Food Allergies and Intolerances
A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system reacts unusually to a specific food. Allergies often occur when the immune system mistakenly treats the proteins in food as a threat. Allergies can cause rashes, swelling and vomiting, and in severe cases anaphylaxis. Food allergies are most common for fish, shellfish, nuts and dairy in young children and toddlers.
Food Intolerances are different to allergies, and are more common. Intolerances are caused by a difficulty digesting a food and cause symptoms like diarrhoea, bloating and stomach cramps. Lactose intolerance is very common and occurs when the person has difficulty digesting the lactose found in dairy and dairy products like yoghurt and cheese.
Coeliac disease is often thought to be an intolerance or allergy to gluten, the protein found in some flours, it is actually an autoimmune condition.