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Food Allergies

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma and allergies strike one out of five Americans. Food allergies occur however, when the body mounts an immune system response to a particular substance or chemical in food and can be quite severe. By contrast, food intolerance is often less serious and may affect just the digestive system.

Common food intolerances may include:

• Sugars from fruit/honey
• Cow’s milk/dairy
• Corn/corn byproducts
• Wheat and gluten

What are some symptoms of an allergic reaction?

Symptoms may be present almost immediately after eating a particular food or can take up to an hour to cause a reaction. They may start with mild itching or swelling in or around the mouth and progressively get worse, causing cramps, diarrhea or vomiting. Some people experience a decrease in blood pressure, develop hives, or have an asthmatic episode in response to certain foods.

Food Intolerance

Often times a food intolerance involves the inability of the body to digest food properly.

Gluten Intolerance/Celiac Disease

Some people have difficulty digesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Celiac disease damages the lining of the small intestine through the body’s own immune system.

Fructose Intolerance

Fruits, vegetables and honey are naturally sweetened by fructose. Fructose malabsorption occurs when the body cannot properly absorb fructose. This is also known as fructose intolerance.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is caused from a shortage of the enzyme, “lactase”. Lactase is necessary to break down milk sugar, (lactose) for absorption into the body.

Additional Reading: Food Allergy Made Simply, Types of Food Allergies – Your Body’s Overreaction to the Foods You Eat