Food Allergies vs. Food Intolerance
If you're already following a plant-based diet you should experience far fewer physical reactions from the certain foods that used to leave you upset, or worse. Most averse reactions to food are caused by an intolerance rather than specific food allergies.
Intolerance to food will provoke many of the same indications and symptoms that you've thought were food allergies, but it's important not to confuse one with the other.
Food allergies causes immune system reactions and these can, in turn, affect many other parts of the body. Allergic food reactions can even be severe. But most food intolerances will be limited to digestive problems that are much more easily addressed. Some people with a mild food intolerance will even be able to consume an offending food without too much trouble, even when larger amounts might seem deeply troubling. This is not the case with allergies. So be careful.
Most issues of food intolerance look something like the following:
- The absence of an enzyme that is needed to fully digest a given food. Lactose intolerance is the example most commonly cited. Dr. Sebi recommended no milk, lactose intolerant or not!
- A sensitivity to additives in processed food. Sulfites in dried fruit, canned goods, and wine are often the most intolerable.
- Irritable bowel syndrome is the frequent result of intolerable foods and eating them can provoke cramping, constipation, and diarrhea.
- Stress or psychological factors. Some folks are intolerant even to the mere thought of certain foods and stress can make it worse.
- Celiac disease can seem like a food allergy but most symptoms are gastrointestinal, and so intolerance to gluten won't result in serious immunity responses.
If you're sure you suffer from a food allergy, a really life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can result from eating even a small amount. For food intolerances, switching to a natural plant-based diet should ease much of your discomfort. It's important to know the difference and to always eat carefully. Plus the added benefits in health and well-being from your plant-based diet will ease your stress and many other complaints, too.