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Are You Sure You Have a Food Allergy?


2. Intolerance vs. Allergen

It’s common for people to confuse a food intolerance with a food allergy. It may seem that a lot of people have allergies, but this isn’t necessarily the case. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s more common for a physical reaction to food to be caused by a food intolerance than a food allergy. Yet there seems to be a pretty big misconception about this. The main difference between an intolerance and allergy is that allergies cause a reaction in your immune system, while an intolerance is your body’s inability to break down or digest specific foods or compounds.

Gluten-intolerance is a good example of something often confused with as an allergy because people think the reaction is one of an allergen. You’ve also probably heard someone say their food intolerance is “like an allergy”, something many do just to help others quickly understand. Luckily, the reaction from a food intolerance is typically less severe than that of an allergy. Since many allergies can be life-threatening, some people need to carry an injection that releases epinephrine into the body to lessen the severity of an allergic reaction.

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