Food allergies and food intolerances can lead to dangerous complications and are often confused and mistreated. Anna Safonova, director of product policy at the LabQuest medical laboratory, a doctor for clinical laboratory diagnostics, told Izvestia about the difference between the two conditions.
So, food intolerance is a condition in which a person does not tolerate the food product due to an incorrect reaction of the immune system. Symptoms are latent, delayed and occur no earlier than 8 hours after the allergen has been consumed, sometimes even up to a day.
The food is perceived by the body as an antigen, that is, a foreign agent, causing protective components – IgG antibodies. According to statistics, up to 4–5% of the world’s population suffers from food intolerance, the doctor specified.
This condition causes reactions from the gastrointestinal tract – abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, heartburn, belching. Skin reactions in the form of dryness, rashes and itching are also possible. And among the general symptoms, weakness and fatigue, malaise, dizziness, headaches and pain in the joints and muscles can be observed. Too many patients believe that the symptoms they have are allergies.
“Allergy is a condition that occurs when there is a disorder in the immune system. Most often, this is the so-called atopy – a predisposition to increased production of IgE immunoglobulin, which is a factor in the state of immediate hypersensitivity. An allergic reaction is always a hyperreaction, we react to something very strongly, ”Safonova explained.
According to her, food allergies are quite common: up to 45% of the population suffers from it Earth. Allergy can begin not only in childhood, but also in adulthood.
“The main difference between food allergy and food intolerance is the amount of the product that causes the reaction. Allergies are always caused by minimal doses of food provocateurs, literally a food molecule can cause an allergic attack. And food intolerance always clearly depends on the amount of food eaten. It is easier for a person to understand that this is an allergy: even a small amount of food immediately causes a response, ”said the specialist.
She noted that both of these conditions lead to deterioration the work of many organs and a decrease in the quality of life. Thus, prolonged use of foods that cause intolerance can cause intestinal and skin diseases, and allergies can lead to asthma. excluding unsuitable products or limiting their quantity. An accurate diagnosis will require diagnostic testing and identification of the specific allergen.
If the cause of the allergy is not identified, symptoms will recur over and over again, which can lead to complications later. Determination of specific immunoglobulins IgE and IgG to common food allergens helps to adjust the diet and make you feel much better, Safonova added.
On November 2, the doctor also listed the symptoms of drug allergy. According to her, drug allergies are most often manifested by skin reactions – urticaria, contact dermatitis, eczema and others. At the same time, cases of the development of the most dangerous clinical forms are not uncommon.