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Signs of Food Allergies & Intolerances

Signs of Food Allergies & Intolerances

If there's a tickle in your throat or you have an upset stomach after eating, there's a good chance you have a food allergy or intolerance. Although in many instances, this just means mild discomfort—it can also be life-threatening.

The health experts at Henry County Hospital are here to help you identify the warning signs of food allergies and intolerances.

Food Allergies

Although your immune system works hard to keep your body healthy by fighting off illness-causing germs, it’s possible for your immune system to overreact to foods and certain substances in an effort to protect you. When this happens, this is called a food allergy.


Most allergic reactions to foods happen within a 2 hour time period of ingestion. These symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, with anaphylaxis being the most serious. Some other commonly reported allergic reactions include:

  • Breaking out in hives.
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing.
  • A repetitive cough,
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Vomiting.
  • Swelling of the tongue.
  • Dizziness.
  • Going into shock.
  • Anaphylaxis.

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances on the other hand don’t have the potential to become life-threatening if left unaddressed. Unlike food allergies, food intolerance symptoms can begin several hours after ingestion and can even take up to 48 hours before they manifest.


While symptoms can vary from person to person, some common signs that you may have a food intolerance include:

  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Abdominal cramping.
  • Acid reflux.
  • Flushed skin.
  • Having a runny nose.
  • Bloating.
  • Rashes.

It can be difficult to differentiate a food allergy from intolerance as they share many symptoms. This makes it important to speak with your primary care doctor if you suspect that you may have a sensitivity.

Primary and Specialty Care in Henry County

At Henry County Hospital, we have been providing compassionate healthcare since 1919. When it comes to primary and specialty care, each patient can expect individualized care that meets their needs. From education to emotional support, we focus on your individual health and wellness.