Living with food allergies can be dangerous, and at the very least a hassle, particularly if you’re living your entire life around the avoidance of foods you aren’t actually allergic to. How can you know for sure if you actually suffer from food allergies or if you’re complicating your life unnecessarily? Your local Arizona asthma & allergy clinic can help…
Why you may not have allergies
Research shows that of the 20% of individuals who claim to suffer food allergies, only 3-4% are actually affected. Why the discrepancy? Many of these individuals have food intolerances and other health issues, and have never received food allergy tests from a trained Scottsdale Asthma & Allergy Clinic specialist able to make them aware of the distinction.
Allergy vs intolerance: What’s the difference?
- Food intolerances
Intolerances become more common with age. They occur in the digestive system, where foods that cannot be properly broken down result in symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Common culprits includes sugars found in dairy (lactose), and also fructose from fruit, veggies, honey, and some fruit drinks and soft drinks. Food intolerances can also result in headaches, such as is the case with chocolate, cheese, and wine.
- Food allergies
Food allergies result from the body’s abnormal response to a food, occurring within minutes to hours of contact with the offending substance. Symptoms may also include gas, bloating, and diarrhea, as well as runny/itchy nose, congestion, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing; skin itching, swelling, or hives; and in severe cases anaphylaxis. Some allergies are outgrown over time, while others (nut, fish, and shellfish) persist throughout life.
Know before you say “no”
Food allergies can be diagnosed by an allergy specialist. Diagnosis should include a detailed medical history, physical exam, food allergy tests, food journaling, and to confirm results, a placebo-controlled food challenge in the doctor’s office.
Don’t needlessly avoid your favorite foods. Find out the facts with the help of a Scottsdale Asthma & Allergy Clinic specialist near you today!