When I first started having crazy reactions (like random itching on the bottom of my feet), I quickly visited an allergist to get to the bottom of everything. To my discouragement, the test showed that I wasn’t allergic to any food. But I knew every time I ate a Chick-fil-A sandwich my body hated me right after the fact….sometimes my hands would swell, red bumps would appear on my face and my eczema flared up. It would be later that I discovered that I had an aversion to anything cooked in peanut oil. But how could that be? I was told that I probably had an intolerance, but not an allergy. Who knew? What’s the difference anyway?
Allergic reactions like swelling, hives, wheezing, or dizziness are byproducts of your body fighting what it interprets as a foreign substance. You have to be exposed to something to then be allergic to it. The more you are exposed to something, the more likely you can be allergic to it. A very small percentage of people suffer from food allergies, and they tend to be way more serious than food intolerances, yet many people interpret their intolerances as allergies.
A food intolerance usually occurs when you have difficulty digesting a certain food or ingredient. Food intolerances seem to almost always have a response in your gut. Lactose intolerance, sensitivity to gluten and/or celiac disease has also been grouped under the food intolerance group. Intolerances are typically less severe. With intolerances, your reaction may vary based on portion size or how the food was prepared.Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities are the abnormal reactions you get-sometimes there are reactions and sometimes, there’s nothing. There is limited information about this group because reactions do not always happen the same.
Americans Suffer More?
Do you know there’s a study that suggests that there is something about the Western world which causes a higher prevalence of allergies? The study showed that foreign-born children in the U.S. were less likely to have allergies such as food allergies, eczema, and hay fever when compared to children born in the U.S. Surprisingly, the odds increased for having these conditions once foreign-born children had been in the U.S. longer (ten years or more). That immediately suggests to me that diet plays a huge role with our physical ailments.
So What Does it All Mean?
It didn’t take long for me to realize that my diet had a direct affect on the physical symptoms I was suffering with. My problem was and continues to be narrowing down what my body likes and what it rejects. Your best bet is to start with a medical professional to get help on determining whether you have an allergy or not. Experts suggest an elimination diet (with the help of a doctor or dietitian of course) to try and pinpoint your issues. For me, I developed a hyper-sensitivity to the changes in my body, and I make sure to track the ingredients in every meal I eat.
- June 15, 2015
- Tiffany Allen