Origins & Information - Food Allergy vs. Intolerance

(Here's a quickie since it's my mom's birthday, and I'm busy.) Is your food allergy truly an allergy or are you comparing it to food intolerance? There's a difference you know. Many people don't know the difference and will often say that they are allergic to something (~25% of adults think they have food allergies while medically, doctors estimate about 1-2% of all adults actually do).

An intolerance is based on your body not having the proper enzymes to digest a certain food. You may experience abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea as this stems from problems in the stomach. Lactose intolerance is probably one of the most common you hear about, particularly amongst Asians (I myself am just milk weird). On the other hand, an allergy is associated with the immune system which reacts towards the food item as if it were attacking the body; your system attempts to create antibodies to combat it. Any contact, however brief, will trigger some kind of response, and common reactions include hives, vomiting, and asthma. The intolerance makes life uncomfortable but the allergy can end life. The more you know!