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By admin November 1, 2022

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

By Joseph Wanyonyi, Nutritionist at T-mall

We all know someone or people who cannot drink milk or eat eggs. What really makes people avoid a certain food? The food being avoided can either be resulting to an effect on the digestive system or the immune system.


This is a reaction that affects the immune system.

One’s body mistakes a harmless ingredient like a protein being a threat. The body releases antibodies known as Immunoglobulin E (I g E) to fight the threat resulting in an allergic reaction. Symptoms of food allergy present themselves within a short time of consuming an allergy-inducing food regardless of the quantity. Symptoms include skin rash, Nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, itching, Swelling, and hives.

Adverse reaction results in Anaphylaxis. A condition where the immune system floods the body with chemicals that cause a drop in blood pressure and closure of airways making the body go into shock and resulting in death.

There are very many types of food that are known to cause allergies. It is important to introduce food to your young bundle of joy one at a time so as to monitor their reaction especially the “Big 8” which are; Milk, Eggs, Nuts, Soy, Fish, Crustaceans, Wheat, and Sesame.

Tips to Manage Food Allergy

  • Read ingredients carefully to identify food allergens.
  • Know your symptoms in times of food allergy. Let caregivers know these symptoms in cases of a child.
  • Use Quercetin with bromelain supplement to increase immunity and decrease reaction to food allergy.
  • Use vitamin C with bioflavonoids to protect the body from allergens and moderate inflammatory responses.
  • Consider vitamin B6 to help relieve wheezing and allergy attacks.


This is a reaction that affects one’s digestive system. It is sometimes severe but rarely life-threatening.

The reaction can take time to occur. One’s body can withstand an intolerant food if taken in small quantities. Food intolerance results when one’s body has a hard time breaking down certain foods because of a lack of some enzymes. People suffering from inflammatory Bowel Disease are most likely to suffer from it. Core symptoms include Bloating, Diarrhea, Indigestion, Abdominal pain, and Heartburn.

Forms of Food Intolerance

Lactose intolerance: This is where one lacks enough lactase enzyme to break down the lactose found in milk and other dairy products.

Gluten intolerance: A condition where one has difficulty in digesting protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Histamine intolerance: Histamines are naturally occurring chemicals found in fruits like bananas, pineapples, and avocados. People with this intolerance lack enough diamine oxidase enzyme to effectively break down histamine.

Tips to Manage Food Intolerance

  • (Lactose)- Use plant-based dairy alternative which is naturally lactose-free.
  • Use lactase enzymes to assist in lactose digestion when consuming milk or dairy products.
  • (Gluten)-Eat fresh vegetables and gluten-free whole grains for dietary fiber in cases of gluten intolerance.
  • Inco-operate Acidophilus probiotics which is a powerful immune enhancer with plant enzymes, lactase, protease, papain, and bromelain for Improved digestion.
  • Use pancreatin supplements to assist with protein, fat, and carbohydrate digestion.
  • Use aloe vera juice with bromelain and papain to soothe the gut and ensure proper digestion of food.

PRO TIP: When hosting, it is proper to know what type of food your guests are intolerant or allergic to before preparing a meal.

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