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Premier Allergy And Asthma Discusses The Differences Between Food Intolerances and Food Allergies

Many people suffer from problems when they ingest some really common foods. Some of the problem is food allergies, which is on the rise in the U.S. Other people suffer from food intolerances. Both cause symptoms that minimally create bodily discomfort, and one of the two different types of problems with food ingestion can be life threatening. How do you and your family stay safe and healthy, regardless of the types of food you eat?

A good starting point is to find a well-respected allergy clinic, such as Premier Allergy and Asthma. They can test you and determine the cause of your difficulties when you eat certain foods.

The following explains the difference between food intolerances and food allergies and ways they can be treated.

Food Intolerances

Symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, food intolerances primarily bother us in our digestive system. The symptoms are usually not serious. In fact, someone with a food intolerance can often eat a small amount of the trigger food without symptoms.

Causes

Causes of food intolerance are:

  • Lack of digestive enzymes
  • Food additive reactions
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Celiac disease

Treatment

People with food intolerances, such as a lactose intolerance that keeps them from being able to drink milk, can either buy lactose-free milk or take enzymes that help them digest the milk fully. Enzymes to aid in proper food digestion or treating the issue that is causing the lack of proper digestion are often the most common treatments.

Food Allergies

Symptoms

People with food allergies can have digestive issues, such as nausea and/or stomach cramps. The difference, though, with a food allergy is what is happening in your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, a food allergy causes your immune system to over-react in a manner that has more than one organ involved. At times, a food allergy reaction can threaten the life of the sufferer.

Other than digestive issues, common food allergy reactions include:

  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of one’s throat, face or lips
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Dizziness, fainting or a total loss of consciousness

These symptoms can occur within the first few minutes of eating the trigger food or within an hour or two.

Offending Substances

According to Healthline, the most common foods that trigger food allergies include:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Other types of fish

Treatment

Stanford Medicine reports that the common means of dealing with food allergies in the past was to carefully and meticulously avoid the trigger food. The problem with this strategy for those who may suffer anaphylactic shock is that the trigger foods that most bother food allergy sufferers are very common and can be found in many prepackaged foods. Sometimes, people are unaware that an offending food was in what they ate until they are having a reaction.

OIT

OIT stands for oral immunotherapy. After reading in research journal articles about successful trials at Johns Hopkins, Duke and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Stanford Medicine began researching the possibility of introducing food allergy sufferers to micro-bits of trigger food and increasing the dose gradually, until the patient no longer had an allergy to the food and could eat a full portion of it in one sitting. Their trials were successful.

Stanford Medicine then began trials in which OIT was combined with omalizumab, an antibody drug that helps people not have an allergic response. They found that the patients who received OIT with the antibody medication were more likely able to eat multiple trigger foods within nine months of treatment than the control group that received OIT alone.

Where to Find Out More About Allergies and Food Intolerances and Receive Treatment

Premier Allergy and Asthma provides state-of-the-art allergy and food intolerance diagnosis and treatment. They seek to be as gentle and non-invasive as possible, for the comfort of their patients. Also, Dr. Summit Shah has a great way of explaining the medicine behind allergies in a manner that is easy for lay people to understand.