What’s the difference between an allergy and an intolerance? 


There can be plenty of confusion when it comes to allergies and intolerances, particularly in relation to food. So, what is the difference? 

An allergy usually occurs when the body’s immune system has an irregular response to an unfamiliar source. The immune system will identify the foreign food as an intruder and will release antibodies to mediate it. This can often cause flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, fever, coughing, or in more severe cases, swelling, rash, pain, nausea or anaphylaxis can occur. Common food allergies include egg, nuts, soy, shellfish and dairy.

Unlike allergies, intolerances are not driven from the immune system. These mostly occur in the gut where the digestive system is unable to properly breakdown the foods consumed. This can lead to symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, nausea or cramping. Common food intolerances may include gluten, dairy, MSG or food additives, caffeine and fructose.

Both can cause serious impacts to health and daily dietary choices. If you need help identifying a diet which will work around your allergy or intolerance, our experienced dieticians specialize in both conditions. You can contact us on 08 9494 3790 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your appointment today!