What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance pregnancy?
A food allergy develops when the body reacts to a normally harmless substance, mistaking it for a dangerous one. The immune system kicks in, producing antibodies that trigger the release of histamine. Fortunately, it is still quite rare to be truly allergic to a specific food or food group and people who do have such an allergy are never left in any doubt: within minutes of ingesting the food, their body’s immune system reacts violently and produces symptoms such as an itchy rash, hives, swelling, even difficulty breathing and/or a massive drop in blood pressure. In severe cases, the reaction can prove fatal.
The most common foods that cause allergies are peanuts, other types of nuts, fish, shellfish, and eggs.
In addition to food allergies, a growing number of people are becoming intolerant to certain foods, in particular wheat and dairy products, although the true numbers are disputed, even by doctors who work solely in this field. Many causes are suggested, including environmental pollutants, chemicals in the foods themselves, our immune
system, and our increasingly antiseptic environment. A food intolerance would typically produce one or several delayed symptoms, ranging from asthma, eczema, migraines, and headaches to tiredness and digestive disorders. If you suspect you may have symptoms of a food intolerance, you should either ask your GP to refer you to a specialist allergy clinic at your local hospital, or make an appointment to see a qualified dietician who will arrange for you to have some tests.
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