People have always had a bit of complicated relationship with food. We are only able to eat the food that we do today because humanity has spent thousands of years cultivating various foods so that they are edible. But as much progress as we have made in the realm of making food edible, physical reactions to foods are still common. A large number of people are unable to eat certain foods; the foods typically cause the body to react in some type of negative way. This can include all type of reactions, such as an outbreak of the skin, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
Most times these physical reactions are thought to be due to food allergies. But this is not always the case; food allergies are often mistaken for food intolerances. A food intolerance often has the same signs and symptoms that food allergies do, so the mistake is understandable. A true food allergy will cause an immune system reaction that directly affects the body’s organs. Food intolerances on the other hand are much less serious and normally are strictly limited to digestive issues.
Also Read: Food Sensitivities and Allergies: Here’s What You Need to Know
People with a food intolerance can still eat small amounts of the intolerant food without suffering much. There is also medication available to help treat a lot of food intolerances, such as the lactase enzyme pills people with lactose intolerane consume.
It is important not to self-diagnose whether you have a food intolerance or food allergy. If you experience a reaction after eating a certain food, you should check with your doctor to determine if it is a food allergy or food intolerance. If you have a food allergy you should seek emergency medication like epinephrine from your doctor right away. The symptoms caused by a food allergy can happen very quickly and be fatal if left untreated.