Our expert says:
The difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance is as follows: 1) A food allergy is an adverse reaction to food that is mediated by an immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the blood (which can be detected by doing allergy tests - the RAST or ELISA tests)- such reactions occur consistently every time the offending food is eaten and can cause functional changes in affected organs; 2) A food intolerance is a non-immunological adverse reaction to a food caused by a toxic, pharmacological, metabolic or other reaction to the food (skin prick tests are often useful to determine if one has a food intolerance). If you do see another doctor about your LB's condition then the doctor will arrange for the relevant tests to be done (a blood test and/or a skin prick test). If your LB does suffer from both milk and wheat allergies or intolerances, I would recommend that you also consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), because it is very difficult to provide a growing child with all the nutrients he needs for normal development when one has to eliminate both cow's milk and wheat from his diet. For example cutting milk out of a toddler's diet will require the provision of other sources of calcium to ensure that he develops strong bones and healthy teeth. On the other hand hundreds of commercially available food products contain wheat or derivatives of wheat, so removing them from an active boy's diet is difficult.
One encouraging fact is that some children can outgrow their allergies, so hopefully this will be the case for your lad.
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