Food allergies and intolerance

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Food allergy

A type of intolerance that affects the immune system.

A response, within the body to an allergen which is not necessarily harmful itself but causes the body's immune system to respond.

The reaction can cause symptoms and someone with a severe food allergy can expierence a life threatening reaction.

Symptoms include: 

  • Sneezing
  • Dry, itchy throat and tongue
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy skin/rash
  • Nausea and feeling bloated
  • Diarrohea and vomiting
  • Severe wheezing
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Swelling of the lips and throat
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People with severe allergies can have this reaction and is sometimes refered to as anaphylactic shock.

This can result in a number of symptoms such as;

  • Rash
  • Swelling of the throat and lips
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid fall in blood pressure and eventually loss of conciousness.

This can be FATAL if not treated immedieately- usually with an injection of adrenaline (epi-pen)

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Food Intolerance

Is an unpleasent (adverse) reaction to a food or  ingredient. Does not involve the immune system and is not life threatening.When someone eats a food they are intolerant to they will feel sick and may affect thier long term health.Some reactions caused by an inability to digest a particular food, but the cause is often not understood.

Symtoms include;

  • Diarrohea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Bloating
  • Anaemia
  • Severe coughing


  • Check food labels
  • Ask GP/dietition for advice on meal planning
  • Take car when eating out
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Gluten Intolerance

Coeliac Disease

  • CD is an auto immune disease, where the body produces antibodies that attack its own tissues
  • Caused by a protein called gluten--found in cereals, wheat, rye and barley.(Some people sensitive to oats)

Symtoms include;

  • Bloating, abdo pain, nausea,diarrohea, wind, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, reduced growth, skin problems
  • Mismanagement can lead to long term health problems such as malnutrition, anaemia, osteoporosis.

Need to avoid

  • Wheat
  • Barley (soup)
  • Oats
  • Rye (bread)
  • Processed meat
  • Baking powder
  • Stock cubes

Gluten free products are available in supermarkets. foods naturally gluten-free include rice, potatoes,polenta,quinoa, corn, meat, fish, eggs, dairy and fruit

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Lactose Intolerance

Lactose is a sugar naturally found in milk and an enzyme called lactase is needed to break it down. 

Lactose intolerance caused by the shortage of LACTASE this means that lactose is not absorbed properly.

Symtoms include; (occur between 30mins and 2hrs)

  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrohea


  • Cows milk (however products made from milk can be eaten eg cheddar cheese and yogurt)
  • Goats milk
  • Biscuits crisps fruit bars, pasta mixes, iced tea and even some coatings on medicine contain lactose
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