A food allergy is when your body’s immune system reacts to a food protein because it has mistaken that food protein as a threat. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening.


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Food allergy is sometimes confused with food intolerance. Food allergies involve your immune system and can be lifethreatening. An intolerance is when your body has trouble digesting a food. It can make you feel badly, usually with an upset stomach, but it is not life-threatening. The most common intolerance is to lactose—which is a natural sugar found in milk.


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More than 170 foods are known to cause food allergies, but eight foods account for 9 out of 10 reactions in the United States. They are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.


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