Not All Reactions Are Allergic Ones

Now, my brother and I have both claimed to have allergies to certain foods; however, my brother’s reaction to peas is very different than my reaction to eggs. I will get this awful feeling in my stomach that pretty much forces me out of commission in bed for a few hours, but my brother’s face swells and his throat starts to close up.

My brother is truly allergic to peas and will suffer from anaphylaxis symptoms when exposed to them. My situation is not nearly as deadly, no matter how dramatic I may act. It was only a few years ago when I learned the real differences between a food allergy and a food intolerance. First, an allergic reaction is the immune system’s overreaction to something relatively harmless; like my husband when he sees one of Mako’s hairballs. A food intolerance, on the other hand, is a chemical reaction within the body caused by either something in the food or the absence of an enzyme needed to digest the certain food.

The biggest difference normal people will notice is going to be the symptoms. Food intolerance symptoms can include tremors, stomach aches, headaches, sweating, nervousness, and diarrhoea. Allergies tend to have visible signs such as swelling in the face, rashes/hives, and a runny nose and also include the possibility of breathing difficulty, vomiting, diarrhoea, and nausea. Due to the much more severe reactions, allergies are definitely more life threatening that food intolerances.

Regardless, you should talk to your doctor about food reactions you may suspect in case tests need to be performed and an EpiPen prescribed. And figuring out which is the offending food/cause of your reaction and eliminating it from you diet will ease daily life in general. Allergies are on the rise, and while not all reactions to food are allergic reactions, you don’t want to find out you have an allergy too late.

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