How are you feeling right now?
Do you have a rash, or feel a bit bloated, or perhaps you have a headache?
If something doesn’t feel quite right, then you may have had a reaction to something you ate or drank. But was it an allergy, a sensitivity, or an intolerance?
Confusingly, the word “allergy” is often used interchangeably to describe a reaction of any kind, but here are the definitions:
Allergy – an IgE antibody reaction produced by the body’s immune system when exposed to even a small amount of a normally harmless substance. Symptoms may range from mild (such as itchy and/or watery eyes, red and itchy rashes) to severe (anaphylaxis and difficulty breathing).
Sensitivity – the exaggeration of the normal effects of a substance; for example, the caffeine in a cup of coffee may cause extreme symptoms, such as palpitations and trembling.
Intolerance – where a substance causes unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, but doesn’t involve an IgE antibody reaction. People with an intolerance to certain foods may be able to eat a small amount without having any problems.
If you need help identifying your intolerances, you can book an appointment with us using our online booking system.