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Food Intolerance or Food Allergies: What’s the Difference? ,
man holding his stomach in pain

At his Santa Monica offices, Dr. David Yamini, MD often encounters patients who have developed digestive issues when eating certain foods. The first step in offering treatment is identifying the cause of these problems.

Food intolerance and food allergies are entirely different groups of conditions. It is important to understand the distinctions, as some allergies are potentially life-threatening. Food intolerances can point to more serious problems, but are not usually cause for concern.

Food Intolerance

A food intolerance directly affects the digestive system. It is typically the result of an inability to break down particular types of food components. You may experience symptoms including gas, an upset stomach or diarrhea. Even a small amount of food can trigger symptoms if you are intolerant.

As food travels through the digestive system, you will begin to experience intolerance symptoms. This usually occurs within a few hours of eating. Unfortunately, you may find that you can no longer enjoy your favorite foods without suffering pain and discomfort.

Food Allergy

Food allergies occur when the immune system interprets food as a foreign invader. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) are antibodies that are released to defend the body against attack. You will experience an allergic reaction, which may express as hives, swelling or the throat closing up.

Symptoms of food allergies develop rapidly, within minutes of eating a particular food. Anaphylaxis is a reaction that can prove fatal without treatment. Sufferers of food allergies rely on access to epinephrine to reverse the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Common Types of Food Intolerance

Lactose intolerance results from the inability to properly produce lactase enzymes. This is the most common type of food intolerance. If you love foods such as bananas, cheese, pineapples or chocolate, histamines can ruin your enjoyment. Individuals who do not produce diamine oxidase enzymes cannot properly process histamine.

Difficulty processing gluten can cause sensitivity and problems processing foods that contain the protein. Symptoms are similar to having celiac disease but the conditions are not interchangeable. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that results in damage to the small intestine.

If you suspect you are suffering from food intolerances, call David P. Yamini, MD for a consultation today.

Posted on behalf of David P. Yamini, MD

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Our Patient Reviews

David P. Yamini, MD

4.9 / 5.0

Based on 58 reviews

Nicole R.

Scheduling was extremely easy with Dr. Yamini's staff, I scheduled my Tuesday appointment on Monday afternoon. The staff and Dr. Yamini were courteous and straightforward - even with new patient paperwork I was out the door within an hour!

Bill C.

Dr. Yamini definitely is a great doctor who is very thorough and detail oriented with his diagnosis. He is very passionate about what he does and was able to answer any question or concern. He took his time before my appointment to look through all the documentation to know exactly what was going on. He definitely was able to put me at ease even though I was very worried. I am very satisfied with his services. Thanks!

Mario O.

He was very gentle about my situation yet did not fail to emphasize about the seriousness that could arise from gastrointestinal problems. Few and far between are as professional and caring as Dr. Yamini and his staff. I was 20 minutes late on Friday evening & they still had me in a room in 5 minutes as a new patient.

Lisa P.

I can’t say enough great things about my first impression of this doctor and his amazing staff! They got me right in and set me up for everything needed. I’ve been looking for the right GI doctor for years having had a very negative experience with another doctor years ago. Dr. Yamini is not only professional, knowledgeable, respectful, and experienced... this guy is “cool” and nice too! His front desk person, Toni was amazing! She was kind, bright, efficient, patient, and positive! ??

Kendall S.

Makes talking about uncomfortable subjects a breeze. Competent and honest: doesn't sell vitamin cleanses and his own probiotics or anything like that. Makes sure your symptoms aren't half-fixed but fully fixed. Gets to the heart of the issue quickly. Good listener. Very sweet receptionist. I hate receiving many phone calls, and she's persistent about making sure you set up an appointment; it was stressing me out. I found the her much easier to connect with once she gave me her cell and said to text.

Babak E.

Thank you Dr. Yamini and Tony. When it comes to patient care and professionalism, I have never received this much care and attention from a physician and the staff. I was able to talk to Dr. Yamini for good period of time allowing me to ask all my questions. Tony you are so cute thank you for scheduling me in last minute.

Kyle K.

I highly recommend Dr. Yamini. He's very personable and actually listens to your issues and concerns, then recommends a reasonable course of action. He was able to properly diagnose my symptoms and get me healthy again. Also his admin Toni is great too, she will help select a facility and verify that your insurance will fully cover. She's really nice and trustworthy as well!

Eric W.

Thorough doctor who cares about his patients, and very meticulous about the details of your ailment. Clearly very knowledgeable and skilled. No wait time for appointments, and the nurse (Toni) is very friendly and follows up appropriately. One of the best doctor experiences I've had and I'd recommend it to anyone.

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