Allergy and intolerance, what differences?
What is an allergy?
"Our body is constantly confronted by external enemies: microbes, viruses, bacteria ... To combat them, it has a powerful weapon: the immune system. allergyis, in fact, a failure of this system ", can we read on the website of the French association for the prevention of allergies (Afpral). The body will actually activate its defense system against a foreign substance, normally harmless. This reaction occurs when it "meets" the allergen, following ingestion, inhalation or skin contact. It results in an antibody production that will cause different symptoms: asthma, hay fever (rhinitis), conjunctivitis, eczema, urticaria, allergic shock.
Depending on the individual and the allergen involved, the severity of these symptoms may vary. Thus, if the allergic reaction can be benign, it can also evolve more severely and lead to breathing difficulties, a drop in blood pressure, to anaphylaxis.
There are several types of allergies, food (cow's milk, eggs, peanuts), respiratory (pollens, cats, mites), cutaneous (laundry, cosmetics), medicated (antibiotics, painkillers) and professional (latex, formalin ...).
What is intolerance?
Intolerance does not involve the immune system and only concerns the field of food. It refers to a difficulty of the digestive tract to assimilate a food, the body does not manufacture in sufficient quantities the necessary enzymes for good digestion. Symptoms include: stomach ache, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting.
If you often hear about this embarrassment about gluten or lactose, you should know that you can be intolerant to any food. However, intolerance does not necessarily require total suppression of the product, as is the case with allergy. It simply requires adjustments in the diet.
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