saving. It contains a measured dose of medication that is injected into the body as soon as possible after an anaphylactic reaction.
  • Rhinocort Nasal Spray: Rhinocort Nasal Spray is used to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, a condition where an irritant causes the nasal passages to swell.

You can buy Rhinocort Nasal Spray and an Epipen Auto-Injector for your allergies online in the UK safely and quickly through Pharmacy Planet.