Tuesday, December 05, 2017 12:46 AM

ASK A DOCTOR: HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY OR FOOD INTOLERANCE?

Dr. Curt Chaffin Dr. Curt Chaffin Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press. Q: How do I know if I have a food allergy or food intolerance? A: Some of the symptoms of food intolerance and food allergy are similar, but the differences between the two are very important. Eating a food you are intolerant to can leave you feeling miserable. However, if you have a food allergy, your body's reaction to this food could be life-threatening. A food intolerance response takes place in the digestive system. This could be due to enzyme deficiencies, sensitivity to food additives or reactions to naturally occurring chemicals in foods. Often, people can eat small amounts of the food without causing problems. A food allergic reaction involves the immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to cow's milk, your immune system identifies cow's milk as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. Each type of IgE has a specific "radar" for each type of allergen. Symptoms of allergic reactions to foods are generally ...

News source: Times Free Press

See also: Steven Enrich