In the UK, allergies and intolerances are both a common problem – and the number of cases is increasing year on year. But if you’ve noticed uncomfortable symptoms after eating particular foods, it can be difficult to work out which condition you’re experiencing.
So, allergy vs intolerance – what’s the difference? And how can you discover what’s causing your symptoms? In this blog post, we’ll explain the difference between an allergy and intolerance and how our tests can help you take control of your diet.
What is an allergy?
If you’re suffering from an allergy, it means your body experiences an allergic reaction in response to certain substances (known as allergens). Your immune system perceives the substance as a hazard and responds by releasing proteins called IgE immunoglobins.
These proteins increase your body’s secretion of histamines – a chemical that triggers an allergic reaction. This can result in symptoms such as vomiting, hives, swelling or itching.
An allergic response often starts a few minutes after you’ve eaten an allergen. However, in rare cases, it can take a couple of hours for your symptoms to appear.
What is an intolerance?
The main difference between an allergy vs an intolerance is the fact that an intolerance isn’t an immune response. If you’re intolerant to certain foods, it means that your body finds it difficult to break them down and digest them.
In response, your system releases a different type of immunoglobin known as IgG4. This can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, usually gastric issues such as bloating, nausea or diarrhoea.
There’s also evidence that certain intolerances can induce a range of other symptoms, including headaches and fatigue. Although research is ongoing, there also seems to be the link between gluten intolerance and inflammation.
Unlike allergies, intolerances are almost never life-threatening.
How do I find out which I have?
At Lifelab Testing, we offer a range of home allergy and intolerance tests. Our range of allergy tests will look for raised levels of IgE in your blood, while our intolerance tests will identify IgG4.
If you’re not sure whether you have an allergy or an intolerance, our complete body test can diagnose 40 different allergies and 80 intolerances. This test will search for both IgE and IgG4, arming you with the information you need to make confident decisions about your diet.
Order your home test kit today!
Whether you suspect you’re suffering from an allergy or an intolerance, it’s important to get to the bottom of your problem. Order your simple home test kit from Lifelab Testing today and enjoy 100% accurate answers or your money back.