I hear so many people say "I'm allergic, I can't eat that". My response is "What happens to you if you eat it?" Normally the response comes back "I bloat up" or "I get a rash" or something along those lines. Now I know those things are annoying but what is happening is that we have a "Boy who cried wolf" scenario playing out, right now in society.
I've seen true allergies first hand, I've witnessed someone take a bite of food which contained traces of egg and then within seconds go into anaphylactic shock. It's scary and that was just as an onlooker. Anaphylactic shock is where your body basically has a severe immune response to an allergen. Now these allergens don't just have to be eaten, some people just have to breathe in a particle of something to have this reaction. Basically the body suffers a huge drop in blood pressure and the airways constrict and if this isn't reversed within minutes, with a shot of adrenaline, it can lead to death. The allergy world is pretty scary, now an intolerance on the other hand will lead to uncomfortable side effects, not life threatening. This is the critical difference.
I want to spread awareness around this because the number of people claiming an intolerance as an allergy has reduced the seriousness of this label. I also want to raise awareness that an intolerance can be reversed, we aren't all doomed to keep cutting foods out of our lives until all we can eat is turkey and white rice...
When I was a teenager I carried an epi-pen (adrenaline shot) because I had started to have reactions to foods (specifically fruit) where my lips and tongue would swell up and breathing would be hard. It wore of after a few hours so I went to the Dr's and they gave me the epi-pen adrenaline medication to use if I ever had a serious reaction. Now I had always been able to eat fruit without any reaction, this started in my late teens, it started subtly and gradually got worse and worse until I had to stop eating most fruit for fear of a serious reaction. I always believed that it could be reversed because I wasn't born with it and managed to find out that I had leaky gut and once I got this resolved was able to eat the fruit again with zero reactions...so if you have developed an intolerance, explore what is going on in your body under the guidance of a professional, a new intolerance is a deeper issue which needs to be addressed.
I want to spread awareness around this because the number of people claiming an intolerance as an allergy has reduced the seriousness of this label.
The key way you can tell if you have an intolerance is by checking if you have had this reaction all your life. An intolerance is normally acquired as some point during our life and the effects of the reaction are not life threatening. If it hasn't always been there and doesn't immediately need to be treated with adrenaline then it can be reversed, but it's up to the individual if they want to reverse it. Some people like to wallow in their intolerance, which is fine, but please do't call them allergies!