Resource Center

Learn more about Food Allergy and Intolerance

If you notice that you are experiencing discomfort, itchiness, or other symptoms after eating a certain food, you may have either a food allergy or intolerance. These are common conditions that affect millions of people today.


A food allergy is a reaction to a particular food from your immune system. When you eat a trigger food, your body will release Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, histamine chemicals, and/or other agents to fight against the invading allergen.

Food allergies can be mild, severe, or even life-threatening. Most allergy symptoms develop within a few minutes to a couple of hours after ingesting the trigger food. Common food allergy symptoms include:

  • Tingling/itching in the mouth
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat, or other areas
  • An outbreak of hives, eczema, or a skin rash
  • Nasal congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness


In contrast to a food allergy, a food intolerance does not involve an immune system reaction. Instead, if you suffer from an intolerance your body has trouble digesting the particular food in question.

Some symptoms of a food intolerance include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Intestinal gas/bloating
  • Diarrhea


While food allergies and intolerances share certain symptoms, they are very different with regard to root cause and treatment. If you suspect that you have a food allergy, a trained allergist can perform tests to determine which food (if any) is causing your reaction. There are also tests available to determine whether a patient has a food intolerance, such as elimination diet tests.

You might also look for

Learn more about Allergies and Asthma

See all articles

Skin Care: part two

Last time, we discussed the importance of eliminating the likely triggers to flare you and your little’s skin and the most crucial step to treating your sensitive skin. So, it’s time for a pop quiz! What ARE those 2 biggest triggers to flare sensitive skin? And what is the first step to treating your sensitive skin? (Don’t worry, answers will be below!)

Read more

Skin Care: part one

As promised, I wanted to take a few moments to address something we see in the Allergy clinic on a daily basis — sensitive skin. Almost all our patients, especially those who also have asthma and allergies, have some degree of sensitive skin. The severity of each patient’s skin sensitivity varies, and many of our patients struggle with the most severe form of sensitive skin — eczema.

Read more

Indoor Allergens

The most clinically relevant indoor allergens are cat, dog, and dust mites. For purposes of this post, I’m going to group cat and dog together and then provide 3 highlights for each one.

Read more

Food Allergy Key Concepts

Even as the prevalence of food allergy is increasing (up to 8% of kids in the US have a food allergy), it seems that the myths surrounding food allergy are also increasing. One of the things I love about my job as an allergy fellow is helping patients and their families work through these myths and establish true allergy versus intolerance.

Read more

Teal Pumpkin Project (Food Allergy Reasearch and Education - FARE)

Check out Dr. Gharfeh's segment with KCEN earlier this week on the importance of spreading food allergy awareness this Halloween.

Read more

6 Skin Allergy Conditions and Their Treatments

Allergies come in many different forms, ranging from mild reactions treatable with some quick over-the-counter medications, to others that can be severe and even lethal. While the worst case scenario is scary, there are ways to monitor and prevent potentially life-threatening reactions. Most commonly, you'll be facing much lighter, more treatable allergens. These can often be painful to deal with but won't necessarily result in risking your life.

Read more

Environmental Allergies in Children

Many children are excited because the school year is about to start up again and these next few weeks will be their best days of summer. With the free time coming to a close, families are eager to spend time outside, away from computers and other electronics. But for anyone dealing with seasonal environmental allergies, being outdoors can lead to sneezing, asthma attacks, and even rashes.

Read more

The Difference Between Food Allergies and Food Intolerances

Being uncomfortable is never a good feeling, regardless of what it's caused by. When you feel that type of unease, your body may feel tired or itchy, or a million other ways. If it's caused by allergies or intolerances, it's something you can pinpoint and avoid as needed. Additionally and fortunately, those uncomfortable feelings are acting as little alerts to let you know that something isn't right.

Read more

Ready to go home healthier and happier?

Our experienced and caring staff will work with you to determine the best course of action to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. In addition, we offer a variety of services to meet your individual needs, including allergy testing, immunotherapy, and education about allergen avoidance.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.