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What's the difference between an intolerance and allergy?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. John Overholt
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology

In brief: Broad v specific

An allergy reaction is a very specific sort of immune response involving a specific set of cells and inflammatory mediators.
An intolerance has a much broader definition and is typically not an immune system reaction. Lactose intolerance, for instance, is an enzyme deficiency that makes one unable to digest lactose.

In brief: Broad v specific

An allergy reaction is a very specific sort of immune response involving a specific set of cells and inflammatory mediators.
An intolerance has a much broader definition and is typically not an immune system reaction. Lactose intolerance, for instance, is an enzyme deficiency that makes one unable to digest lactose.
Dr. John Overholt
Dr. John Overholt
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