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Food allergy is completely different from food intolerance. A food allergy involves an immune system response, food intolerance does not.
This Medical News Today article provides in-depth and reader-friendly information on the features associated with either a food allergy or intolerance, the difference in symptoms between food allergy and food intolerance, common foods that cause allergies and/or intolerance, and how common food intolerance and food allergies are.
Below are some features associated with either a food allergy or intolerance:Onset of symptoms
There can be some overlap in food intolerance and allergy symptoms. In such cases, an accurate diagnosis is more difficult.
According to The Cleveland Clinic, about 7% of children and 1% of adults have a food allergy.2 This means that most childhood food allergies eventually go away. It is estimated that approximately 10% of Americans are lactose intolerant.
Researchers at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine believe lactose intolerance prevalence may be far lower than previously estimated.3
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported in July 2012 that nearly 1 in 20 kids under the age of 5 and almost 1 in 25 adults have a food allergy.4 It added that peanut allergy is becoming more prevalent in the USA.
Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
Visit our Food Intolerance category page for the latest news on this subject.
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Nordqvist, Christian. "What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 11 Nov. 2013. Web.
24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263967>
Nordqvist, C. (2013, November 11). "What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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