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The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce would like to welcome guest blogger Dr. Sharma of Digestive Health Associates. 

While food allergies and food intolerances are both caused by reactions to certain foods, they are not the same.

It is vital to see your doctor if you think you have a food allergy or intolerance before getting rid of any foods from your diet. By working with a health-care team, you can make sure that you’re getting the care you need.
If you believe you have a food allergy or intolerance, keep a diary of all the food you eat to find what might cause reactions and what exactly those reactions are.
The strength and type of your reaction can help you find out whether you are having an allergic reaction to a food or a food intolerance.
At-A-Glance Food Allergy Food Intolerance Symptoms
Itching.
Problems breathing.
Throwing up.
Drop in blood pressure.
Upset belly.
Cramps.
Bloating.
Diarrhea (loose stool).
Reaction to Protein in certain foods Sugar in certain foods
Causes
Milk.
Soy.
Eggs.
Wheat.
Peanuts
Tree nuts.
Fish.
Shellfish.
Wheat and other grains.
Cow’s milk and dairy products
Corn products.
Sugar found in fruits and honey.
Wheat starch and starches in other grains.

Food Allergy

A food allergy occurs when you feel an urgent, severe reaction after you eat a certain food or food group.
A sudden allergic reaction to food can take place within a few minutes to an hour after you eat a certain food.
Common reactions of a food allergy are:
Itching in the mouth (often at the start of the reaction).
Throwing up.
Diarrhea (loose stool).
Belly pain.
Drop in blood pressure.
Problems breathing.
Wheezing due to asthma.
Skin reactions, such as hives or eczema (an itchy rash).
Doctors can do skin and blood tests to find allergies. A food allergy indicates an allergic reaction to a protein in certain food groups.

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The big eight food groups that cause the most food allergies in North America:

Milk.
Soy.
Eggs.
Wheat.
Peanuts.
Tree nuts.
Fish.
Shellfish.

Food allergies are best treated by avoiding foods that cause a reaction.
Those with certain food allergies, such as peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish, as well as other foods linked to sudden and severe reactions where the throat could close, should be under the care of an allergy doctor and carry an injectable epinephrine syringe (EpiPen®), which treats severe allergic reactions.

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Food Intolerance

Food intolerances are fairly common.
Food intolerances are harder to figure out.
Reactions from a food intolerance may involve:
Upset belly.
Cramps.
Bloating.
Gas.
Diarrhea (loose stool).
Belly pain.
Heartburn.
A food intolerance or sensitivity indicates a reaction to sugar in certain food groups.
Common foods to which people have food intolerances are:
Wheat and other grains that have gluten (gluten intolerance).
Cow’s milk and dairy products (lactose intolerance).
Corn products.
Sugar found in fruits and honey (fructose intolerance).
Wheat starch and starches in other grains (starch intolerance).

It is vital to work with your doctor if you think you have a food allergy or intolerance before taking out foods from your diet.