Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
A food allergy is when the body’s immune system reacts to a food. It can cause hives, itching, and problems breathing. It can also be deadly for some. You will need an emergency epinephrine shot if you have a severe food allergy. You may also be given medicine to ease swelling and itching.
A food sensitivity is when the body has a hard time digesting certain foods. It can cause symptoms such as heartburn or diarrhea. They may make day to day life difficult but are not as serious as allergies. It can be treated by finding what food is causing the problem and avoiding it.
There isn’t strong evidence for natural treatments for this health problem. The best treatment is to remove trigger foods from your diet. Track symptoms and work with a medical team to help find your trigger foods.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Talk to your doctor about all herbs or pills you are taking. Some may get in the way of your treatment or other health problems you may have.
1. Cavagni G, Piscopo E, et al. "Food allergy in children: an attempt to improve the effects of the elimination diet with an immunomodulating agent (thymomodulin). A double-blind clinical trial". Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 1989;11(1):131-142.
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 5/26/2020