A food allergy or intolerance is when a person’s body immune system responds abnormally to certain foods. Allergic reactions are often mild, but some can be serious.
A food allergy is different to a food intolerance. A food allergy involves an immune system response, while a food intolerance does not. If one has a food intolerance, one cannot properly digest a substance in certain foods, typically because of an enzyme deficiency. Food allergies have nothing to do with enzyme deficiencies.
The most common food allergies include being allergic to milk, eggs, nuts, seafood, and wheat. When the food is eaten, it triggers an immune system response, which results in the release of histamine and other substances in the body. This brings allergic reactions symptoms, which include abdominal pain, vomiting, sneezing, itching, and swelling of the skin.