The symptoms of both conditions may be very similar and can even confuse the experts, as both cause unpleasant symptoms and inflammation!
Generally food allergies are triggered by a protein and cause the body’s immune system to over react – with serious systemic symptoms (maybe life threatening).
Food intolerances generally only affect the digestive tract and are less severe than allergies. They are caused by –
1. absence of an enzyme
2. psychological stress
4. Sensitivity to food additives
5. Inflammation of gut when exposed to gluten
Common Foods Causing Allergies
• Milk (and dairy produce) – mainly seen in children
• Tree Nuts
Common Foods Causing Intolerances
• Dairy – usually caused by a sugar called lactose
• Gluten – a protein found in many grains, especially wheat, barley. Gluten intolerance may present as Coeliac Disease or the less severe Non Coeliac Gluten Intolerance.
Dealing with Allergies and Intolerances
• Total avoidance of allergen
• Desensitisation via oral immunotherapy
• Anti histamines (mild to moderate reactions)
• Adrenaline injections (severe reactions)
• Remove or reduce consumption of foods causing symptoms – an exclusion diet may be required to identify the culprits
• Improve gut health generally via dietary changes and improving gut flora
• Treat chronic gut infections eg H Pylori or candida
• Add supplements to diet – especially Glutamine, N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG), Quercetin, Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)