There is a lot of confusion surrounding food allergies and intolerances. Especially as people here about and want to learn more about them. Confusion which only spreads when you try and research it yourself only to find conflicting information. It can be hard to sort fact from fiction when you aren’t sure where to start. Especially when you have symptoms that you need relief from.

Read this post prepared by a certified naturopath what’s the difference of the two.

Gut Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms that might send you looking for answers are bloating, discomfort, gas, or diarrhoea. Having a look online might make you think you have a food intolerance – which then leads you to avoid that food.

A lot of the time people start to avoid gluten or dairy, but these may not be the culprit behind their symptoms. Negative responses to foods range from an anaphylactic reaction to abdominal discomfort.

What Do Food Allergies Mean?

A food allergy occurs when a food triggers an immune response in the body that causes the immune system to produce antibodies. This immune response triggers a cascade of reactions that lead to anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock, and – if not managed – ultimately death. It is a quick reaction that needs immediate management.

Coeliac disease is also an immune response, but it is slower to trigger, and the symptoms primarily present in the gut.

What Do Food Intolerance Mean?

A food intolerance will cause a reaction in the gut that doesn’t involve the immune system. They impact on an individual’s quality of life, causing symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and various abdominal symptoms.

You might get away with eating a little bit of a food that you are intolerant to and not get symptoms. However, the more frequently you eat it, the less of it you need to eat to trigger severe symptoms. This means that you might go from needing to eat a lot of something to have a bad reaction to not needing to eat much at all. This is because you have reached your tolerance threshold and can no longer handle eating much of that food without an increase in symptom severity that doesn’t seem proportionate.

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Ruth Griffiths

Ruth has had a lifelong interest in and passion for nature, natural medicine, and the human experience. She began her studies in Health Science, Aromatherapy, Remedial Therapies, including Manual Lymphatic Drainage, in Melbourne over 25 years ago. On completion of these studies, Ruth operated a clinic for 8 years in the Grampians region, specializing in […]

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Katherine is a certified naturopath and the founding director of Acorn and Oak.   Her journey into studying Naturopathy started when she was 18 years old.  Katherine  has also studied 2 1/2 years of nursing and midwifery, but decided that she was happier to work with women as a naturopath and support them through their […]

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