Food Allergy or Food Intolerance- Check It!

“About 20 percent of the population believe themselves to have a food allergy and only about five percent actually do.”–John Warner

Food intolerance and allergy both cause vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhoea and nausea. Food intolerance is sometimes misinterpreted as food allergy. But, actually, both are quite different. Unpleasant reaction to some food that you eat is not always a food allergy. It might be food intolerance!

Food Allergy


If your immune system exhibits serious reaction to  food, then you are suffering from food allergy. It affects not just your stomach,but may also impinge on the whole body. The symptoms appear within a few seconds or minutes after eating the food. It can be easily traced out with the help of tests.

Symptoms of food allergy:

  • Abrupt fall in blood pressure.
  • Trouble in breathing and swallowing
  • Itchiness, hives or rashes on the skin
  • Chest pain
  • Tingling mouth

Most of the people develop food allergies to nuts (like, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts and walnuts), shellfish and fish. Children can easily get prone to allergies to eggs, soy and milk. Sometimes, food allergy may lead to very critical allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis.

If you have food allergy, then even a single bite of aberrant food may cause a huge trouble. The severity of the reaction depends on the quantity of food you consume. Sometimes a particular ingredient in the food may cause allergy. Check the label of the food product before purchasing it.  Avoid the allergic food and ingredient.

Food Intolerance


Food intolerance is also known as non-allergic food hypersensitivity. If your body depicts adverse reaction, each time you intake the food in larger quantity, then its food intolerance. However, there is no immediate occurrence of the symptoms. It begins days or hours after consuming the food and do not involve the immune system reaction.

Symptoms of food intolerance:

  • Nervousness or irritability
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating, cramps, or gas in stomach
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain

Causes of food intolerance:

  • Food poisoning
  • Sensitivity to food additives
  • Absence of an enzyme required for the complete digestion of food
  • Bowel syndrome


Food intolerance is not fatal and is very common than food allergies. It’s difficult to diagnose it. To find out the problem food, exclude certain food from your diet, one at a time.

Try to identify the difference between food allergy and intolerance and take protective measures, accordingly.