Almutatawer Laboratory

Food Allergy

Food Intolerance Test

Food allergy and food intolerance are types of ‘food sensitivity’ and both can make you feel unwell. If you have a food allergy this means your immune system reacts to a particular food. This causes symptoms within two hours, such as itchiness, rash and swelling. Sometimes this reaction can be so severe that it can cause a life threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. Food intolerance, however, doesn’t involve the immune system. Food intolerance is an adverse reaction to a particular food. The symptoms can be unpleasant and in some cases severe but are generally not life-threatening.

What Are The Symptoms Of Food Allergy?

Food Allergies

Having a food allergy means you experience an abnormal immune reaction to a particular food protein that is harmless for most people. This is because antibodies are produced in your body against the protein in a food (the allergen) so that when you eat the food, histamine and other defensive chemicals are released into your system causing inflammation. It is these chemicals that trigger reactions that can affect your respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin or cardiovascular system.

Mild To Moderate

Swelling of lips, face, eyes
Hives or welts
Tingling mouth, abdominal pain ,Vomiting


Difficulty or noisy breathing
Swelling of tongue
Swelling or tightness in throat
Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
Wheeze or persistent cough
Loss of consciousness or collapse
Pale and floppy (young children)

What Are The Common Food Allergens?

These allergens, as well as gluten (from wheat, rye, barley, oats and their products) and sulphites (which are added to food as a preservative), are required by law to be declared on food labels or, where foods are exempt from labelling, the information must be provided on demand.

Food Intolerance

Having a food intolerance means you will experience an adverse reaction to certain food components but this does not involve the immune system. In fact, it is quite different from a food allergy.

What Are The Symptoms Of Food Intolerance?

  • Stomach and bowel upsets
  • Bloating
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Wheezing and a runny nose
  • Hives
  • Generally feeling under the weather

What Are The Most Common Food Intolerance?

  • There are many different types of food that people can be intolerant to but the most common include milk and lactose (the sugar in milk), gluten, wheat, food preservatives, and naturally occurring compounds in food such as caffeine, salicylates, amines and glutamate. Lactose intolerance is caused by a shortage of the enzyme lactase, which is used to ensure lactose is absorbed properly into the bloodstream from the stomach. Milk intolerance is common in children under the age of two years. If left untreated it can result in malnutrition. Food additive intolerance only affects a very small number of children and adults. The additives most commonly linked to food intolerance are artificial colours, eg tartrazine and preservatives such as sulphites and benzoates.

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