Food allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system that occurs soon after eating specific foods. The immune system overacts to the proteins found in that food. Even a very tiny amount of the allergic food can trigger digestive problems, hives and swollen airways. In some cases, these reactions can be so severe that they cause life-threatening anaphylaxis.
According to FARE, researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies which affect 1 in every 13 children (under the age of 18) in the U.S.
It’s easy to confuse food allergies with food intolerance which is more common. The following list will help to distinguish between food allergy vs. food intolerance.
Food allergy happens when your immune system mistakes something in food as harmful and attacks it. It can affect your whole body, not just your stomach. Symptoms may include: