Allergy or Intolerance?

It has long been known that not every person can eat anything. Moreover, the number of people in this group is increasing from year to year. When the body evaluates something we have consumed as undesirable, a reaction occurs at the level of the immune system, antibodies begin to form. It can happen at any time and can be triggered by various things.

"It can be caused by the use of some type of medication, stress, chemicals in food, a general immune reactions change, etc." says SEPEA company owner Adela Sedláková.

If we talk about immune reaction, a difference between allergy and intolerance must be understood.

"The allergy is characterized by the so-called antibodies of the IgE type and is manifested by a rapid onset. It´s reactions are a little different from intolerances. They tend to be more violent, more aggressive, a violent allergy is even life-threatening. External signs include swelling, itching of the mucous membrane, rash, etc."

After ingestion of the problematic food, a reaction occurs, in the case of IgG antibodies, up to 72 hours. "Very often, a person has no idea what he consumed three days ago, especially when it comes to basic foods." added Sedláková.


Food intolerance can be an enzyme deficiency. For example, we talk about lactose intolerance, when our body cannot digest lactose. The same thing happens with histamine. We need to digest that in food through the enzyme diamine oxidase, which we should have enough, and it should also be active enough to be able to process histamine, which is found in many foods. Then it is a deficit in the production of enzymes that we need for digestion. However, this term can also be used to denote an immune reaction, when antibodies are formed in excessive amounts against certain antigens.

Mrs. Sedláková emphasizes that the symptoms of intolerances are various type health symptoms. "We usually don't associate migraines, rheumatic inflammation in the joints or protracted, chronic inflammations with true allergies. Such symptoms in an allergic reaction are not common."

The food intolerance test aims to reveal the possible cause of the inflammation.

"We divide IgG antibodies into four groups. However, there are also tests for only one type of IgG 4 antibodies, which are not relevant. It is important to test all four groups of IgG antibodies at the same time." pointed out Sedláková.


Usually, only a few foods, which we slang call triggers, are responsible for our problems. These are the foods to which we react the strongest.

"The trigger usually doesn't go away, more and more foods can be irritable over time if we don't properly identify it, remove it, and heal the gut." she explains.

Mrs. Sedláková emphasizes that no specific health problem is directly linked to a particular food.

"Intolerance to milk, for example, can manifest itself in migraines in one person, another can have rheumatic inflammation, yet another has eczema or ulcers. On the other hand, if someone has eczema, the cause may not be exclusively intolerance. That's why it's important to have as well the results of standard tests that are usually done by general practitioners."

Many may be wondering how I can find out that it is intolerance in my case?

"First of all, I would rule out causes that may arise from other reasons. If my stomach hurts and I know that there might be some kind of inflammation, I first evaluate the problem by self-observation. If you know that you have a stomach ache, while you drink coffee with milk every morning on an empty stomach, it may not be necessary to immediately test yourself for food intolerance," says Sedláková.

However, when self-observation is unsuccessful, SEPEA food intolerance testing may help to diagnose the problem.

When selecting food intolerance tests, trustworthy provider should be selected. It makes a difference whether the provider has food intolerance testing as their primary specialty or as a marginal part of their portfolio. Years of experience are just as important, since this is a relatively new field, not every nutritionist is well versed in this issue.

*Food intolerance tests are not intended to replace standard medical care.