Food Allergy is a rapid, potentially severe response causing symptoms such as rash, wheezing, nausea and vomiting. It is usually easy to identify the culprit (e.g. nuts, fish, dairy, eggs).
Oral Allergy Syndrome affects hay fever sufferers causing a sore mouth in response to eating certain raw fruits or vegetables (e.g. apples, carrots, celery)
Coeliac disease is caused by an autoimmune reaction by the gut wall to gluten (the protein in wheat, rye and barley) that damages the gut and causes diarrhoea, bloating and anaemia. Milder reactions to gluten have now also been shown in many people who do not test positive for Coeliac Disease and may be one of the causes of irritable bowel syndrome.
Food intolerances are often harder to identify as the body response is usually slower (1 hour to 3 days), more vague and can be caused by a wide range of foods, additives or toxins.
For the purposes of this article I am referring to food-induced sensitivities; however the advice on strengthening your body’s defences may also help with other autoimmune and allergy related problems such as atopic asthma, eczema, hay fever, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis.