Table of contents:
- How to know if you have an allergy or intolerance
- Foods that cause allergy or intolerance
- How the treatment is done
Most of the time, food allergy is confused with food intolerance, as both cause similar signs and symptoms, however, they are different disorders that can have different treatment.
The main difference between food allergy and intolerance is the type of response the body has when it is in contact with food. In allergies there is an immediate immune response, that is, the body creates antibodies as if the food were an aggressive agent and, therefore, the symptoms are more generalized. In food intolerance, the food is not digested properly and, therefore, the symptoms arise mainly in the gastrointestinal system.
The main symptoms that help to differentiate food allergy from food intolerance are:
|Symptoms of Food Allergy||Symptoms of Food Intolerance|
|Urticaria and redness of the skin;
Intense itching of the skin;
Swelling in the face or tongue;
Vomiting and diarrhea.
Swelling of the belly;
Excessive intestinal gas;
Burning sensation in the throat;
Vomiting and diarrhea.
|Characteristics of symptoms||Characteristics of symptoms|
|They appear immediately even when a small amount of food is ingested and skin tests are positive.||They can take more than 30 minutes to appear, being more serious the greater the amount of food ingested, and allergy tests performed on the skin show no change.|
Food intolerance is also much more common than allergy, and can affect anyone, even if there is no family history, while food allergy is usually a rarer and hereditary problem, appearing in several members of the same. family.
How to know if you have an allergy or intolerance
To make the diagnosis of food allergy, skin allergy tests are usually performed, in which symptoms that appear 24 to 48 hours after applying a substance to the skin are observed. If there is a reaction at the site, the test is considered positive and therefore may indicate that there is a food allergy. Learn more about identifying a food allergy.
In the case of food intolerance, skin allergy tests usually give a negative result and, thus, the doctor may order blood and stool tests, as well as ask the person to remove some foods from the diet, to assess whether there is improvement of symptoms.
Foods that cause allergy or intolerance
It is not always possible to identify which foods cause food allergy or food intolerance, as the symptoms vary according to each person's body. However, in most cases, food allergies are usually caused by foods such as shrimp, peanuts, tomatoes, shellfish or kiwi.
As for food intolerance, the main foods include cow's milk, eggs, strawberries, nuts, spinach and bread. See a more complete list of foods that cause food intolerance.
How the treatment is done
In both allergy and food intolerance, the treatment consists of removing from the diet all foods that may worsen symptoms. Thus, it is important to consult a nutritionist to indicate which foods can be consumed, in order to replace those that have been removed, in order to ensure that the body receives all the nutrients necessary for its functioning.