Food Allergy ResourcesMidwest Allergy Sinus Asthma, SC
Having a food allergy means that the body has produced an unnatural overreaction in the immune system to a food protein. The allergic response is a very brisk one, and the body can react to even minute quantities of an offending food.
An allergic person’s body, upon exposure to the specific food, releases allergic chemicals that creates food allergy symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, hives, and wheezing. Since the immune system is present throughout the body, many different parts of the body can be affected. Symptoms can be mild, such as a few hives in an area where the skin has briefly touched a food allergen, or it can be as severe as anaphylactic shock. A systemic allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis, which can be mild to severe, as well. It is essential to remember that the amount of allergen physically ingested does not predict how severe a food allergy will be, since even slight amounts can cause severe reactions…
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Symptoms of food allergy and food intolerance may be similar, but what is actually happening on a biological level is quite different. Food intolerance typically causes uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. However, there is no allergic reaction within the body, and, thus, no risk for anaphylaxis. Read more about the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance here.
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