There has been a lot of debate about food allergies in recent years. In particular, medical professionals have been trying to classify reactions to certain foods by distinguishing between food allergy and food intolerance. The topic is usually broached with a little skepticism in the health news. After all, a food allergy is a lot more serious than mere food intolerance — or is it?
Of course an anaphylactic response to a certain food is a very serious health problem. But food intolerances can also cause you a lot of suffering. You can experience headaches, fatigue, stomach pains, breathing difficulties, achy joints and muscles — you name it. Whatever your symptoms and health issues, a food intolerance could potentially be the trigger.
While many doctors may consider a food intolerance as a psychosomatic problem — more based in the mind than on any real physiological change in the body — the concept has been around since the ancient Greeks. The Greeks recognized that some unpleasant symptoms could be specifically linked to the ingestion of certain foods. One of two things can happen to trigger these symptoms: either a message gets sent to your immune system to produce antibodies as a potential defense; or a much slower response takes place in the gastrointestinal system. The first is considered an allergy; the second, food intolerance. Continue reading