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Food Sensitivty vs. Food Allergies: Why IgE Is Important

Food Sensitivities

Allergies are a common condition, where an allergen triggers an adverse reaction in the body. According to AAAAI, “an allergic reaction typically triggers symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, sinuses, ears, lining of the stomach or the skin.” Our immune system overreacts to something to produce IgE antibodies that travel to cells and create an allergic reaction by releasing histamine. While some allergies just make your springtime a little more sneezy, some can be so serious that they put your life at risk.


When you think of allergies, you might think of food allergies, or sneezing at the mere sight of pollen – but you can be allergic to so much more.

Food Sensitivities vs. Food Allergies

What happens when a food you love doesn’t love you back? Do you get a stomachache or troubling gastrointestinal issues when you eat something in particular? Or maybe it’s a migraine or a skin rash when you eat something? Sometimes it’s difficult to understand what’s happening when you eat something and your body goes haywire.


Chances are, we all have an offending food that just doesn’t sit right with our body. But do you know if it’s a food intolerance or a food allergy? And what’s the difference?

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities, or what some may call a food intolerance, cause the body to have difficulty digesting specific foods.

Symptoms of food sensitivities include:

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Runny nose
  • Bloating
  • Irritable bowels
  • Stomachache
  • A general feeling of being unwell

The main difference between the symptoms with a sensitivity and an allergy is that with food allergies, even a small intake of food will cause a reaction. On the other hand, if you are intolerant to specific foods, you probably won’t see any visible signs right away after you eat, and larger amounts of the questionable food are needed before a reaction ensues. Symptoms of food intolerance take much longer to develop. One may not realize that there is a problem for a long period of time.

There are several causes of food intolerance. The most common factor is the absence of enzymes needed to digest foods which in turn will cause improper digestion. Almost all foods require enzymes to break them down. With a lack of appropriate enzymes, the digestive tract will be unable to break down foods and cause gastrointestinal irritation (i.e., gas, bloating, diarrhea, headaches). Some drinks containing certain chemicals (especially drinks high in caffeine) may trigger an adverse reaction. Even histamine can spark an intolerance-type of reaction in highly sensitive people.

Food Allergies

A food allergy can be defined by the activation of antibodies to specific foods that cause the body to react in different ways ranging from mild to very serious reactions.


Symptoms of a food allergic reaction include:

  • Itchy, uncomfortable feeling
  • A red, itchy rash
  • Swollen tongue, throat, lips, roof of mouth and general face swelling
  • Possible vomiting
  • A severe food allergic reaction might also involve anaphylaxis – a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction.

Food allergies can develop at birth or arise in adulthood. Scientists do not currently agree on how an allergy starts and why. The cause of a food allergy comes from a weakened immune system where the body mistakes a food protein for an infectious threat. Anyone can be affected by a food allergy. Allergies are not specific to certain types of foods. However, eight types of food are the most common allergenic foods – dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts.


Unlike a food sensitivity, symptoms of an allergy are usually with small amounts of food, and are brought on very quickly. One in 13 children currently has a food allergy, and though it varies, the effects in terms of their quality of life can be drastic depending on what exactly the allergen is.

The Problem with IgG

While intolerances and allergies to foods are common, sometimes the testing for these issues are harder than it might seem. Sadly, too many online companies are promoting using an ineffective testing method to diagnose food allergies or food sensitivities. We’re seeing many online testing companies, even at-home testing companies, offering sensitivity tests utilizing IgG biomarkers. Unfortunately, these IgG biomarkers are not recommended for the use of testing for food intolerances or food allergies. In fact, a high IgG reading might even suggest intolerance to often-eaten food. These tests unfortunately tell the user very little, for a lot of money.

We’re seeing far too many people taking the results from an IgG test and thinking that they have life-long allergies.

Using IgE Biomarkers

Unlike IgG biomarkers, IgE biomarkers are commonly used by trusted doctors and allergists to screen for true food allergies and environmental allergies.

At AllergenIQ, we’re proud to now offer at-home screening for food and environmental allergies using IgE trusted biomarkers. These tests are highly accurate and precise. This new at-home blood test will screen for an array of the most common and dangerous food allergies.

Don’t let your allergies dictate your life any longer

So click here to take our simple quiz to see if AllergenIQ at-home allergy testing is right for you. 

A journey to a happier, healthier you is only a few clicks away. 

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