Charleston Allergy Doctor | Food Allergies vs. Food Sensitivities 

Charleston Allergy Doctor | You’ve heard people talk about being allergic to certain foods like peanuts or strawberries. You’ve heard others talk about being lactose intolerant or being sensitive to leafy vegetables. All of these people have issues with food, but what is the difference exactly? The main difference is how the body responds to the food. Your Charleston allergy doctor can help you determine if you are having an allergic reaction to a food or if you are just sensitive to it. If you’re ever afraid your reaction is serious, please call 911 while you have the reaction, don’t wait for a Charleston allergy doctor to tell you to get help. 

Symptoms of Food Intolerance:


  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Indigestion 
  • Heartburn 


Symptoms of Food Allergies:


  • Hives 
  • Swelling 
  • Itching
  • Severe digestive issues
  • Anaphylaxis (trouble breathing)
  • Dizziness


The biggest difference between a food allergy and food intolerance is that allergies can be fatal in worst-case scenarios, and food intolerance is not fatal. When you are experiencing food intolerance, your digestive system cannot properly process the food, and your body reacts in the physical ways listed above. 

Some causes of food intolerance include not producing the correct enzymes to break down food, being intolerant of the additives in the food rather than the food itself, sensitivity to sugar or caffeine, or sensitivities to certain sugars, vitamins, or minerals, found in the food. When you are having an allergic reaction to food your immune system believes that a protein in the food is harmful, and your body needs antibodies to fight it. This is called an immune-mediated response. The most common food allergens include milk, soybeans, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, fish, eggs, shellfish. These foods make up 9/10 of the food allergies people have. 

If you suspect you have a food allergy, you should talk to a Charleston allergy doctor about your options for treatment and prevention of allergic reactions. Food allergies can be life-threatening and you’ll need to be under the care of a Charleston allergy doctor to manage your allergy. Give National Allergy & ENT at call to set up an appointment today at 843-797-8162.