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Is It Food Allergy or Intolerance? How to Know

Is It Food Allergy or Intolerance? How to Know

Remember getting an upset stomach from your aunt’s shellfish casserole? You probably thought of it as an allergic reaction.

But was it really an allergy?

It is a common misconception that all adverse reactions are allergies. Most of the time, what you have is a sensitivity or intolerance, and not a true allergic reaction.

In this entry, we at Court Street Pharmacy, as your trusted pharmacy in St. Catharines, Ontario, will be talking about the differences between the two. Knowing what you have ensures you have the appropriate treatment.

Firstly, food sensitivities are quite common. They can be caused by factors such as lack of the right digesting enzymes, adverse reactions to food additives and preservatives, and sensitivity to certain chemicals, such as caffeine, sugars in onions, etc.

And because they usually manifest in disruptions in your digestive system like bloating, cramping, diarrhea or constipation, and nausea, among others, they are usually not life-threatening, but depending on the severity may warrant a trip to your nearest walk-in clinic.

On the other hand, food allergies are rare. They happen when your body’s immune system detects an invader such as bacteria, virus, or fungi and reacts by producing antibodies to fight them off.

Food allergies manifest mainly through skin reactions such as hives, swelling, and itching, although it may cause digestive symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or bloating. A more severe response is anaphylaxis, a fatal allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

In cases like this, epinephrine can save your life, a type of drug that works by reversing allergic reaction symptoms. We carry this drug in our prescription pharmacy in Thorold, Ontario.

We also carry a wide range of medical supply in Ontario, Canada for your convenience.

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