The differences between food allergies and food intolerances: take our quiz

food intolerances

The differences between food allergies and food intolerances: take our quiz

If you’ve confused food allergies and intolerances in the past, just know you aren’t alone. Many people think they’re interchangeable terms or don’t understand the differences. While they can have similarities, there are some fundamental differences between the two that can be pretty serious.

So why not put your knowledge to the test and see what you can learn along the way? Take our quiz to see how well you know your allergies from your intolerances!

Question 1: What type of response does a food intolerance cause?

  1. Nervous system response
  2. Immune system response
  3. Digestive system response
  4. Visual response

Answer: It’s from your digestive system. It typically causes symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea. It’s effectively your stomach saying “I don’t like that”. Allergies, on the other hand, cause a response in your immune system, such as rashes, hives, or chest pain, as your body attacks something it thinks is dangerous to it. 

Question 2: Which is more life-threatening?

  1. Food intolerances
  2. Food allergies

Answer: Food allergies are a more serious reaction. While intolerance can cause unpleasant symptoms, they’re usually short-lived. Whereas food allergies can cause anaphylaxis and be life-threatening, and so must be responded to urgently.

Question 3: Which of these are a symptom of both food intolerance and allergy?

  1. Nausea
  2. Itchiness
  3. Swelling
  4. Heartburn 

Answer: Nausea is one of a few shared symptoms between the two conditions. Although all of these are symptoms caused by either an intolerance or an allergy.

Question 4: What level of contact can cause an allergic reaction to food?

  1. Looking at it
  2. Touching or consuming a small amount
  3. Eating an extensive amount

Answer: In the most severe cases, even just touch can be enough to cause a reaction. Food intolerances are usually only triggered after consuming a large amount of the trigger food.

Question 5: What percentage of adults suffer from a food allergy?

  1. 1%
  2. 20%
  3. 10%
  4. 5%

Answer: Although numbers vary, the average is around 5% for food allergies. This number is much higher in food intolerances, around 20%.

Question 6: Which of these are symptoms of coeliac disease, aka gluten intolerance?

  1. Headaches
  2. Anxiety and depression
  3. Unexplained weight loss
  4. All of the above

Answer: Unfortunately for coeliac sufferers, it is all of the above. While not life-threatening, a severe intolerance to gluten can still seriously affect your quality of life.

Well, how did you do? It can be difficult to determine whether you’re suffering from an allergy or intolerance, so don’t worry if you didn’t get them all correct. If you’re unsure about a reaction to food, it’s always best to get it checked so you’re always prepared.

If you have any concerns about a food allergy in your or a loved one, book an allergy test with our experts or simply contact us for advice. Reach out to us at 02031 433 449.

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