Hypersensitivity to food refers to all types of reactions that organisms may have against the food component. Food sensitivity include food allergies and intolerances.
Food allergy is a special kind of sensitivity to foods that activate the immune system. An allergen is (almost always a protein in the offending food) a set of chain reactions in the immune system including the release of antibodies. These antibodies trigger the release of body chemicals such as histamine, which give rise to symptoms such as itchy skin, runny nose, coughing or wheezing. Most allergic reactions to food relatively mild, but some people have severe and life-threatening reaction called anaphylactic shock. Peanuts are known to cause shock and crisis management includes the use of injection of epinephrine to open the airway, and to constrict blood vessels.
Food intolerance is an adverse reaction to food that does not involve the immune system. The reaction is non-digestion or non-absorption of specific foods or components. An example is lactose and wheat intolerance. There is no treatment to cure food allergies. Once one has been diagnosed, the only thing you can do is to avoid foods that cause problems.
GMO: Genetically modified organism. Organism in which genetic material is modified so that DNA contains genes that are normally not there.
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