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Allergies are a term too often thrown about for any adverse reaction to a food. Not everyone who has eaten something that appears to disagree with them suffers from a true allergy. For some, it may be an allergic reaction to something else; for others, it is not an allergy at all but an indication of a food intolerance.
A food intolerance is the inability to digest a particular food. Common food intolerances are those to milk and milk products and wheat. An intolerance typically indicates the body’s inability to digest a specific enzyme. With milk, the obvious culprit is lactose. A food intolerance may make you feel ill but it is never life threatening. In this, it differs from allergies in a significant way.
While many continue to confuse a food allergy with a food intolerance, they are very different in many ways. Three specifics to consider are
If you find yourself having an issue upon eating a certain food, consult a doctor. Only he or she can diagnose whether it is an allergy or a food intolerance. Only a medical professional, an allergist, can prescribe the very different routes you will need to take to avoid potentially life-threatening problems in the future. It may be as simple as taking a lactose enzyme pill before you try any dairy, or you may come to understand that, for the rest of your life, you may have to follow a eating certain pattern and always have an EpiPen on hand.
Call our offices at 212-319-5282 to schedule an appointment with the best allergist in New York City.