Food allergy vs food intolerance – Is there a difference?
Some of the symptoms of food intolerance and food allergy tend to overlap, but knowing the differences between the two is very important and could be life saving.
Eating a food you are intolerant to can leave you feeling ill or miserable. However, if you have a true food allergy, your body’s reaction to this food could be serious and life-threatening.
An IgE food allergy is known as Type I Allergy that involves the body’s immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. If you have a particular food allergy, your body recognises the food as a threat and it overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies cause the release of chemicals, known as histamine, which then causes an allergic reaction. Symptoms of Type I Allergy is usually immediate, within seconds or minutes.
A food allergy can cause a serious or even life-threatening reaction. Eating a microscopic amount, touching or inhaling the food is sufficient to cause a severe reaction.
There are simple tests we can do to pinpoint the exact content of the food that our immune system dislikes. As mentioned earlier, our immune system produces antibody called IgE against certain food we consume. A simple blood test can effectively detect these specific IgE antibodies in our body.
This is simply known as Food Allergy Test. Only a blood sample is required to carry out this test. The results are extremely useful for you and the doctors to manage the allergies appropriately.
Food intolerance, on the other hand, is a Type III Delayed Food Allergy. In food intolerance, your body recognises a food protein as being harmful, therefore producing IgG antibodies to fight these proteins. IgG antibodies, unlike IgE antibodies, do not induce the release of histamine. However, these antibodies can cause inflammatory processes which may progress to become a chronic problem.
Type III Delayed Food Allergy often remains undetected because the symptoms only occur hours or days after consumption of the particular food, making it almost impossible for you to identify the culprit.
Many of us suffer from delayed food intolerance without knowing it. We do not realize that chronic discomfort such as persistent gastric and bowel problems (such as flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea, irritable bowel), chronic headaches and migraines, inflammatory skin problems (such as acne, eczema flare ups, psoriasis), chronic tiredness, and weight problems can be triggered by delayed food allergy or food sensitivity. These symptoms are due to inflammatory reactions triggered by certain food.
Through a simple food intolerance blood test, we can help you identify these antibodies, allowing you to have a clear picture of what food you may want to avoid and what food you can safely rotate in your diet.
Food Intolerance Test is available at our clinic Dr Tan & Partners @ Scotts.
We have 5 different Food Intolerance Test packages available:
1.) 22 food
2.) 44 food
3.) 90 food (90 vegetarian food is also available)
4.) 180 food
5.) Comprehensive 270 food.
For appointments, please call 66942348 or Click here to contact us
Monday – Friday : 9am – 5pm
Saturday 8am – 1pm
9, Scotts Road,
#06-06, Pacific Plaza,