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What is the difference between food intolerances, food sensitivities and food allergies? Also, would a typical "food allergist" test for all three things -- or just for allergies (themselves)?

Commented on October 08, 2013
Created October 07, 2013 at 11:50 PM

What is the difference between food intolerances, food sensitivities and food allergies? Also, would a typical "food allergist" test for all three things -- or just for allergies (themselves)?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 08, 2013
at 06:36 PM

I'd question their motives and possibly their credentials. Food allergies can manifest in ways other than anaphylaxis, swelling, or difficulty breathing. The reactions can occur on the skin or in the GI tract, too.

A research site: http://www.foodallergy.org/symptoms

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 08, 2013
at 02:45 AM

"the allergist said it can give a lot of false negatives" was she referring to skin prick tests or blood tests (or both)

Medium avatar

(238)

on October 08, 2013
at 02:10 AM

You can order your own lab tests, http://www.personalabs.com/allergies.php as well as many others.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on October 08, 2013
at 02:04 AM

i'm just not sure where to go!! i am in pittsburgh and have seen 3 allergists for these tests. they will not do them for me!! we are in the stone age when it comes to medical treatments and testing here. it's very frustrating. the allergist said it can give a lot of false negatives and she didn't want me to restrict any more foods than i already am.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on October 08, 2013
at 01:17 AM

that's also what i had assumed, but i've visited a few allergists and they've corrected me every time.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 08, 2013
at 12:53 AM

The allergic reactions you describe are severe and not everyone with an allergy have severe reactions.

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3 Answers

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Medium avatar

on October 08, 2013
at 01:52 AM

Joanna, you can still get tested as doctors and the medical community do not full understand what causes food allergies. My entire life, I could eat whatever I wanted until one day I had a severe reaction to Avocados, something I ate on a weekly basis until now. Blood work came back positive for avocados, soy, corn, almonds and about 50 other things.

When they test for food allergies, they take a sample of the most common offenders and run your blood through that array. Technically, you can detect reactions based on that panel and a sample of your blood.

As samc mentions above, if you are concerned push to get the tests. I had a severe reaction and all I have to say is thank god I had a kit on hand that minute (have one in case I get stung by a bee). Not something I would risk if you have concerns, especially as science doesn't fully understand it, especially when adults randomly become allergic "out of the blue"

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on October 08, 2013
at 02:04 AM

i'm just not sure where to go!! i am in pittsburgh and have seen 3 allergists for these tests. they will not do them for me!! we are in the stone age when it comes to medical treatments and testing here. it's very frustrating. the allergist said it can give a lot of false negatives and she didn't want me to restrict any more foods than i already am.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on October 08, 2013
at 12:39 AM

allergic reactions have different levels of severity, can be mild or deadly. I'm allergic to many dogs, causes some mild itchiness, I'm allergic to cats and I want to scratch my eyes out.

doctors in general have a set of rules they seem to follow and breaking them off the rule book is often impossible. if you have trouble with them, move on and find one that will work with you, the patient.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on October 08, 2013
at 12:25 AM

intolerance and sensitivity are the same thing. just means you have a non life threatening reaction to a food.

food allergies will cause this- throat/tongue/lips swelling, difficulty breathing, anaphylaxsis.

when i asked my allergist to test for food allergies, she said "no" because i would've had a reaction by now and that they don't test food intolerances. she said we would know exactly what we reacted to due to the seriousness of it.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 08, 2013
at 12:53 AM

The allergic reactions you describe are severe and not everyone with an allergy have severe reactions.

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