It is one of the most common mistakes to define food intolerance, all kinds of negative effects caused by the foods we take in our daily lives, as food allergy. Whether or not the food itself or other factors taken with the food have an effect on our immune system. It would be correct to collect all abnormal tables under the heading of food reactions. In this article, we told you about food allergy and food intolerance.
We can divide the food reactions into two groups as the first and the second group:
First Group Food Intolerance
In the first group, there is “food (food) intolerance” in which abnormal responses occur without causing an excessive reaction on the immune system, depending on the structural characteristics of the content of the food we take.
A food intolerance is the body’s adverse reaction triggered by a food or food ingredient. An example is lactose intolerance. Such reactions occur due to food or nutritional components that cannot be digested or absorbed due to the fact that the immune system does not have an effect when milk and dairy products containing lactose are taken, and lactose cannot be broken down in the body.
For example, people with lactose intolerance do not have the lactase enzymes to digest the lactose sugar in milk. Lactose intolerance is the most well-known food intolerance, seen in 50% of adult people in the world.
Some people have an intolerance to additives such as flavor enhancers (monosodium glutamate) or preservatives (sulphites). Food intolerance symptoms can be confused with food allergy. For this reason, it is important to evaluate an allergist to determine the causes of a reaction to a food.
Second Group Food Allergy
The second group is “food allergy”, in which there are hypersensitivity reactions that occur through the immune system to the allergens we take with food. These hypersensitivity reactions may occur as early allergic reactions in which immunoglobulin E (IgE) molecules formed by the immune system play the leading role, or as a result of late-type reactions in the immune system in which Immunoglobulin IgE molecules do not play a role. Diseases such as urticaria, angioedema, anaphylaxis, eczema, eosinophilic gastritis, colitis, enterocolitis are all included in food allergies.
Food allergy is due to the excessive response created by the immune system against the allergen in the food taken. For example, complaints such as itching, redness, swelling of the eyelids and lips and shortness of breath after drinking milk develop due to the formation of IgE antibodies against the allergens in milk. Cow’s milk allergy should be diagnosed and treated before it causes more serious reactions.
Since food allergies can cause reactions that may result in death, the distinction between food intolerance or food allergy should be made by allergy specialists.