what is a food sensitivity?

In our two previous posts, we discussed what exactly is meant by a food allergy as well as a food intolerance. Today, we’re going to discuss food sensitivities.

Food Sensitivity

Now with the word sensitivity, things are starting to look up. It’s not being misused as much as the other words; however, it has even less scientific meaning than intolerance, if that’s possible.

Sensitivity is often used by the average Jane to indicate that she knows that she just doesn’t do well with a particular food, but she doesn’t quite know what to call it. The medical community has picked up on this and run with it in the form of gluten sensitivity. They don’t know what to call non-celiac gluten reactions, so now we are starting to hear them called gluten sensitivities.

Fortunately, in this context, the proper word is being used. However, that is only because the word sensitivity is so broad that it covers absolutely everything. In fact, it also covers celiac disease, which is logically a type of sensitivity to gluten. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we need to be clear about what the word sensitivity means.

Making sense of it all

At this point you have a much better idea about the confusion behind the words allergy, intolerance, and sensitivity. That’s helpful, but if we’re going to educate the world about our reactions to food then we need a consistent, scientific, and meaningful language with which to converse about it. We need a foundation on which we can build. Otherwise these topics are going to continue to dwell in the cellar of our medical system.