Food Intolerance V Food Allergy

Food Allergies V Food Intolerances: What’s the difference?


Many people refer to food allergies when they probably have a food intolerance. A food intolerance can cause some of the same signs and symptoms as a food allergy, so people often confuse the two.  So what’s the difference between the two?

In some cases, an allergic reaction to a food can be severe or life-threatening (anaphylaxis). In contrast, food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and often limited to digestive problems.

Food Alleries

The main thing that defines a food allergy is that the body thinks one of the proteins in the food is harmful and thus triggers an immune response by producing histamine and usually pretty immediate. It becomes more and more sensitive to this food if it enters the body again at another time. It is important to identify which foods you are sensitive to.  If this persists, over time it may lead to an auto-immune condition in the body. Some common food allergy triggers are peanuts, soy, shellfish, eggs and milk.


Allergy Symptoms:

  • Tingling and itching in the mouth
  • Skin Rashes
  • Swelling (e.g. face, mouth or lips)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness/ lightheadedness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or diarrhoea
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing


Food Intolerances

Food intolerances can be caused by a condition known as leaky gut (intestinal permeability), when proteins and food particles can pass through the gut and cause systemic body inflammation. Food Intolerance is the body’s reaction to food/allergens it can’t tolerate. Some common allergen triggers are:


  • Gluten
  • Casein (A1 protein found in Cow’s Milk)
  • Lactose (Pasteurised Dairy destroys the enzyme Lactase)
  • Food Additives i.e. food colouring, flavouring, additivies
  • Sulfites: Found covered on dried fruit, in wine

Food intolerance can be harder to diagnose. Symptoms can take up to 72 hours to appear and can be incredibly broad. It is important to recognise the symptoms of a food intolerance reaction so you can make the best possible choices for your diet and avoid the allergen triggers. It may be possible to take a digestive enzyme to aid digestion. For example, if you have lactose intolerance, you may be able to drink lactose-free milk or take a lactase enzyme supplement.

Symptoms of Food Intolerance


  • Tiredness and Fatigue
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Depression, anxiety and hyperactivity
  • Acne/Skin Flare ups
  • Joint pain
  • IBS/Bloating
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Water retention
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Food Poisoning


If you suspect that certain foods are causing problems the best way to investigate is to keep a food diary. This will help to determine which foods are causing a problem and when this is identified eliminate them from the diet one at a time. Start with the most common allergen triggers. You may find it helpful to work with a nutritionist as this is a time consuming process.


Sneezing Allergy

Essential Oils for Allergies

Peppermint Essential Oil can calm the digestive system and inflammation responses associated with food allergies.

It is important to continue to have a balanced healthy diet while detoxifying the body regularly. For more information on detoxifying, see my blog on Essential Oils for Detoxification.

If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you. Please comment below with any other tips or advice on food allergies and intolerances.

If you enjoyed this article and want to know more, check out our online courses or join our Aromatherapy Empowerment Facebook Group where we offer free advice & tips, recipes and more…


Dr Axe,

Mayo Clinic,



Dark Puffy Eyes

What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes


We all know that late nights and working too hard can contribute to dark circles under the eyes. So what is happening on the cellular level to this delicate skin around the eyes.

Your skin below the eyes is very thin and can show the blood vessels and the blood contained therein.


As we age and get older, our skin loses it’s elasticity and collegen production resulting in the skin becoming even more thinner. we lose subcutaneous fat which often masks the blueness just below the surface of the skin. This is why the elderly often appear to have very dark circles under their eyes.

Sun Exposure

More melanin can be produced below the eyes resulting in the eyes looking darker and browner. However this process called periorbital hyperpigmentation and often only affects darker skinned people. Sun protection is advised to prevent over production of melanin and also premature aging contributing to weakening and thinning of the skin.

Seasonal Allergies

Eye puffiness and weak blood vessels can be a result of too much fluid build up which can be caused by an immune system response, allergies or excessive salt in the diet. This causes the blood vessels to appear closer the surface of the skin.  Seasonal allergies cause the release of histamines causing inflammation around the area. Rubbing the eyes as a result further worsens the situation.

Food Allergies

Usually if the puffiness is constant you may have an undetected food allergy. People with food allergies tend to be deficient if B6, B9 (folic acid), and B12.


For the majority of us, the cause is usually tiredness. So how does that effect our eyes? Well our circulation is slower causing blood to pool. Usually it can appear worse in the morning. Well when we are low in energy our body releases cortisol. This is a stress hormone and it raises blood volume which causes the blood vessels below the eyes to appear puffy and dark. The excess fluid accumulation causes the blood vessels to become fragile, weaken and can leak.


eyes 300x200


Top 6 Tips to Reduce Dark Eyes?


  • If you suffer with seasonal allergies, eat foods that inhibit histamine release and stabilise mast cells like pineapple, ginger, garlic, turmeric and onions. Drink chamomile, nettle and peppermint herbal teas.
  • For possible food allergies, get a food allergy test done and find out what vitamins and minerals you are deficient in.
  • You can use topical creams with ingredients that will boost the circulation and constrict blood vessels. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid pump up the area keeping the blood vessels further away from the surface of the skin. Vitamin C can help with the production of collagen as well as brightening the skin.
  • In the morning, apply a cold compress for about five minutes to constrict the blood vessels. You can use cucumber slices or tea bags aswell. The tannin in tea bags reduces swelling and discoloration.
  • Make a saline solution to help clear nasal congestion with one cup of distilled water and ½ teaspoon of sea salt. This will help to reduce a build up of mucus which causes inflammation and pain or sinuses. Also eat non-mucus forming foods or alkaline foods like green leafy vegetables, cucumber, lemons, nuts and legumes. Avoid dairy.
  • Reduce salt intake and eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Drink plenty of water to help detoxify.


The LEAH Nourishing Eye Cream contains active ingredients known for their anti ageing and tissue regenerating properties.

What did you try to tackle dark circles and how did it work for you? Let us know. Please comment below.

If you like this article, and would like to learn more please visit my online courses page.