Food Allergies vs. Sensitivities

Food Allergies vs. Sensitivities




immune response to antigen
immune response to antigen
involves IgE
involves IgG
immediate – within an hour
delayed reaction – hours to days
obvious symptoms
subtle symptoms
not common
very common
similar symptoms
varying symptoms
generally non-reversible
can evolve at any age; reversible
well recognized by medical science      
starting to be recognized by medical science

Food Allergy: IgE Response


An immune reaction to foods can be in the form of the production of two different types of antibodies, IgE & IgG.  The immune system will try to destroy or neutralize any substance that is recognized as a foreign and potentially harmful invader by making antibodies to it. Each antibody binds to a specific antigen by way of an interaction similar to the fit between a lock and a key. An allergy in the commonly used sense of the term implies an immediate IgE antibody response.

Y shaped antibodies bind to receptors on the surface of  immune cells, leading to the release of inflammatory chemicals. This reaction occurs within minutes of exposure. It may occur in response to specific foods as well as environmental stimuli.


Food Sensitivities:  IgG Response

Circulating IgG antibodies

Encounter food antigens and form circulating immune complexes (CIC)

If the number of complexes is more than can be eliminated, CIC will deposit in tissue and release inflammatory chemicals

Reactions occur hours to days after food is consumed, which makes it difficult to identify trigger food without testing


Common Symptoms

  • digestive issues, cramps, bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation & diarrhea
  • recurring colds, sinus, ear & yeast infections
  • chronic congestion, post nasal drip, sneezing
  • allergies, hay fever, autoimmune disorders, asthma, coughs
  • ADD, migraines, headaches, MS, arthritis
  • acne, eczema, hives, rashes
  • increased blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms
  • anxiety, depression, panic
  • food cravings, difficulty losing weight



  • Lack of hydrochloric acid (stomach acid)
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Dysbiosis: imbalance of gut flora
  • Leaky gut: permeable intestinal lining
  • Less diversity in the diet: eating the same foods regularly
  • Genetic manipulation of food
  • Processed foods
  • Pesticides in farming
  • Environmental pollutants and vaccines



  • Heal the gutrestore intestinal flora (probiotics)
  • address nutritional deficiencies
  • increase antioxidants
  • choose organic, whole, non-GMO foods
  • omit processed, refined sugars & flours
  • increase quality fiber (soluble & insoluble)
  • enlist the help of digestive enzymes
  • increase EFA consumption
  • eat fermented foods



At PURE , we can arrange Food Intolerance and Sensitivity testing through CanAlt Health Laboratories

Find out more about Food Intolerance Sensitivities and how we can help you restore balance here.




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