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Difference between Food Allergy and Intolerances
Food allergies or food intolerances affect nearly everyone at some point. People often have an unpleasant reaction to something they ate and wonder if they have a food allergy. One out of three people either say that they have a food allergy or that they modify the family diet because a family member is suspected of having a food allergy. But only about three percent of children have clinically proven allergic reactions to foods. In adults, the prevalence of food allergy drops to about one percent of the total population.
This difference between the clinically proven prevalence of food allergy and the public perception of the problem is in part due to reactions called "food intolerances" rather than food allergies. A food allergy, or hypersensitivity, is an abnormal response to a food that is triggered by the immune system. The immune system is not responsible for the symptoms of a food intolerance, even though these symptoms can resemble those of a food allergy.
It is extremely important for people who have true food allergies to identify them and prevent allergic reactions to food because these reactions can cause devastating illness and, in some cases, be fatal.
How Allergic Reactions Work?
What are the Common Food Allergies?
What is Cross Reactivity?
What are the Differential Diagnoses?
How is allergy Diagnosed?
What is Exercise-Induced Food Allergy?
What are the Treatments available?
How does allergy affect Infants and Children?
What are the Controversial Issues?
What are the Controversial Diagnostic Techniques?
What are the Controversial Treatments?