Allergies vs. Intolerance and Other Subtleties

There's a distinct difference between allergies and intolerance. A food allergy involves our immune system, whereby antibodies are produced, whereas food intolerance is different. Food intolerance affects around 30% of adults. One of the most common examples of food intolerance is lactose intolerance. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose. Only 70% of people have it! This is in no way considered an allergy if you can't break down lactose.

Image source:

Salicylates refers to how the body builds up something until a certain concentration, and then only does the body start reacting on small amounts from then on. An analogy could be something like how a bucket gets filled up with water first and only when it's full that it starts to overflow and cause an effect from then on. Nevertheless, this is just an intolerance, as no antibodies are involved! This could be like a reaction to sulfites (preservatives) in wine.

An interesting fact: people who are allergic to fish are not necessarily allergic to shellfish, and vice versa!

Allergies usually involve proteins. Common symptoms are indigestion, puffiness, discoloration, and swelling. Stay tuned! More on this to come! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment