What’s the difference? Allergies and Intolerances

So, you’re gluten intolerant, but you’re out for dinner with your friends and they order dips to share as the entrée. The platter comes out and it’s the most amazing display you’ve ever seen. All of your favorites too, served with bread and crackers. What are you going to do? Eat the dip with your bare hands? If you were at home with only the judgmental eyes of your pets, perhaps. Unfortunately, you’re out with your gluten loving friends who flaunt their bread in your face. Did you happen to store an easy baked gluten free loaf in your bag? No? Alas, you have a choice to make. Do you eat the breads and suffer through the stomach pains, gas and…other digestive issues? No, you probably shouldn’t. I mean come on, those are new pants!

To some people however, the decision to disregard ones inability to consume a particular food isn’t an option. No matter how bad you love peanut, you can’t risk anaphylaxis for a peanut butter fudge brownie. When it comes to food allergies, the symptoms can become life threatening, whereas intolerance is usually less severe, limited often to only digestive problems. Those with intolerances may also be able to ingest small amounts of the irritant, or take premeditative measures such as taking a lactase enzyme pill.

Allergens trigger immune responses due to proteins present which cause allergic reactions. Those with food intolerances usually have an enzyme deficiency, meaning their bodies can’t digest the food properly. Either way, it’s never fun to miss out on foods you love or crave.

With the heightened awareness and prevalence of food allergies and intolerances, it is becoming more common for people have to exclude certain foods from their diets, but this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on flavour. I mean, you can go home and make your own dip platter and you won’t have to share the hummus with anyone!