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Is It Really Food Allergy or Something Else?

October 19, 2020

 

 

People who are already faced with restricted diets and limitations on food items that are safe to eat—that is even without the COVID-19 pandemic that stirs people to panic-buy and potentially emptying out the shelves of grocery staples.

 

For allergy sufferers who are accustomed to navigating tricky food situations, reading food labels, and bringing their own food to parties, the COVID-19 crisis has been particularly more challenging.

It is such cases that make it more essential to educate ourselves about food allergies! What many don’t know is that not all adverse reactions to food are caused by allergies. As a women’s health clinic that offers food and skin allergy treatments in Singapore, we will explain further.

 

Food Allergy & Food Intolerance: What’s the Difference?

 

Physical reactions to certain types of food are common, but more often, they are caused by a food intolerance rather than a food allergy. But, the two are easily confused because they have some shared signs and symptoms such as the following:

 

  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting

 

So, what are the differences?

 

Symptoms of Food Intolerance

 

 

When food irritates your stomach and/or fails to digest it properly, that is food intolerance and you may experience the following symptoms:

 

  • gas, cramps, or bloating
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • heartburn
  • headache
  • diarrhoea
  • irritability or nervousness

 

Lactose intolerance is a common condition that is often mistaken as a food allergy. It is the deficiency in an enzyme that helps break down lactose sugar, which is found in cow’s milk and other ruminant milk (sheep, goat, buffalo, etc.)

 

Symptoms of a Food Allergy

 

 

 

A food allergy, on the other hand, happens when your immune system mistakes certain food ingredients as harmful and triggers nasty reactions that can be severe or life-threatening.

Some of the typical food allergy symptoms include:

 

  • itching in the mouth
  • hives, itching, or eczema
  • swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat and/or other parts of the body
  • wheezing, nasal congestion, or trouble breathing
  • abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting
  • dizziness or fainting

 

Allergic symptoms can appear anywhere from minutes to 2 hours after ingestion and common sources of food allergies can include peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat, and cow’s milk.

The primary difference between the two is that while food intolerance is generally less serious and often limited to digestive issues, a food allergy can affect your whole body and can be fatal if left unattended.

 

A visit to our women’s health clinic in Singapore can help you distinguish an allergic reaction from food intolerance and determine what to do if one occurs.

 

How to Diagnose & Treat a Food Allergy

 

 

Diagnosis of a food allergy is made based on your history and tests which may include a skin prick test and/or a blood test. You can help with the diagnosis by keeping a mental note of the foods you eat and the symptoms you have had with each.

 

Once your allergies are determined, you will have to avoid the food that triggers the symptoms, as repeated exposure can escalate minor reactions into major ones.

If you feel you have a food allergy, you can speak with our lady doctors at our clinics about your symptoms. We would be able to give you a better understanding of how you can handle and control your condition.

 

Stay home, stay safe. During this global pandemic, your health is our priority.

 

We offer teleconsultation services for your medical and skin concerns. We can also arrange medication and skincare product delivery to your doorstep.

Visit our website to learn more.

 

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Healthsprings Laser & Aesthetic Clinic

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Healthsprings was established in 2000 with its first medical clinic located at Bukit Panjang. In 2001, the company ventured into the medical aesthetic field and has been offering Lasers, Peels, Fillers, Botulinum Injections and other aesthetic services. In 2008, Healthsprings Laser and Aesthetic is opened in Orchard Road and has been known to specialise in different aesthetic procedures for the skin, face, body, and hair.

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