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7 Signs You Don’t Really Have A Food Allergy – Yahoo Health

7 Signs You Don't Really Have A Food Allergy

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Remember the birthday dinner scene in Mrs. Doubtfire , when Pierce Brosnan’s character Stu tastes the cayenne-laden jambalaya? Okay, did not think so , but here’s the idea: He’s immediately coughing, wheezing, and then choking—all classic signs of a serious, whole-body allergic reaction.

This really is not what happens whenever someone on a trendy fad diet eats gluten, is it? That’s because there’s a big difference between a food allergy, a food intolerance, and what we’ve now come to call a meals sensitivity. Here’s when it’s typically not an allergic reaction:

Your symptoms are all in your stomach…
An allergic reaction is usually governed by the immune system, so it looks pretty similar no matter what you’re allergic to. The immune system controls a variety of blood proteins called antibodies, which look for invaders such as bacteria and infections. “When a person has a food allergy, her body mistakenly identifies the food protein as being dangerous, ” says Bruce Lanser, MD, a faculty food allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO. The antibody immunoglobin E (IgE) essentially attacks that protein, he says, with an onslaught of chemicals that lead to the symptoms Stu so adeptly displayed. (Solve the hidden reason for why you’re just not feeling such as yourself lately—and lose weight effortlessly—with The Good Gut Diet. )

Because of this standard immune system reaction, the legit food allergy will result in things such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, wheezing, sneezing, and trouble swallowing, states Amy Shah, MD, an asthma, allergy, and immunology specialist at Valley E. N. T. within Glendale, AZ.

Sensitivities and intolerances don’t have the same kind of immune system response and instead outcome mostly in GI complaints, the lady says, such as diarrhea, constipation, gasoline, or bloating. An intolerance means a person lacks an enzyme needed to break down a part of the food; people with lactose intolerance are short on the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the sugar lactose in milk, for example. A food sensitivity is less well defined, Lanser says, but typically entails mild abdominal pain and a good upset stomach after eating particular foods. It doesn’t seem to be determined by immune system or any specific deficiency.

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…or primarily in your head.


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If your just or biggest symptom after consuming is a headache, it’s not an allergy, Lanser says, because it’s not one of the classic responses dictated by your defense mechanisms. Headaches and brain fog are most likely signs of a sensitivity, he says. (Here’s what else your brain fog can mean. ) Same goes with behaviour changes. Worried parents have lengthy associated allergies with hyperactive kids, but a true allergic reaction probably wouldn’t send a kid bouncing off the wall space. Instead, an allergy is more very likely to make children clingy, withdrawn, and much more quiet than usual, Lanser states.

Your signs and symptoms come on gradually.


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fter that big pasta and pizza fest, it could take you an hour or so to really really feel your worst if you’re sensitive or intolerant. Allergic reactions, on the other hand, happen almost instantaneously. “The whole reaction usually peaks and ends around 30 minutes after exposure, ” Shah says.

You do not feel the same every time you eat exactly the same food.
You might feel bloated and headachy when you consume pizza, bagels, or toast plus assume you’ve got a wheat allergy—until there’s a day when a little slip up doesn’t bother you whatsoever. With an intolerance or a sensitivity, you’ll probably have signs and symptoms when you eat that problematic meals, but you might not necessarily have them constantly. Whereas “with food allergies, the response happens every time, and it’s not subtle, ” Shah says.

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You can handle a little bit of the food or prepare it the safer way.


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It follows, after that, that sometimes a little bit might be great. “Most people can tolerate small amounts of foods they’re sensitive in order to, ” Shah says. No such luxury with an allergy; not even a crumb will do. “If you have a peanut allergy, you’re never going to not have a reaction, ” Lanser says.

You’re only concerned because a friend/coworker/mother is concerned.
If we haven’t made this clear enough yet, true allergy symptoms are life intimidating and raise serious red flags. Yes, a sensitivity or intolerance may cause discomfort, but if you never noticed everything before someone planted the idea in your head, you probably don’t have a food allergic reaction.

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You’ll be in the bathroom for hours if you drink milk, but not after eating a hard cheese like cheddar.


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That is not a dairy allergy; it’s lactose intolerance. In fact , many of us lose the ability to digest lactose after childhood, Shah says, so milk can be particularly difficult. But because the bacteria that makes mozzarella cheese feeds on lactose, most of the problematic enzyme is eliminated in difficult, aged cheeses, so you do have some intolerance-friendly dairy options. And if cashew, soy, cashew, or coconut dairy won’t cut it, you can conveniently get your missing enzyme in the form of an over-the-counter pill.

Still think it’s a foods allergy?
Then it’s time to get tested by a qualified allergy specialist. You’ve probably heard of the classic skin test utilized to figure out if you’re allergic to activities such as pollen and puppies. The same check works for food: Microscopic levels of common allergens (e. g., wheat, soy, eggs, tree nuts) are placed under the first layer of pores and skin, and if you’re allergic, you’ll get a mosquito bite-like bump within 15 to 30 minutes.

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The gold standard, Lanser says, is the skin test and the blood test, which measures the levels of IgE antibodies in your body after eating certain foods. There’s currently simply no test to diagnose a level of sensitivity, Lanser says. If it seems much more likely that’s your issue, your best bet can be keeping a detailed diary of everything you eat and all the stomach rumblings, headaches, and wooziness you feel afterward. Slowly but surely, you’ll see a pattern in your response, he says. Shah recommends avoiding that culprit for 4 to 6 weeks, after that reintroducing it into your diet. The response should be pretty obvious after staying away from the trigger for so long, she says.

By Sarah Klein

This article ‘7 Signs You Don’t Really Have A Food Allergy’ originally ran on Prevention. com.

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