Differential Diagnosis of Allergies

Differential Diagnosis: Allergies

Medical problems similar to food allergy

Other medical problems can have some of the same symptoms as a food allergy, such as:

Source: OWH (DHHS)1

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Back to: « Allergies

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Is it an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance?

  • allergy - a reaction produced by the body's immune system when exposed to a normally harmless substance
  • sensitivity - the exaggeration of the normal effects of a substance; for example, the caffeine in a cup of coffee may cause extreme symptoms, such as palpitations and trembling
  • intolerance - where a substance causes unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, but doesn't involve the immune system; people with an intolerance to certain foods can typically eat a small amount without having any problems

Source: NHS Choices UK2

Differential Diagnosis for Allergies

Common Cold, Flu: Cold, Flu, or Allergy?

Treatment depends on which you have. A health professional can help you choose the best therapy.

Common Cold

Seasonal Flu

Airborne Allergy

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)3

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Cluster headache: The cluster periods often appear seasonally, usually in the spring and fall, and may be mistaken for allergies.

Source: NINDS (NIH)4

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Asthma: How can patients tell if its just allergies or asthma?

There is certainly an overlap. The immune system response that causes you to have allergies plays a role in getting asthma. But while most patients with asthma have allergies, most patients with allergies dont have asthma. The time to get worried is if you start feeling wheezy, have a cough, chest heaviness, or shortness of breath that prevents you from doing normal activities. These are signs that it is not just a simple allergy.

The time to get worried is if you start feeling wheezy, have a cough, chest heaviness, or shortness of breath that prevents you from doing normal activities. - Stavros Garantziotis, M.D.

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)5

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Common Cold: Is It a Cold or an Allergy?

Symptoms

Cold

Airborne Allergy

Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH)6

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Systemic mastocytosis: Some people with systemic mastocytosis may experience episodes of severe symptoms that last 15-30 minutes, often with specific triggers such as physical exertion or stress.

Source: NHS Choices UK7

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References

  1. Source: OWH (DHHS): womenshealth.gov/ fitness-and-nutrition/ special-food-issues
  2. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ Allergies/ 
  3. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ issue/ oct2014/ feature2
  4. Source: NINDS (NIH): ninds.nih.gov/ disorders/ headache/ detail_headache.htm
  5. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ magazine/ issues/ fall17/ articles/ fall17pg24.html
  6. Source: MedLinePlus Magazine (NIH): medlineplus.gov/ magazine/ issues/ spring15/ articles/ spring15pg26-27.html
  7. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ Mastocytosis/ 

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.