Updated: Sep 28, 2022
All three of these words are often thrown around interchangeably, but there are big differences between these terms, in the responses your body has to them, and how we support healing.
1) Food Allergies
These immune reactions to food are confirmed by an IgE immune response. IgE is an important part of the “first line of defense” against pathogens that enter the body. Reactions due to allergies cause acute or immediate responses (usually within minutes to hours) once a trigger food is ingested and can last 1-2 days.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and may include:
rash or hives
stuffy, runny or itchy nose
itchy or teary eyes
trouble breathing of shortness of breath
Common sources of food allergies include:
2) Food Intolerance
Food intolerances are non-immune reactions to certain food components such as dairy, histamines, alcohol, and gluten that occur when a person is lacking the digestive enzyme or nutrient responsible for breaking down these food components. Food intolerances are a digestive system response rather than an immune response.
Intolerances can cause:
cold or flu-like symptoms
general digestive discomfort because the body lacks the appropriate tools to break down trigger foods: nausea, stomach pain, gas, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea,
Common trigger foods or ingredients are:
3) Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities are IgG immune responses that can cause reactions that are delayed by hours or even days and can last up to 21 days, so it is difficult to find the culprit. These are chronic food reactions and are usually caused by an imbalance in the gastrointestinal system that is affecting the immune system. Most common is intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”. This is when food particles get through the lining of the small intestine and into the blood stream where they do not belong, and therefore cause an immune response.
Symptoms of food sensitivities differ from person to person and can depend on the type of food eaten and/or the health of the gut lining.
Some symptoms of food sensitivities are:
depression or anxiety
unintentional weight loss or gain
dark under-eye circles
runny nose or sinus problems
muscle or joint pain/stiffness
nausea or vomiting
bladder control issues
hives or rashes
acne or rosacea
Common sources of food sensitivities are:
gluten (from wheat, rye, spelt, and barley)
Unfortunately, with food sensitivities, the foods that tend to show up in testing are the foods that specific individual person eats more often. Those foods have a higher chance of escaping the digestive tract into the blood stream. Fortunately, food sensitivities are not forever - working on gut healing and balancing is the key so these foods, as well as toxins and pathogens, cannot get through the lining in the first place.
Purely Rooted Nutrition offers functional nutritional testing to help you find these food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities. We also offer therapeutic plans of action to support healing from the source.