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Food Allergy Vs Food Intolerance Is it your IgE or IgG

Food Allergy Vs Food Intolerance Is it your IgE or IgG

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2021-10-19

Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance - Is it your IgE or IgG
It was a special day for Tanvi, as she cracked the job interview. As a treat, she bought some delicious chocolate cookies for her daughter, Piya. After few bites of cookies, Piya started sweating and feeling dizzy. In few minutes, she had rashes all over, with her face turning red. Crying, she started coughing and holding her throat. Seeing her getting sick suddenly, Tanvi immediately took her to the hospital. Doctor without wasting anymore time, gave her an injection. He informed that Piya had an allergic reaction to peanuts. Confused Tanvi checked the ingredients on the cookie wrapper and found out that peanut was one of the ingredient. It was the first time in 5 years that she got to know about the food Piya has been allergic to Nutritionists keep advising that the journey to good health begins with reading key ingredients of everything in processed food that goes on to your plate. For the allergic ones, reading these very same ingredient lists each time becomes a necessity to avoid unpleasant life-threatening reactions. But, there is another partner in crime with Food Allergy, which is Food Intolerance!

Food Allergy Vs Food Intolerance Is it your IgE or IgG

We often get confused between Food Allergy and Food Intolerance, as their symptoms occasionally resemble, but let's have a look below to gain more clarity on this issue.

Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance : What Is the Difference

What is Food Allergy?
Food Allergy is an immune system response that affects many organs in the body and often leads to serious conditions. In food allergy, the immune system produces specific IgE antibodies (Immunoglobulin type E) against the food. These antibodies lead to an immediate allergic reaction. The symptoms appear right away within seconds or minutes, and may differ from person to person. The distinguishing factor is the time that elapses between ingestion of food and appearance of the symptoms.

What are Symptoms of Food Allergy?
In a Matter Of Minutes
Itching in the mouth
Swelling of lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting

What are the Causes of IgE Food Allergy?
When IgE is functioning properly, it identifies the trigger such as parasites or other substances that could be harmful to the body, and signals the body to release histamine. Histamine causes symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and hives just to remove the substance or the parasite out of the body.

However, IgE can sometimes react to a specific food protein or proteins. Once a food containing that protein is consumed, it is absorbed during digestion and enters the bloodstream causing symptoms throughout the Health because of IgE.

For example, if someone has an IgE-mediated allergy to the protein in milk, he may experience symptoms on the skin (hives), stomach (vomiting), lungs (coughing, wheezing) and circulatory system (decreasing blood pressure).

What is Food Intolerance?
Unlike food allergy, it is a digestive system response to a particular food. It is mostly less serious and usually limited to digestive system. It occurs when the gut immune system produces specific IgG antibodies (Immunoglobulin type G) against the food. These antibodies can lead to inflammatory processes. It usually develops slowly and so, the symptoms appear up to three days after consuming the triggering food. It is very difficult to pinpoint which food causes problems because of the delayed appearance. An I IgG test helps to localize and limit the suspects.

What are the Symptoms of Food Intolerance?
Prolonged Process Gastrointestinal complaints (bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, Crohn's Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Weight gain
Skin problems, psoriasis, eczema

What are the Causes of IgG Food Intolerance?
There are enzyme deficiencies, sensitivity to food additives, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, extreme stress, Celiac Disease and several other reasons why our gut becomes intolerant to certain foodstuffs. One of the possible cause can also be IgG test food intolerance.

How Immune system of intestine reacts to food?
The immune system of intestine is the largest in entire body. Over 80% of the immune defense reactions have their origin in the intestine. It guarantees almost invincible barrier for bacteria, viruses and other disease pathogens and a barrier against other foreign proteins from food. Food has an extraordinary tolerance, on condition that they are correctly digested and pass the intact intestinal mucous membrane in a planned manner, namely through the intestinal cells.

When integrity of intestinal wall is damaged due to medicines, infections, stress or environmental toxins, food components may slip between these cells. Adaptive immune system present there, produces IgG antibodies against these food components. These antibodies form immune complexes with the food. As and when that food comes in contact with IgG antibodies, more and more immune complexes are formed. These immune complexes are then destroyed by another system called complement system. When the immune cells destroy the complexes, an inflammatory reaction takes place.

The inflammatory reaction may result in unspecific symptoms (eg. fatigue) or specific symptoms (eg. migraine). This depends on where the immune complex is destroyed.

How do you diagnose infection?
Tests are done to rule out other causes which show similar symptoms like medications, illness, exercise, or stress. Following tests are done to confirm diagnosis and medicines that interfere with test results are stopped.
Skin-prick test
Blood test for IgE and IgG
Elimination Diet
Oral Food Challenge (Done under doctor's supervision with emergency medications and equipments)

How to Manage food allergy and food intolerance?
Both can be managed by adopting below:
Eliminating all triggering foods for some time
Teaching kids about their Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
Checking ingredient labels of food products carefully
Learning about food allergens to avoid triggers
Being extra careful when eating out in restaurants
Specially for food allergy
Carrying medication wherever you go
Informing waiters about allergy and stressing the need for utensils not being contaminated by allergen
Wearing emergency medical identification


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