The Difference Between a Food Allergy and a Food Sensitivity
Food allergies occur when your body misidentifies a food for something harmful. In turn, your body signals a response of an antibody known as immunoglobulin E (IgE). The error can result in hives, closing of the throat, and other anaphylactic reactions which can turn lethal. For this reason, people with food allergies may need to take proactive steps such as carrying a supply of Benadryl or an EpiPen in the event of exposure.
Food sensitivities are entirely different. In the case of a food sensitivity - or food intolerance - your immune system also attempts to attack the foreign substance. In this case, your body produces a variety of immune cells, such as white blood cells, as a defense. Since the resulting symptoms are usually far less severe and slower to appear than with an allergy, many people have food sensitivities without even knowing it.
What Are the Symptoms of Food Sensitivity?
Some people with food sensitivities may simply feel tired. They can also experience headaches up to and including migraines. Since these symptoms go away and are typically not life-threatening, many sufferers simply accept them as part of life. They may take a pain reliever, never knowing the specific food or environmental agent causing their discomfort.
Other signs or symptoms of food sensitivity can include:
- Rash or hives
- Inflammation and joint issues
- Changes in bowel movement regularity
- Upset stomach or other gastrointestinal issues
Sensitivities Go Beyond Food
Much of what we consume today consists of foreign substances that are not technically food. For instance, we ingest chemicals such as food additives, preservatives, and dyes that color our food. The body can develop a sensitivity to any of these items. You may also have a sensitivity to certain inhalants, detergents, and other household sprays or cleansers. Intolerances can include medications, too. For instance, many people including athletes have an intolerance to Ibuprofen, never knowing that simply switching to Naproxen would alleviate their symptoms.
Food Sensitivity Testing Solutions
Common food sensitivities include gluten, milk, shellfish, peanuts, soy, and avocado. But every-body is different. Some might have a sensitivity to a certain ingredient in their salad dressing or in their breakfast cereal. Along with sensitivities to certain additives or molds, it can be nearly impossible to discover exactly what substance or substances are adversely affecting you.
That’s where food sensitivity testing comes in. With a simple blood test from a clinician, a lab can screen for hundreds of food sensitivities at once. Furthermore, a complete sensitivity panel can check for sensitivities to molds, medicinal herbs, food additive sensitivities including colorings and preservatives, and even certain medications.
Food Allergy & Sensitivity Panels at ARCpoint Labs
At many ARCpoint Labs locations, we can check for hundreds of food and related environmental allergies and sensitivities with a simple blood sample. It’s safe, accurate, and you get the results you need fast.
Don’t accept fatigue, inflammation, joint pain, headaches, and gastrointestinal flare-ups as “just part of life.” Take control of your health and wellness with our convenient sensitivity panels. You won’t even need insurance or a visit to the doctor. It’s really that easy. Simply locate your nearest ARCpoint Labs today to schedule your test!