It’s common for your child’s body to react to a particular food. But is it a food intolerance or a food allergy? Although similar symptoms and similar conditions are seen, food allergy in children is a more serious and important condition. In this article, we told you the differences between food intolerance and food allergy.

Food Allergy or Food Intolerance?

Physical reactions to a particular food are common. A food intolerance can cause the same symptoms as a food allergy, so these two conditions are often confused.

A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects many organs in the body. Food allergy symptoms can have very serious consequences. On the contrary, food intolerance is less important and causes certain digestive system problems.

If your child has a food intolerance, they can consume a certain amount of the suspected food without any problems, and possible symptoms can be prevented. However, in food allergy, serious problems can occur even if a small amount of the food to which you are allergic is consumed.

Food Allergy and Food Intolerance Differences in Children

To list the differences between food allergy and food intolerance; We can explain the situation as follows.

Food Allergy Characteristics in Children

  • It occurs suddenly.
  • A small amount of food triggers the condition.
  • The problem occurs every time the food is consumed.
  • It carries a life risk.

Nutrient Intolerance Characteristics

  • It occurs gradually.
  • It only occurs when the food is consumed too much.
  • Although food is consumed, it is rarely seen.
  • It is not life-threatening.

Common Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Different Features

When a food upsets the stomach or the body cannot digest it, it indicates a food intolerance. The following symptoms are seen;

  • Gas, cramping, swelling after eating
  • heartburn
  • Headache
  • irritability

Food allergy, on the other hand, occurs when the immune system perceives a food as harmful and creates a reaction against this food. Food allergy affects not only the stomach, but the whole body. The following symptoms are seen;

  • Hives, skin blistering, itching
  • Shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure, swallowing and breathing problems (life-threatening)