Intolerance vs. Allergy

by | Jun 24, 2021 | Combination Products, Food, Healthcare, Medicine

Millions in the United States alone have an allergic condition, with many of these allergies being related to food. According to the Food Allergy Research & Education organization (FARE) 32 million Americans have food allergies.1 Of those 32 million, 200,000 require emergency medical care for allergic reactions from those foods. A common misconception is that food intolerance is a food allergy when in actuality that is its own unique category.

While there are similarities between a food allergy and food intolerance, the main difference is that a food allergy is typically much more dangerous. A food allergy is driven directly by the immune system, which means that the symptoms of an allergy appear quite rapidly.2 With an intolerance, it is never life-threatening (though many food allergies are) and the symptoms come on more gradually and can take a few hours before they begin. There are many situations where someone might assume they have a food tolerance when their symptoms are related to something else. In that situation, it is best to see a doctor when you feel something is off.

So, what are the treatments for either? For either a food intolerance or allergy, there are unfortunately no cures at this moment in time. There are several preventative treatments you can do for a food intolerance though. The most common solution to food intolerance is an elimination diet, which is the total removal of the problem food from your diet. Some intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, have medications that can help to minimize symptoms related to that intolerance. For allergies, however, there are several treatment methods you can try, and is it possible for children to grow out of their allergies sometimes.3 The most common allergic reaction medication is Epinephrine, commonly administered from an EpiPen. These combination products can administer Epinephrine into the system to stop anaphylaxis, which is a common allergy reaction.

New research is being made every day for allergies and the industry is working hard to find better solutions to these life-threatening problems. In 2020, FDA approved the first drug for the treatment of a peanut allergy in children.4 This milestone has paved the way for many more clinical trials in the future to work towards a cure and a day when an EpiPen is not the only treatment option. We help products like the EpiPen, get to market every day. Give us a call today at 248-987-4497 or email info@emmainternational.com  to see how we can help your product get to market seamlessly.


1FARE (2021)  Facts and Statistics retrieved on 6/23/2021 from: https://www.foodallergy.org/resources/facts-and-statistics

2Medical News Today (2021) Medical myths: All about allergies retrieved on 6/23/2021 from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/medical-myths-all-about-allergies#3.-Food-allergies-and-food-intolerances-are-the-same

3MayoClinic (2020) Food allergy retrieved on 6/23/2021 from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20355095

4FDA (2020) FDA approves first drug for treatment of peanut allergy for children retrieved on 6/23/2021 from: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-treatment-peanut-allergy-children

Katie McCallum

Katie McCallum

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