While 30 percent of the American population may believe they have a food allergy, less than 5 percent actually do. A recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found faulty studies and misdiagnoses are likely responsible for keeping folks in the dark about what are likely food intolerances.
So, what is a food intolerance? At the most fundamental, reactions generally don’t involve the immune system. The following are commonly mistaken for allergies:
Irritable bowel syndrome
Sensitivity to food additives such as sulfites or MSG
Sensitivity to lactose
With a food allergy, your body thinks a certain food is actually a harmful substance and release antibodies to fight it. Symptoms look more like: Rashes, hives, shortness of breath, swelling of airways and itchy skin. While food intolerances may make someone miserable, actual food allergies are much more severe and possibly life threatening.