Food Intolerances vs Food Allergies
A visit to a doctor is required after a new reaction to a particular food if the reaction is moderate or severe. This helps determine if it's an intolerance or a potentially life-threatening food allergy.
A food intolerance is an adverse reaction to a food that does not involve the immune system.
Symptoms include nausea, bloating and diarrhea.
Once the cause of the intolerance is identified, diet modification is the main treatment.
The cause of food allergies is unknown. In some cases, allergies experienced during childhood may resolve in adulthood.
Symptoms of a reaction can include digestive problems (including diarrhea, nausea, indigestion and flatulence) hives or other skin reactions or swollen airways. Severe reactions can be life-threatening.
Antihistamine drugs treat mild reactions. A severe reaction needs an injection of the drug epinephrine and emergency room care.