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Food Sensitivity and Food Intolerance
What Is a Food Sensitivity?
Some health problems cause the same symptoms as food allergies, but are really food sensitivities. This can make it hard to know for sure whether you have a food allergy.
Food sensitivities can cause symptoms similar to allergies, but reactions are slower and milder. It can take hours or even days before symptoms appear.
Immunoglobulins A, G or M (IgA, IgG, IgM) are often involved.
Sensitivities may contribute to chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis, depression, sinusitis, GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease), migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), rashes, lactose intolerance, and more.
Inadequate digestion or digestive disturbances like inadequate digestive enzymes or damaged intestinal walls with increased intestinal permeability are often involved.
Then What Is Food Intolerance?
If your symptoms come from a food intolerance it means the immune system is not directly involved and reactions are not life threatening, though health and quality of life are usually affected.
The symptoms of food intolerance can be indigestion, bloating, fatigue, migraines, memory problems, toxic headache, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. Digestive symptoms usually predominate.
A common intolerance is lactose intolerance: difficulty digesting milk sugar resulting in symptoms like abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Insufficient lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose, is involved. Some people do not produce enough lactase. Pasteurization of milk destroys lactase and changes milk sugar into another form.
Some intolerances are due to food additives rather than a food. Common culprits are sulfites (inducing asthma in some people) MSG, aspartame, other artificial sweeteners, preservatives, yellow dye no. 5, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. Reactions always arise from individual susceptibilities.
While an allergic reaction is triggered by small amounts of a particular food, a food intolerance may occur only with a large amount of frequent consumption. Symptoms can be chronic or delayed by hours or a couple of days.
Addiction to “offending” foods is common as they sometimes relieve symptoms for a while.
Far more people have food intolerances than true allergies. Most allergies involve shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, milk, eggs, wheat, or soybeans, but intolerances can involve any food.
Do You Think You Have a True Allergy?
A study from Bastyr University has shown that a single person’s blood sent to a number of laboratories for food allergy testing had very different results depending on the lab the blood was sent to. Unfortunately, this kind of testing can be inaccurate. Nutritional Response Testing® can be used to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.