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Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance: 12 Key Differences


You’ve eaten something and you feel a little off afterwards… perhaps it was the food? Perhaps you ate too much? Then there’s the time you ate that food at a restaurant and broke out in hives… that was pretty clearly the food.

People use the terms “food intolerance” and “food allergies” interchangeably at times, but they’re not the same thing – one can be unpleasant, while the other can actually be life-threatening. Let’s take a closer look at 12 differences between the two…

1. Defining a Food Sensitivity

If you’re intolerant or sensitive to a certain food, it’s because you don’t have the right enzymes to break down the components, explains Healthline.com. You may also be sensitive to food additives or preservatives such as MSG, it adds.

The main point about food intolerances is that they involve your digestive system, not your immune system. If you find yourself gasping for breath after eating a sandwich, that’s not a mere sensitivity – read on.

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