Food allergy refers to an immune reaction involving the IgE antibodies against a specific food. Allergy is when a body somebody's body forms an immune response against what's called an allergen antigen protein we're talking about anything from dog dander to birch tree pollen to peanuts or medication when your body forms an allergic response, you form this antibody called immunoglobulin E or IgE. When you have this IgE against the allergen, Whenever you're exposed to the allergen then your body will produce a reaction because the IgE will recognize it. It unlocks the allergy cells in both the skin and throughout the body releasing chemicals that cause the traditional symptoms such as itching, sneezing, congestion cough from a respiratory standpoint then the skin you can have hives or swelling, you can have vomiting, nausea we can have a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If you have a food allergy medication allergy things like that so when we talk about allergy we're very specific because that's an immune response that's going to cause symptoms every time you're exposed to that allergen. people often times throw around the word sensitivities intolerances and they try and group them in with allergies.
What is an Intolerance?
Food intolerance involves an unusual immune reaction involving the IgG antibodies. If you have an allergy every time you're exposed. For example, if you have a milk allergy you won't be able to eat cheese, yogurt, ice cream, or drink milk because you'll have symptoms every time. However, if you have an intolerance that is not because of the immune system that's really a problem with digestion. The most common example is you're well aware of is lactose intolerance, you either lack the enzyme to digest the simple sugar lactose or the enzyme isn't working very well. If you eat foods high in lactose which is a simple sugar found in dairy products you can't digest it. So it travels through your intestines and it causes a lot of discomfort such as bloating or diarrhea, constipation.
What Is sensitivity?
And then we have this term sensitivity and this is really not a well-defined term. There's no you know concrete medical definition that says you have a sensitivity to anything. But people often refer to this term as a whole host of conditions but we don't really know what does it means. There is a condition such as non-celiac gluten sensitivity where you don't have celiac disease. Which is an auto immune condition where you eat gluten found in wheat and other products and your body actually attacks itself and you can have very severe symptoms, but non-celiac gluten sensitivity is more difficulty with digesting it other than that it's really nebulous term that has no great definition, but people will apply it to a whole host of conditions, which it really has no evidence to support.
what people need to understand is the danger of having celiac diseases because you're activating your immune system and it starts attacking your own cells. Other problems can come up like lymphoma, cancer all these things that actually cause a problem for you as opposed to lactose intolerance. Well, you're not going to have a great time going to the bathroom but the danger is quite limited there. And you know the interesting thing with this intolerance is that it may change over time. So if you get gastroenteritis or the stomach flu you may not be able to digest many different foods until your intestines heal and things like that. So you can have these temporary Intolerances or it may be more quantity related. So milk allergy, can't eat anything with dairy at all, lactose intolerance you may be able to eat some cheese every once in a while. You just can't drink milk.