It’s easy to mistake a food intolerance for a food allergy. Some symptoms – abdominal pain, swelling, and itching— can overlap. Yet their repercussions could not be more dramatically different.
While food intolerance can keep you from enjoying your favorite foods, an allergic reaction can cause life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Food allergy - exaggerated immune system response that triggers an allergic reaction.
Food intolerance - digestive dysfunction.
When pondering the food allergy vs food intolerance conundrum you must closely evaluate your immune and digestive systems.
By keeping detailed daily track of your food intake and symptoms, you can determine what’s causing your dietary discomfort and take the necessary steps towards management.
Begin by recording all of your adverse reactions to food. Write down what you ate, when you ate it, which symptoms presented and when.Make sure your food diary is small enough to carry around.
An elimination diet can help you diagnose food intolerance by narrowing down the foods your body reacts to. Simply remove a specific food from your diet for 2 – 8 weeks and monitor your reactions. If symptoms are permanently relieved, you’ve identified the culprit.
Food allergy can be diagnosed with a skin prick test or blood test performed by an allergy specialist.