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Why Test for Food Allergies?

by in Medical Care October 29, 2018

Getting frequent migraines after eating? Feeling bloated all the time, even though you are trying to eat “healthier”? Does your throat get tingly after consuming certain foods? You might be suffering from a food sensitivity or allergy and now is the time to get tested.

Why should you get tested? There are plenty of reasons, but first, you must know some of the common symptoms and differences between these two medical conditions.

Common Symptoms

The most common symptoms or signs of food allergies include swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat; tingling or itching of the mouth; breaking out in hives; severe abdominal pain and vomiting; getting dizzy or fainting; and wheezing or having trouble breezing. For some people, certain foods may trigger a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can lead to life-threatening symptoms, such as restriction of the airways, rapid pulse, and loss of consciousness.

Meanwhile, the most common symptoms of a food sensitivity include bloating, headaches, migraines, coughing, stomach aches, irritable bowels, hives, runny noses, and generally just feeling “not right.” Some of the most common types of intolerances include gluten, caffeine, wheat, lactose, histamine, and additives. It’s important to know the difference between the two conditions.

Differences Between Food Allergies and Sensitivities

While physical reactions to certain foods are common, the vast majority are caused by food sensitivities, rather than food allergies. You might know a few people who are seriously allergic to nuts or seafood, but if you are suffering from some of the symptoms listed above, it’s far more likely that you are suffering from a food sensitivity or intolerance.

As both conditions lead to many of the same symptoms and signs, people often confuse the two. However, true food allergies can be severe or even life threatening, and cause an immune system reaction that affects many organs in the body. In contrast, food sensitivities do not affect the immune system and usually cause digestive issues.

If you are dealing with a food sensitivity, you may be able to eat small portions of the foods that cause you trouble and even be able to prevent a reaction by taking certain pills, such as lactase enzyme pills for individuals with a lactose sensitivity. Food sensitivity symptoms usually take longer to appear, appearing up to 48 hours after ingestion, compared to food allergies, which usually occur immediately after eating or exposure.

There is no prevention strategy for food allergies and sensitivities – only avoidance. However, if you are suffering from some of the aforementioned symptoms but aren’t sure about the root of the problem, there are steps you can take to find relief.  

First, you might consider keeping a food journal to take notes about how you feel when you eat certain foods. Next, if you notice that you have an onset of symptoms when you eat select foods, you might be dealing with an allergy or intolerance and should seek out professional medical help.

Why Should you Get Tested?

You don’t have to live with feeling bad a lot of the time, which is why it’s important to get tested for food sensitivities and allergies. You deserve a high quality of life and cannot achieve this until you have narrowed down what foods are causing you to develop certain symptoms or serious medical issues.

Meanwhile, if you have suffered an anaphylaxis episode due to a food allergy, you must get tested to avoid encountering another life-threatening situation. Schedule an appointment with you medical provider today and significantly limit your food intake to foods you know do not cause any reaction.

To learn more about how we diagnosis and treat food allergies and sensitivities, tune into our blog this month, as we will cover everything from common allergens to how we take care of our patients with dietary antigen testing. 

Find relief from your food allergies and sensitivities today! Call us at (865) 769-9685. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, or subscribe to our Newsletter  for more information during Food Allergy and Sensitivity Month.