Food allergies: Everything you need to know

Food allergy is a reaction to any food substance, which occurs when the immune system does not accept it. The body's immune system creates many antibodies to fight the allergen in the food. And perceives that particular food as harmful and fights against it causing a range of reactions.

In the recent times, many such common allergies have come into the notice of nutritionists. Therefore, to know more about them, Millennium Post spoke to different nutrition experts.

"They are extremely common and affect 5% of the adult population and 8% of the children. Of course, this percentage is rising in recent times. Some allergens cause itches or rashes while some of them are characterized by sore throat and diarrhea," shared Dt Shikha Mahajan, Holistic Nutritionist, Diet Podium.

"Allergies can vary in severity in different people. Some of them can be handled with medicines and alternatives, while others can be life-threatening," said Abhilasha V, Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Cloudnine group of Hospitals, Bangalore.

Also, she noted that people often confuse food tolerance with food allergy.

"Food intolerance is different from allergy, as it does not involve the immune system. It is indeed unpleasant, but not as dangerous as a food allergy. It happens more due to indigestion or a person's ability to digest a food substance."

"Food intolerance is an uncomfortable issue but less serious. A simple example being lactose intolerance. The body has trouble digesting milk sugar – lactose which causes discomfort such as loose stools, gas, bloating etc. It is not as deadly or life threatening as an allergy," she added.

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