Food

Difference between allergy and poisoning

Two of the most common adverse reactions that a person can present are allergies and poisoning. Adverse response refers to abnormal responses related to the ingestion of a food or exposure to a certain substance. These adverse responses are so diverse that they cause widespread confusion between allergy, intoxication and intolerance.

Comparison table

Allergy
Poisoning
What is it? It is a fairly common non-toxic immune reaction. 

This reaction of the immune system occurs when facing a substance or consuming a food that triggers it. These substances are called allergens. Allergens can be considered harmless and do not usually cause major problems for most people. However, in those with hypersensitive immune responses, they cause allergies.

Instead, food poisoning is a toxic reaction. This means that it happens when products in poor condition or with toxins are consumed, which make the individual sick. Poisoning can happen to anyone regardless of whether they are allergic or not.
Who suffers from it? Allergies can be suffered by anyone as long as there is prior sensitization. Many allergies are hereditary, that is, if one of the parents has allergies, it is likely that the children will too. As for an intoxication, anyone can get to present one. It is only enough that a food or a substance contains the necessary amount of a toxin for this to take place. The danger of intoxication lies in the toxic substance and not in the person.
reactions There are several symptoms, but the most common are: 

  • Nasal congestion, itchy nose and throat, excess nasal mucus, cough.
  • Watery, red, swollen eyes with itchy eyes.
  • Swelling of the tongue, larynx and airways, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, colic and other more serious reactions that must be treated immediately, as they can put the patient’s life at risk.
  • Skin rashes, itching, hives, redness, swelling, and blisters.

Regardless of whether the allergy is skin, food, respiratory, etc., it can trigger a reaction that involves the whole body, so it is recommended to take precautions and pay attention.

The effects of poisoning depend entirely on the amount of poison that is ingested. Some of the most common symptoms are: 

  • Cramps or abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills, fever, and excessive sweating
  • acute headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • General weakness and tiredness; unwillingness of the patient to carry out simple tasks
  • Dehydration that quickly becomes severe.

Prompt medical attention is recommended, as intoxication weakens and dehydrates the individual, which can put the individual at risk.

Usually the poisoning passes in a couple of days, however it is important to control vomiting and diarrhea, as well as get enough rest.

Causes and examples Among the most common allergens are some medications, dust, some foods (eggs, shellfish, nuts and some fruits such as kiwi), mold, pollen and dander from some animals, among others. On the other hand, the most frequent causes of poisoning include consuming meat in poor condition, consuming street food, drinking contaminated water, consuming shellfish that have not been handled with care (they are very delicate and quickly spoil), consuming fruits or poorly washed vegetables, etc.

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