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Food Allergies and Intolerances


Food allergies and intolerances are two different types of reactions to certain foods.

Food allergies occur when the body's immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food as harmful and produces an immune response. This immune response can range from mild symptoms, such as hives and itching, to more severe symptoms, such as anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction that can cause difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat and tongue, and a drop in blood pressure. Some of the most common food allergies include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish.

Food intolerances, on the other hand, occur when the body has difficulty digesting certain foods. This can lead to a range of symptoms, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Unlike food allergies, food intolerances do not involve the immune system and are generally less severe.

Some common food intolerances include lactose intolerance, which occurs when the body has difficulty digesting lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products, and gluten intolerance, which occurs when the body has difficulty digesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

It is important to note that food allergies and intolerances can have similar symptoms, such as gastrointestinal distress, and it can be difficult to distinguish between the two without proper testing. If you suspect you have a food allergy or intolerance, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

In some cases, avoiding certain foods may be necessary to manage food allergies and intolerances. In other cases, healthcare professionals may recommend dietary modifications or the use of medications to manage symptoms.

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