Food Allergy versus Food Intolerance Video #1
Several months ago, I was interviewed by EmpowHer to discuss food allergies. This is the first video from the interview where they wanted to discuss Food Allergies vs. Food Intolerances, and how they differ. Please let me know if you have other ideas or opinions. There is much debate over IgE reactions, versus IgG, for example. This is an open discussion. Leave me a comment below.
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To me the difference is whether it is acute (allergy) or chronic (intolerance). Both threaten your life, just one is a fast track and the other is slower and more insidious. Then try explaining that Celiac Disease is different than both of those…. Ikes! Good job explaining. You did far better than Dr. Oz who called CD ‘an allergy to wheat’ on Oprah!
I think that’s a good observation. That an allergy is an acute reaction, whereas intolerance can be more chronic in nature. Though rashes (eczema) from a food can be both acute, and then linger chronically. I also agree that people don’t understand that CD is something altogether different, unto itself. I missed that on Oprah. Yikes.
Thanks for your comment!
I’m still not sure if I have an allergy or an intolerance! If I eat even the smallest amount of dairy/lactose then I become very ill. Even a tiny amount means I am vomiting every 5 minutes for a week. I am unable to get out of bed and it’s just awful. With wheat it is much less of a problem. If I eat wheat I get bad cramps, diarrhoea and feel nauseous. I haven’t always been this way if that makes a difference. I tend to use both allergic and intolerance when explaining it to people as I’m not quite sure which category I fall into. I’m just glad that so far my children seem to be O.K.
Thanks for the information — I think, from your descriptions, what I have is a food intolerance, but will definitely go get it checked out to make sure. Thanks again!
I like how u give out information on both intolerences and allergies. It explains that how I may have an intolerence to some foods going to have to look into that one, thanks.
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I think that characterizing food “allergies” as inherenty more dangerous and thus more critical than food “intolerance” does a disservice to those who suffer from intolerances. As the parent to a child with both traditional IgE food “allergies” and IgG food “intolerances”, I can tell you that both can cause immune system responeses–hives, shallow breathing, behavior changes, and a host of other symptoms/damage more serious than mild discomfort.
Current thinking on the subject of food intolerance recognizes it as a chronic disorder that threatens quality of life in much the same way food allergy does, it is simply a different manifestation of what both have in common: the body’s negative reaction to a food. That food intolerance does not require the carrying of an epi pen and does not typically lead to a visit to the emergency room does not make it any better, easier to live with, or less critical to one’s well being. I would like to see the food allergy community come together on this instead of constantly feeling the need to distinguish the two in some sort of one-upmanship.
Thanks for your comment! I appreciate your feedback and really wanted this to be an open discussion where people could add their opinions, so thank you for that. I, personally, don’t feel it’s a question of anyone trying to one-up one another. I think it’s about trying to find some kind of real clarification for what is what, and what’s causing it. I think that is important medically, so we can research the cause, and try to find a cure. There is a distinction between the two, with different chemical reactions. I would never diminish the impact of food intolerances, I’m just trying to clarify that food allergies with an IgE reaction can kill you, in an acute way. I think the clarification is really necessary for those outside of the food allergy world, where there is the least understanding. We have both food allergies and food intolerances in my household. And some of the food intolerances are quite extreme, and absolutely threaten quality of life. Has your allergist attributed hives to an IgG reaction? Does IgG cause a histamine release? I’ve never heard of that, and am really interested to know more! Is it possible that your son is reacting on both fronts to certain foods? I know people who are wheat allergic and wheat intolerant. Again, thank you for your comment. We are all in this together.
You gave an excellent explanation! Here are a few of my observations on food intolerances. My son has chronic gi issues, which are likely a result of IgG food intolerances. He does not have IgE food allergies. None of our doctors (pediatrician, pediatric gastroenterologist, allergy doctor) seem to take the topic of food intolerances seriously nor do they give any credibility to IgG tests. Figuring out food intolerances seems to be a trial and error process, and one that many doctors deem unnecessary. Until doctors get on board, IgG food issues will not be taken seriously.
I agree, most western MDs don’t recognize IgG. Because they don’t have “proof”. I’m sure we will see this shift, however, as more and more people are also developing food intolerances (or perhaps, finally realizing they have them, with heightened awareness). I’d be interested to know what, say, French or Italian or Australian physicians have to say on the matter. Anyone know? What do French MDs have to say about IgG?
I am still trying to find out what is triggering my eczema. I don’t have celiac and my allergy test was all 2’s except one 3 and no wheat allergy. I do have intolerances to lactose at times, and peanuts. I am still learning and appreciate the info. I am starting a food diary and I am determined to figure out what is causing my food allergies and what I am allergic to. I have been using your Baker’s handbook and my family has enjoyed it. My allergist has not been much help, I think they think celiac is all that is out there if you don’t score higher on a allergy test than a 2.
Thanks again Pamela
You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material
Great Post. I add this Post to my bookmarks.
There are food reactions that are not IgE that can be very serious and even immediately life-threatening but most are not. Some can still be very serious and cause huge problems in a person’s life but the threat of pretty immediate death outweighs those problems. I have non-IgE food issues. My son has IgE food allergies that are immediately life threatening to him in minute amounts. I might spend hours in the bathroom or be unable to sleep all night if I mess up but I’m not going to die and I’m not going to get rushed to the ER wondering if I will make it or not. Anyone who feels sensitivities are as serious as a life threatening condition usually does not deal with life threatening conditions. Both should be treated with respect but they are not the same. I think often ‘IgG’ stuff is really either Celiac (obviously very serious and can shorten one’s life seriously if gluten is not totally avoided), reflux, EOS or some other condition that might not get diagnosed if the person does not look further. IgG testing isn’t valid or reliable and IgG allergies are often diagnosed by alternative practitioners resulting in people needlessly avoiding things and maybe not getting a proper diagnosis for foods to which they are having reactions. I don’t know. It’s complicated. I wish everyone the best in figuring out what causes their food reactions and getting proper care.
Great post! I really enjoyed it.