Given the growing spread of diet-related diseases, it is important to refine as much as possible the difference between allergies and food intolerance. Following are the basic concepts distinguishing one from the other, and highlighting the distinctive elements of the two diseases.
Summary table of the distinctive signs of each disorder:
- Allergy: Involvement of the immune system;
- Intolerance: Physical-chemical reaction without involvement of the immune system;
- Allergy: Rates of response to diet by deprivation for between 20 and 90 days;
- Intolerance: Rates of response to diet by deprivation for between 2 and 20 days;
- Allergy: Localization of lesions and itching nose, lips, armpits, belly, limbs;
- Intolerance: Localization of lesions and itching of the outer ear, neck, underarms, back, thighs, scrotum, wrists;
- Allergy: Almost exclusively bilateral;
- Intolerance: Lesions tend to be unilateral;
- Allergy: Reaction rate in less than a few hours;
- Intolerance: Between one and ten years;
- Allergy: Mainly skin and gastrointestinal problems;
- Intolerance: Involvement of all primary systems, with inflammation and / or increased secretions and excretions;
- Allergy: Not affected by the amount of allergen;
- Intolerance: Reaction influenced by the allergen dose.