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Allergy or intolerance? A misdiagnosis could have you needlessly worried about the food you eat

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There's a difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance - the former affects the immune system, while the latter doesn't and causes less severe symptoms.
There's a difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance - the former affects the immune system, while the latter doesn't and causes less severe symptoms.
Getty Images/dragana991

Food allergies appear to be on the rise, with more people reporting reactions to a broad range of foods. But how many of these incidents are true food allergies?

Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association has found widespread confusion over how to accurately identify food allergies leads to some people being misdiagnosed with a food allergy when they only have a mild food intolerance.

Some experts also say 'food allergy' seems to have become a one-size-fits-all phrase to describe irritations caused by various foods. This could also be helping to fuel the upsurge in allergy reports.

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