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August 30, 2011 at 11:51 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Difference Between Allergy and Intolerance

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Registered dietitian Jessica Butcher explains the difference between allergy and intolerance.
Host, Gerry Barnaby - Hey, what’s goin’ on, Barnaby here.  Another HelloLife Moment – this one having to do with allergies because, man, have you noticed? More and more people seem allergic to things these days.  And so, joining us now is our Registered Dietician, Jessica Butcher in this HelloLife Moment.  So, how many allergies are there these days?
Health Coach, Jessica Butcher, RD – You know what?  Anything with a protein we can be allergic to but there are eight that cause 50 to 90 percent of the most severe reactions in the United States.  And so there are eight of the most common allergy reactions that we do have. 
Barnaby – But you know what’s funny is, we say, ‘I’m allergic,’ when it actually might just be intolerant.
Jessica – That certainly could be the case, but there’s big differences between a tolerance and an allergy.  Now if you have an intolerance like lactose intolerance, that typically just, you know, you’re going to have the gas, the bloating, indigestion, it’s going to be just based on your gastrointestinal tract. 
Barnaby – So what about an allergy?  Is that just a full-body reaction? 
Jessica – It is.  It’s going to incorporate a lot more systems.  It’s an immune system response in your body.  So if you do have a severe reaction, you could have your throat swelling up, you could have hives, you could have a true anaphylactic shock where, you know, you simply just can’t breathe.  That’s where it can be so severe that it may be a fatal reaction. 
Barnaby – Alrightie.  And you know, it’s interesting, because there is a difference between adults and kids when it comes to allergies and there’s so much ground to cover here.  Why don’t we break it up into manageable chunks – you want to do that?
Jessica – We certainly can.
Barnaby – Ok, so we’ve got the top eight.  50 – 90 percent of all allergies are these.  And so for that, we’re going to break up into manageable chunks in ensuing segments of HelloLife.net.  Because, you’ve come to the right place for good information – have you noticed?  HelloLife.net. We’re all about matching your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

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