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What is food intolerance?

A food intolerance is difficulty digesting certain foods and having an unpleasant physical reaction to them according to the NHS website (

What are the differences between Allergies and Intolerances

A food allergy:

  • Is a reaction from your immune system – your immune system mistakenly treats proteins found in food as a threat
  • Can trigger various allergy symptoms that come on rapidly
  • Is often to particular items – common food allergies in adults are to fish and shellfish and nuts, and in children to milk and eggs as well as to peanuts, other nuts and fish
  • Can be serious

A food intolerance:

  • Doesn’t involve your immune system – there is no allergic reaction, and it is never life-threatening
  • Causes symptoms that come on more slowly, often after many hours
  • Only results in symptoms if you consume reasonable amounts of the food (unlike an allergy, where just traces can trigger a reaction)
  • Can be caused by many different items

Source: NHS UK