What is the difference between an allergy and an intolerance
There ‘s always some confusion between a food allergy and an intolerance, so it’s important to figure out which one applies to you before you choose a method of treatment.
A FOOD ALLERGY occurs when a food triggers the body’s immune system to react adversely, producing antibodies, usually within minutes and sometimes with side effects. Once the immune system has been triggered to produce abnormal antibodies, the symptoms that occur the first time you eat that food item, may be amplified the next time you do, causing severe allergic reaction to develop even with slightest exposure.
think: swelling, inability to breathe, throat closure, redness with swelling, ringing in ears, itchiness, hives
An INTOLERANCE to foods is more of an adverse reaction to a food. These reactions occur when the body’s digestive system is unable to digest food properly. These reactions are slower to develop and much less severe than an allergy. Typically our bodies learn to adapt and handle a with a wide variety of foods, but intolerances can develop when the body is under stress or on antibiotics.
think: Becoming gassy, stomach cramps, fatigue, bloating, sinus problems, digestive problems
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, which occurs when the body’s immune system reacts abnormally to gluten and produces antibodies to attack it’s own tissues. This causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestine, which reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, causing symptoms such as anemia, osteoporosis, weight loss, painful abdominal bloating and severe tiredness.
Typically a blood test and a biopsy can diagnose celiac disease, and a doctor or dietician will advise on a strict gluten free meal plan. Once gluten containing foods are removed from the diet, the damaged intestinal lining can recover and begin to function properly; however, celiac disease is a lifelong condition so you will need a restrictive meal plan permanently.