Allergy Or Intolerance: Determining The Difference And Management
Imagine dunking your chocolate chip cookies into a cold glass of milk and taking a delicious bite. Not long after, you start to feel funny. Perhaps your stomach hurts, and you feel as though you are going to throw up. Maybe your throw starts to feel funny. If that is the case, you may have a food allergy. Of course, there are some people who suffer from an intolerance.
If you feel that certain foods bother you, it is important to determine the difference between an allergy and intolerance. Once you figure out which one you have, the next step is to learn proper management so you can avoid the discomforts and dangers often associated with intolerance and allergies.
What's the Difference?
For starters, a food intolerance means that you may feel sick if you eat a certain food. For example, if you have a dairy intolerance, you may experience stomach discomfort after ingesting dairy. You may feel queasy or perhaps you suffer from bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Despite the discomfort, ingesting dairy will not kill you.
If, however, you are allergic to dairy, it can cause serious health problems. Depending on the severity of the allergy, you may experience any of the following reactions:
- Stomach pain
- Tingling in the mouth
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Lightheadedness and/or fainting
Very severe allergic reactions can trigger a dangerous reaction called anaphylaxis, which results in symptoms that include:
- Throat swelling
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid pulse
- Lightheadedness and/or loss of consciousness
- Swelling of the throat that makes breathing difficult
If you experience symptoms that mirror an allergic reaction, it is important that you seek medical help. In the event of anaphylaxis, you must seek emergency care immediately.
Finding Out for Sure
One way to determine if you have a food allergy is to invest in an ALCAT allergy test kit. Using an allergy test kit, you submit a sample of your blood to a laboratory. Qualified professionals use your blood sample to test for a variety of possible food allergies. You receive fast, easy results highlighting foods that you may be allergic to, thus allowing you to consider potential dietary changes.
Keep in mind that an allergist may still have to confirm potential allergies, but an ALCAT allergy test kit is still a great start, particularly if you have any worries. Considering that an estimated 32 million people living in the U.S. suffer from food allergies, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. Knowing what foods may potentially trigger an allergic reaction can help you or a loved one stay safe.
Once you receive the results of your ALCAT allergy test kit, you can begin considering management steps that you need to take to reduce potentially dangerous outcomes. You will need to avoid foods consisting of substances that can trigger your body into having an allergic reaction. For instance, if you are allergic to nuts, you will need to stay away from products containing nuts.
Keep in mind that it is not only products with nuts that you will need to avoid. You will need to practice checking food labels carefully. Many labels warn consumers that even if the products do not contain nuts, they may have been made in a factory that uses nuts in other products. Therefore, there may be a trace amount of nuts in the product. Therefore, it is best to avoid those products too.
If you are concerned about possible food allergies, consider purchasing an allergy test such as an ALCAT allergy test kit today and set up an appointment with your doctor. Your regular doctor can refer you to an allergist for further testing and confirmation of any potential food allergies.