The Difference Between A Food Sensitivity/ Intolerance And Food Allergy

What’s the difference between a food sensitivity/ intolerance and food allergy?

Let’s use gluten as the example food and dive a little deeper.

Gluten Intolerance/Sensitivity –
If you have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance, the reaction is triggered by the digestive system. For example, you may have leaky gut, in which case small particles of gluten leak into the blood stream through the intestinal wall, the body signals it as a foreign body and the body essentially attacks itself. Causing inflammation and further damage to the lining of the gut wall. In this case you may not be allergic to gluten, however your body is still having an abnormal reaction to it. This reaction may improve as you heal your gut, however in my opinion it’s best to avoid eating gluten either way. If you continue to eat gluten while having a compromised gut it can lead to a full blown wheat allergy!

Wheat Allergy –
When you have a food allergy, your immune system causes the reaction. For example, you may have an auto-immune disorder, such as Coeliac Disease, where the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten. For people with coeliac disease, even the slightest trace of gluten can trigger a severe reaction that can last days. It’s important to eliminate gluten completely (from your diet and personal care products – yes some hair care products contain wheat extract) and avoid cross contamination as best as possible. Have a designated Gluten Free toaster, chopping board and even knives if sharing a kitchen or preparing food with others who are consuming products that contain gluten.

In both cases, once gluten is eliminated from your diet, your small intestine can begin to heal. The sooner you can remove gluten (or any other known food trigger) from your diet, the sooner your gut can begin to heal!

In 2015 I eliminated gluten, dairy, refined sugar and alcohol from my diet, I never felt better and I cannot encourage you enough to do the same.