It is really common to hear people talk about all of the food allergies or intolerances they have, specifically with gluten and dairy products. But it is important to know that there is a very big difference between having a food allergy, and having a food intolerance.
If you have a food allergy, your body has a very specific and targeted reaction. It signals an immune response in which the body produces antibodies to attack a particular protein within the food product. This attack causes an allergic reaction that can be seen within a few seconds, or maybe even a few hours of when it hits the body. To be deemed with a food allergy, your body must have one of these responses: hives, wheezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, mouth, throat, or tongue swelling.
Food intolerances create a digestive issue. So if you have a food intolerance you can definitely eat the product without running the risk of your throat swelling shut. However you are likely to experience abdominal bloating, gas, diarrhea, and possibly even nausea or vomiting.
No antibodies are produced to fight off a food intolerance, but you probably just won’t feel that great for a few hours afterwards. If you notice that you are feeling sluggish, gassy and have constant dietary issues, it could be beneficial to cut out dairy and gluten products.