Allergies vs. Sensitivities

What is an allergy? I’m not going to give you the technical definition. You can look that up. After spending the last year trying to figure out to what my daughter is allergic, I’m beginning to understand that she has more food sensitivities than standard allergies.

Which means what, in real words?

For my kid, foods that have been highly processed upset her stomach. A taste of nonfat dry milk burns her mouth, as it has been extremely processed. Food that has been introduced to chemicals in an unkind way.

Technically speaking, this is considered a sensitivity, not an allergy, as she doesn’t break out in hives or stop breathing, or something awful along those lines. But, she does get an upset tummy. I don’t know what it causes on the inside of her body. (I haven’t wanted to have her scoped to find out. She’s only 7. And, we seem to be able to modify her diet enough in order for the upset tummy to be minimal.)

I do remember when my daughter had an allergic reaction to a medicine. She broke out in hives all over her body with one dose of a medicine. Another time, some sulfur based medicine messed with system.

Everyone’s body chemistry is different. Keep in mind, when you go to a doctor, your physician sees a snapshot of what is wrong, and has to make a judgement call. Your doctor knows that 5 out of 10 people react this way to this medicine, 6 out of 9 react that way, 1 out of 3 react the other way – and, with your symptoms, you could have – this, the other thing, or maybe that.

But, I digress. A sensitivity will appear when your body has had too much exposure to something. Soy, cheese, strawberries, etc. If you eat this food all the time, best to take a break for awhile. If you rarely eat this food, or come into contact with this plant, etc., best to take a really long break from it.

My son hadn’t had cow’s milk in a year, when he tested being “sensitive” to it. If I wanted to pay an allergist to poke him with a needle to determine if he is “allergic” to it, I feel that there is a good chance it would come out positive. Did I mention my son is afraid of needles? Which is a moot point. I’m not paying an allergist to tell me something I already know. The more cow’s milk my son has, the worse his health is. (Statistically, 60% of school children are allergic to cow’s milk.)

Allergy vs. sensitivity – best to take a break from it.