Difference between food allergy and food intolerance


What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?


 
Food allergy is an immunologically mediated phenomenon, the most common form being Type I IgE mediated food reactions. These vary in severity  from "oral allergy syndrome" (a self-limiting reaction in which raw  fruit and vegetables can cause symptoms on contact with oral or pharyngeal mucosa), to potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. Such allergies can be confirmed by skin-prick tests or by in vitro RAST or equivalent blood tests.   Food intolerances comprise a diverse group of reactions induced by foods without an obvious immunological basis. Some, such as lactose intolerance, have a clearly defined mechanism, such as a deficient intestinal enzyme, others, including food-related irritable bowel or migraine are less well understood, and can best be investigated by carefully controlled exclusion and challenge tests.
 
Food allergy is an immunologically mediated phenomenon, the most common form being Type I IgE mediated food reactions. These vary in severity  from "oral allergy syndrome" (a self-limiting reaction in which raw  fruit and vegetables can cause symptoms on contact with oral or pharyngeal mucosa), to potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. Such allergies can be confirmed by skin-prick tests or by in vitro RAST or equivalent blood tests.   Food intolerances comprise a diverse group of reactions induced by foods without an obvious immunological basis. Some, such as lactose intolerance, have a clearly defined mechanism, such as a deficient intestinal enzyme, others, including food-related irritable bowel or migraine are less well understood, and can best be investigated by carefully controlled exclusion and challenge tests.