Allergy vs Sensitivity
Many times we use the words interchangeably sensitive or allergy as if they both mean the same. In reality there are some distinctions between the two.
So what are the those differences?
A food allergy, is an acute, and typically immediate reaction that triggers our immune system to produce and release large amounts of IgE (immunoglobulin) antibodies.
It does this in an attempt to fight and remove the invading substance (in this case the food) from our body.
This reaction can have more moderate symptoms like: itching, mild rash, or diarrhea.
Or, it could result in a very severe reaction life threatening reaction such as: swelling of the throat, anaphylactic shock, and possibly death.
Pretty scary stuff!
Food allergies, never go away and require the person to strictly avoid the foods to prevent any potential reaction.
People with severe food intolerances typically need to have an EPI pen on hand in case they consume a food which triggers a severe reaction.
A food sensitivity results when the digestive and immune system becomes stressed by a food to which it cannot digest or tolerate.
The result is an inflammatory response, which can lead to a seemingly endless list of health conditions, especially digestive health disorders.
Some people with food intolerances benefit symptomatically from the use of digestive enzyme supplements, but avoiding these foods are also required if we are to improve.
So regardless of whether it is a food allergy or sensitivity, it is very obvious that we are best avoiding these foods.
The simple fact is that if a food causes stress to our body then we should not eat that food.
In fact, there are few things that we can do to improve our overall health as much as avoiding the foods to which we are either allergic or sensitive.
I have seen this clearly in my health and recovery and with the many people that I have worked with over the past fourteen years.
One caveat that I would add here is when people improve their overall health and rebuild their immune system many of their minor to moderate food intolerances may go away.
I can personally attest to this as most of my food intolerances went away when my health improved!
It is merely the result of better health and a stronger immune system.
I have also seen this with people who go the extra mile by making significant lifestyle modifications to improve their health.