Food allergy vs. intolerance vs. sensitivity

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food allergy = possible anaphylaxis, life threatening

food intolerance = just makes you feel uncomfortable

food sensitivity = food intolerance

atypical food allergy = food intolerance

The definitions vary around the web, in general you can find a lot of information about food allergies, but little about food intolerances. I did a lot of research about food intolerance, half the time I type something into google articles about food allergies pop up instead. But the big difference is just which antibodies react in your body and the symptoms can differ, intolerance symptoms can last up to a week. ‘Real’ food allergies can be detected with an IgE blood test, there is no reliable test for food intolerances (except lactose, fructose and histamine). Often people say they have an allergy, when they really have a food intolerance, this difference can be very important because people with a classical food allergy can get potential life threatening reaction from trace amounts/ cross contamination. As the definitions vary from article to article, one article I read recently made a distinction between sensitivity and intolerance, they said only gluten, lactose, fructose and histamine intolerances are intolerances and everything else, apart from food allergies, is a food sensitivity. Then another article said it was to be called gluten sensitivity and somewhere else it said that coeliac disease was gluten intolerance (it is actually an autoimmune disorder). In another article the existence of histamine intolerance was even doubted. I did find one scientific article with more recent research and they called food intolerances atypical food allergies, it was actually a very good article which made a lot of sense, but it was the only time I’ve ever found that term. So, I’m just gonna stick with the terms allergy and intolerance.

variety of foods on top of gray table

I do not guarantee that the above information is correct or complete, please do further research and speak to a doctor for more information.

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