- Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food.
- Even a tiny amount of the allergy causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways.
- In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as
- It’s easy to confuse a food allergy with a much more common reaction known as food intolerance. While, food intolerance is a less serious condition that does not involve the immune system.
Food Allergy – Definition
Must be differentiated from food intolerances and other adverse food reactions
Key components of food allergy:
- An immunologic response to a food protein (food intolerances usually related to carbohydrates)
- Exquisitely small amounts may cause a reaction
- Reactions can be severe and even life-threatening
- Food Allergy
- Immune system reaction
- Is a potentially serious immune response to eating certain foods.
- Food Intolerance
– Inability to digest food
– Is an adverse reaction to food that does not involve the immune system and is not life-threatening.
Food Allergy – Prevalence
- 5 – 7% of young children
- 2 – 3% of adolescents and adults
- Prevalence appears to be rising (sharply)