Food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities.

What’s the difference between a food allergy, intolerance and sensitivity?

A food allergy causes an immune system reaction that is usually immediate or within 1 hour of being exposed to the allergen.  It is basically when the body mistakes something as harmful and attacks it.   It involves numerous organs in the body and can be severe or life threatening.

Food intolerances and sensitivities usually come on more gradually and the symptoms are generally not life threatening and build up over time.  Since food intolerances and sensitivities are more gradual, it can be difficult to identify the triggers.

A food intolerance is when you don’t have the enzymes needed to fully digest a food, like lactose intolerance. A food intolerance usually causes digestive issues. A food sensitivity is much harder to diagnose since, unlike an allergy, it does not involve the immune system. Food intolerances or sensitivities can take up to 72 hours to appear, where as an allergy usually causes a very quick and often extreme reaction. Food intolerances and sensitivities can cause inflammation within the body. If the body thinks it is under constant attack, we start to feel sluggish, suffer digestive issues, have skin irritation, experience mood swings and other health issues.

The six most common symptoms of food sensitivities are:
  • Gastrointestinal (GI), stomach and digestive problems.  These can include gas, bloating, queasiness, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhea or even a combination of these.  Note: This is the most common symptom of food intolerances.
  • Skin rashes and irritations
  • Unexplained muscular or joint aches and pains
  • Neurological issues, such as dizziness, balance issues or pain, brain fog, weakness, tingling or numbness in the extremities
  • Fatigue – can be chronic or almost after each meal.
  • Emotional issues involving chronic irritability or sudden, irrational mood shifts.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and would like help to reduce or eliminate them, I’m here to help!  Through my studies and personal experience, I have learned that these conditions can be caused by food intolerances and/or food sensitivities.  I would love to help you to identify potential food intolerances and sensitivities and work with you to determine a plan tailored to your needs to address them.