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“Whenever I eat that, I feel sick.” Would you say this sounds like you lately? Whether you’ve noticed nausea or tummy troubles after certain meals, a food allergy or intolerance may be to blame. But even once you’ve pinpointed which food or beverage is giving you trouble, it can be tough to distinguish between an allergy or an intolerance.

“Allergic reactions from food are spurred on by the immune system,” explains Sakina Bajowala, M.D., a board-certified allergist and immunologist in North Aurora, Illinois and fellow of The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). “In a classic case of food allergy, the IgE antibodies of your immune system trigger cells to release chemicals that cause symptoms, usually within 30 minutes after eating an offending food. Less frequently, the cells of the immune system, as opposed to antibodies that are molecules, may cause the reaction; this variety happens more in

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