Food sensitivities versus food allergies

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July 2, 2013

Many people do not understand that there is a difference between food allergies and food sensitivities, however there is a significant difference between the two, between the mechanism behind them, and the effect that they have on the nervous system.

Food allergies occur when there is an immediate immune-mediated reaction to antigens in the ingested item by the possession of antibodies in that person’s particular system.  Allergy tests look for this immediate reaction to the food particles and the particular antibodies involved.  The person may experienced outright physical signs/symptoms such as skin reactions, throat swelling or difficulty breathing.  

Food sensitivities occur when a person possesses a certain type of antibody that causes a different type of delayed immune-mediated reaction when the body ingests food items with the particular antigens.  This is detected by very specific lab tests, which look for these antibodies.  The person will often have symptoms that they may not even notice until they stop ingesting the causative food items, such as problems with attention, mood, memory, thought processes, motor tasks, reading capabilities, vascular function, hormonal function, bowel function (constipation, diarrhea), and so on.