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Food Allergy vs. Food Sensitivity

With increasing interest in physical reaction to foods, many do not understand the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity.

Food Allergy

A food allergy is an IgE-mediated immune response that can result in hives or difficulty breathing, and can be life threatening. Common sources of food allergies are nuts, shellfish, and certain fruit. These allergies can be life-threatening and should be managed in conjunction with your physician. EverlyWell does not offer food allergy testing.

What is a Food Allergy?

  • Immediate reaction.
  • IgE-mediated immune response.
  • Can affect multiple organs.
  • Occurs even with the smallest exposure to trigger food.
  • Happens every time a trigger food is ingested.
  • Potential to be life-threatening.

What are Food Allergy symptoms?

  • Rapid onset of symptoms
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Hives
  • Flushed skin or rash
  • Tingling or itchy sensation in the mouth
  • Face, tongue, or lip swelling
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Dizziness and/or lightheadedness

Food Sensitivity

A food sensitivity is an IgG-mediated immune response that may be associated with unwanted symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and headaches – just to name a few. Our lab test checks for 96 different common food sensitivities and rates them from Low Reactivity to High Reactivity. This allows you to better understand how your own body responds to various foods and how you might adjust eating habits accordingly.

What is Food Sensitivity?

  • Reactions may occur as quickly as one hour or up to 48 hours after trigger food is ingested.
  • May be accompanied by an IgG-mediated immune response.
  • Reaction is most commonly isolated to the digestive tract or intestinal inflammation.
  • Occurs when trigger foods are encountered frequently or in large amounts, but not every time the trigger food is ingested.
  • Often overlooked or misdiagnosed.

Food Sensitivity Symptoms

  • Acne
  • Fuzziness, difficulty thinking
  • Eczema
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Bloated stomach after eating
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Reflux
  • Migraines
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Respiratory issues
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dark circles under eyes

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