Allergy or Intolerance. What’s the difference?
The difference between allergies and intolerances is simple; in most cases, allergies are mainly hereditary and you have for life. Many children and babies suffer from allergies to tree nuts, peanut, egg and dairy. However, a lot of the time, they will grow out of these childhood allergies. An intolerance on the other hand can and does change depending on diet and lifestyle. You can work with your intolerances to reduce them and even eliminate them.
Allergies are detected by measuring the Immunoglobulin E count (IgE) in the blood, as these are specific blood cells that help to combat allergies. If you have an allergy to a particular food or non-food item, your body will begin to react the moment it comes into contact with it.
Common allergic reactions can include localized swelling (i.e. of the throat or tongue), a rash, or difficulty breathing. Peanut, shellfish, egg and soya are among some of the most common allergens.
By comparison, an intolerance is not as severe and immediate as an allergy. These symptoms come on gradually; anything from 30 minutes up to a 48 hours later. Symptoms such as headaches, bloating, localized itching or skin irritations such as eczema, excessive mucous production, excessive gas, diarrhea, and fatigue.
The most common method of diagnosing allergies is with a simple blood test, usually testing the IgE or IgG levels in the blood. IgE allergies are immediate responses to a foreign substance that has entered the body. These foreign substances can come from food or can come from inhalation. IgE allergies can cause very serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, swelling, and hives. In even more serious cases IgE reactions can lead to anaphylactic shock.
IgG4 food sensitivities are generally less severe than IgE food allergies and typical symptoms can include; headaches and nausea, seizures and hyperactivity. These may occur hours or even days after the offending food has been ingested. The degree and severity of symptoms vary because of the genetic makeup of the individual. IgG4 food sensitivities are generally treated by removing problem foods from the diet and by helping digestion with probiotics.
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- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior. In AD, the brain shrinks and the number of nerve fibers and the amount of some chemicals that help to send messages between brain cells gradually reduces.
- Atrial Fibrillation
- Atrial fibrillation (AF) is caused by disruption of the normal functioning of the electrical system in the two upper chambers of the heart (atria). In AF, the atria are stimulated to contract very irregularly and rapidly. The atria essentially fibrillate instead of contracting.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer. BCC tumors typically appear on sun-exposed skin, are slow growing, and rarely metastasize. Symptoms include an open sore that bleeds, oozes, or crusts; a reddish patch or irritated area; or a shiny bump or nodule that may be translucent or any other color.
- Bladder Cancer
- Bladder cancer is a cancerous tumor in the bladder. In most cases, the bladder cancer develops from the transitional cells that line the inside of the bladder. Most of the symptoms of bladder cancer can also occur with non-cancerous conditions and there may be blood in the urine or painful, involuntary, or frequent urination.
- Breast Cancer
- Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast. Usually, breast cancer either begins in the cells of the milk-producing glands or the ducts. Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer affecting women worldwide.
- Celiac Disease
- Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing nutrients. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.
- Colorectal Cancer
- Colorectal cancer starts in the large intestine (colon) or the rectum (end of the colon). It usually develops from a polyp that has formed on the lining of the colon. Many cases of colon cancer have no symptoms. Symptoms may include lower abdominal pain, blood in the stool, intestinal obstruction, narrow stools, unexplained anemia, and weight loss.
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of death and disability worldwide, but mostly in developed countries. It is the disease of heart vessels — coronary means “the blood vessels of the heart” – when blood vessels narrow due to plaques that form from fatty substances in the blood.
- Exfoliating Glaucoma
- Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that lead to damage to the optic nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain. In many cases, damage to the optic nerve is due to increased pressure in the eye, also known as intraocular pressure.
- Gastric Cancer
- Gastric cancer is cancer that starts in the stomach. Several different types of cancer can occur in the stomach. The most common type is called adenocarcinoma. When a stomach cancer first develops and is small, it usually causes no symptoms.
- Graves’ Disease
- Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease wherein the body produces antibodies to the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor, causing the thyroid to produce more hormones than needed. It causes the thyroid to enlarge to twice its size.
- Intracranial Aneurysm
- A brain aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of a section of a blood vessel in the brain. It may be present from birth or it may develop later in life. They can occur in any blood vessel that supplies the brain and are caused by injuries to the blood vessel wall.
- Lung Cancer
- There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (most common) and small cell lung cancer. If the lung cancer is made up of both types, it is called mixed small cell/large cell cancer. Many people do not have symptoms in the early stages, and lung cancer may be diagnosed when a chest x-ray is performed for a different reason.
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- Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It involves cells called melanocytes, which produce a skin pigment called melanin. Melanoma can also involve the colored part of the eye. A typical melanoma starts as a small dark patch on the skin.
- Migraines are chronic headaches that can cause significant pain for hours or even days. They may occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. In many people, a throbbing pain is felt only on one side of the head. Migraines usually begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood.
- Multiple Sclerosis
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- Obesity is a term used to describe body weight that is much greater than what is considered healthy. If you are obese or overweight, you have an increased risk of developing various health problems. Body mass index (BMI) is a good estimate of how much of your body is made up of fat.
- Open Angle Glaucoma
- Open-angle glaucoma (also primary chronic glaucoma) is one of the most common forms of glaucoma, making up about 90% of all cases. It means that the angle where the iris meets the cornea is at normal width. Open-angle glaucoma is caused by increased eye pressure that is caused by clogging of the drainage canals.
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Peripheral vascular disease is a condition of the blood vessels that leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries that supply parts of your body other than the heart or brain. This decreases blood flow, which can injure nerves and other tissues. It is caused by atherosclerosis, a condition wherein fatty substance builds up in the blood vessels.
- Prostate Cancer
- Prostate cancer is a cancer that forms in tissues of the prostate (a gland in the male reproductive system). Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men. A man with prostate cancer may not have any symptoms.
- Psoriasis is a common skin condition that typically develops as patches of red, scaly skin. The redness is most often seen on the elbows, knees, and trunk, but can appear anywhere on the body. Once you develop psoriasis, it tends to “come and go” throughout life.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation in the small joints of the hands and feet. The inflammation causes painful swelling and results in joint deformity. About 2 in 100 men and 4 in 100 women develop rheumatoid arthritis.
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a form of diabetes wherein the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is needed to convert sugar into energy. The body destructs the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, resulting in high blood and urine glucose levels.
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance. It usually develops after the age of 40. Many people have diabetes for a long period of time before their diagnosis is made, as the symptoms vary and are vague.
- Venous Thromboembolism
- The term “venous thromboembolism” is used to collectively describe deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and is a condition wherein a blood clot forms inside a person’s vein. If the vein affected by a blood clot is deep inside the body, the condition is referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which most often occurs in the veins of the legs or pelvis.