Food Allergy vs Sensitivity vs Intolerance- What The Heck?

Okay, this is crazy confusing but it doesn’t need to be.

First off we are all Bioindividual, due to our genetics, our history, our diet, our lifestyle, etc. Something that affects you in one way will affect me differently and so on. Good quality dairy might be a true allergy for you, it might be hard for me to digest, but a superfood for your friend. Again, this sounds confusing but here are the basics……

Here is how I keep them separated – Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities, and Food Intolerances. Let’s dig in.

  1. A true food allergy– A true food allergy happens when the immune system over reacts to a specific food by making antibodies against it. In this case it makes IgE antibodies which cause an immediate response. The speed at which this happens makes it easy to tell what caused the reaction. The reaction could include hives or anaphylactic shock. The most common food allergies are peanuts or eggs but any food can cause this kind of allergy in someone.
  2. A food sensitivity– A food sensitivity is also an immune response to a food that also involves antibodies but in this case the antibodies are IgG, IgA, or IgM. The affects of these antibodies take longer to see, making it very hard to know what is causing the problem. They can take 6, 12, 24, or up to 72 hours to show up and can appear as inflammation, pain, anxiety, hyperactivity, headaches, skin disturbances, digestive problems, brain fog, or more. The primary foods that cause this reaction are gluten, casein, soy, and corn but again any food can cause this reaction.
  3. A food intolerance– Food intolerances are foods that are hard for the body to digest for several different reasons but NO antibodies are made in the immune system. Someone may not be making the appropriate enzymes to break down certain foods, or not have proper amounts of bile or hydrochloric acid. Certain foods may be feeding unfriendly microbes that have become unbalanced, or just causing stress somewhere along the system. The immune system does play a role here in the form of inflammation. Common foods that are hard for the some people to digest are grains/lectins (including gluten), salicylates, amines, glutamates, FODMAPS, dairy and more. The symptoms of food intolerances again can be delayed and involve any system in the body as the gut is directly linked to the immune system, nervous system (including brain), and endocrine (hormone) system. That means symptoms can be gut pain to brain fog to anything in between, but is often gut discomfort.

Okay, those are the basics. Above all else become curious and learn what is true for YOUR BODY by tracking and connecting how you feel to what you eat. Sometimes foods need to be removed for the long haul but often if we heal properly we can add foods back eventually with no reaction or a small reaction that might be worth the treat. I call this HEAL vs IDEAL and will be coming out with a blog on that soon. Ideally we want to be eating as many whole foods as we possibly can with out over restricting. Healing may have to happen first!

Below is a video of me briefly talking about the differences. XO, Janel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑