Do you have a food allergy or do you have a food intolerance? While food allergies seem to be quite a normal circumstance, a study has shown only 3% of adults suffer from actual food allergies. The difference? A food allergy is when your immune system mistakes the food you’re eating for something more dangerous and your body rejects it. Food intolerance (which is more common) involves a defect or deficiency in enzymes you need to digest or metabolize.

(Image Takenย From Flickr Creative Commons)

The most common food allergies are that of nuts, wheat, dairy, soy, fish and shellfish.ย Did you know that the immune system never recognizes sugar as an allergen? (So very rarely will you find someone allergic to chocolate!) Food allergies can range from mild symptoms to life threatening ones. Symptoms can appear within minutes of eating or can take hours to even notice.ย Most allergies cause skin symptoms like hives, itchy rashes, redness or swelling.ย  They can also cause digestive systems like stomach pain, nausea, etc. The most severe of all allergies is anaphylaxis – which puts your body into shock and closes up your airway. Most people who are prone to this should carry injectable epinephrine which can stop a reaction immediately. A good way to treat your less harmless food allergies and still enjoy that certain food is to take an anti-histamine like Reactine (although I cannot 100% guarantee it will work, but it works for me).

(Taken from Flickr Creative Commons)

Here’s a weird fact I learned – apparently if you’re allergic to bananas or have an intolerance, you have a high chance of being allergic to latex as well!

Enjoy your food responsibly!