The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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Week 7: Food allergy or food intolerance?


Welcome to Week 7 of the course.

Last week you looked at balanced healthy eating and malnutrition. This week you will learn more about how certain food causes an immune response in the body.

By the end of this week’s study you will be able to understand:

  • food allergy and how it differs from food intolerance
  • the tests available that can help diagnose food allergy or intolerance
  • what happens in anaphylactic shock
  • irritable bowel syndrome and some treatments
  • coeliac disease and being gluten-free.
An ingredients list with the allergens highlighted in bold
Figure 1 An ingredients list with the allergens highlighted in bold

In Week 4 you looked at food labelling and the legislation about allergens in food (Figure 1). This information is extremely important for someone with a food allergy as well as intolerance. There is an important difference between allergy and intolerance: one can cause death and the other can cause discomfort.

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