Are food ‘allergies’ or a food ‘intolerance’ the same thing? Keep reading to find out what the differences and the similarities look like in a topic that often results in confusion. Let us begin with the hypersensitivity, commonly known as a food intolerance.
The Food Intolerance…
The outstanding characteristic of a basic food intolerance is difficulty with digestion, although it may exist for a variety of reasons. For instance, a dairy-based lactose intolerance is common throughout the world affecting up to 70 percent of people. This is the result of the lack of a specific enzyme called lactase which is not produced in the small intestine of certain people. Without the enzyme lactase, the body simply cannot digest milk sugars which are the carbohydrates called “lactose”.
The milk sugar molecules (lactose) remain too large without the proper enzymatic function, therefore the small intestine cannot absorb it and these particles remain in the GI tract. Due to this increased transit time, the gut microbes work to ferment the milk sugars. Lactose reaches the colon still in the process of fermenting, and produces gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrogen. These are what cause the pain and discomfort of bloating which can further produce nausea or vomiting, especially in younger children. » Read more