Food allergy very different from intolerance

SAN ANTONIO – Have you ever heard someone say that he’s “a little” allergic to a particular food? Consumer Reports says there’s no such thing. A food intolerance is more likely.

While some of the symptoms of an allergy and a food intolerance are similar, the differences between the two are critical.

So why the confusion? A food intolerance affects the digestive system, and allergies attack the immune system. Helping to identify whether it’s an intolerance or an allergy is important because it can make your quality of life much better.

“People with intolerances can still eat certain foods without serious consequences. But for someone with an allergy, touching, inhaling or ingesting even a microscopic amount of an allergenic food can be deadly,” said Lauren Friedman, health editor for Consumer Reports.

If you suspect there’s a problem, medical experts recommend you see an allergist first because allergies can be severe and even fatal.

“If it’s not a food allergy, it’s important to speak to your physician and, possibly, keep a log of your symptoms and keep a log of your diet to identify the foods that are not making you feel as well,” said Dr. Jen Camacho, an allergist.

An intolerance can stem from a variety of sources, such as celiac disease or a sensitivity to food additives. It may cause discomfort, but it’s not fatal.

You can develop food allergies and intolerances after childhood. Nearly half of those with food allergies in the study reported the onset of a new one in adulthood.

If you have a food allergy, you need to take certain precautions, such as carrying medication in case you have a reaction.

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