Food Sensitivity vs Food Allergy

Food Sensitivity vs Food Allergy

Author: Matthew Gallo
Inspire Wellness@Home
February 1, 2023


At first glance, food sensitivity and food allergy may seem like one in the same. While some symptoms may be similar, there are very important differences that distinguish the two conditions. Ingesting foods that your body is sensitive towards may leave you feeling sick, while your body’s reaction to a food allergy could be life-threatening. This is because food sensitivity involves the digestive system, while an allergy involves the immune system.

Food Sensitivity

Food sensitivity, also referred to as intolerance, takes place in the digestive system. It is caused by your body’s inability to properly breakdown specific foods. There are several reasons this may occur, including enzyme deficiencies or sensitivity to additives or chemicals found in the food. In many cases, someone with an intolerance may be able to eat small amounts of the food in question without experiencing symptoms.

Food Allergy

Symptoms of a food allergy are often more severe than an intolerance because food allergies are caused by a reaction from the immune system. The immune system is responsible for protecting your body from invaders and allergens. When someone is allergic to a food, the immune system identifies it as an invader, and reacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). The IgE antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, resulting in an allergic reaction. While someone with a food sensitivity may still be able to eat small amounts of the food in question, an allergy could be life-threatening even if the person consumes a microscopic amount, touches, or inhales the food.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include itchiness, hives, and swelling of the skin, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, and Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a very serious reaction with quick onset, and can include difficulty breathing, dizziness, or loss of consciousness. If not treated immediately, Anaphylaxis can be fatal. It is important for anyone that thinks they have a food allergy to see a doctor for best diagnosis.

Experiencing Food Sensitivity? Learn what foods may be giving you symptoms with Inspire Wellness@Home’s Food Sensitivity test. The panel assesses your body’s response to 96 common foods, which can help you to identify what changes need be made to your diet.

Visit Inspire Wellness@Home’s product page to discover more at-home health and wellness tests.

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