Allergies Part II: Delayed-onset Reactions

Last year we wrote Allergies Part I, which was an extensive overview of what allergies are and how they can seriously affect health.  For a review of this article look at our website under medical resources.  (

This year we are going to be looking more extensively at food sensitivities and how delayed-onset reactions can have a negative effect on health.

What are delayed-onset reactions?

When a separate non-anaphylactic reaction occurs within 2-72 hours after exposure, it is considered a delayed-onset reaction.  Most people believe that these are due to foods. However since allergies are cumulative it may also be from environment allergens as well as insect reactions. This reaction is mediated by the IgG antibody and can cause a variety of symptoms, not just the common ones seen in seasonal allergies or anaphylaxis.

What are the IgG and IgE antibodies?

Immunoglobulin, also know as an antibody, resides in the blood, which is why the most thorough testing for food allergies is done with a blood test.  Antibodies are the body’s natural defense against fungus, viruses, bacteria, cancer cells and allergens. They bind to these substances so that the body can detect and kill them.  The major types of antibodies are: IgA, IgM, IgE, IgG and IgD. But for the purpose of allergies we will just address IgE and IgG.

IgG antibodies are found in most body fluids and are the smallest and most abundant immunoglobulin. They fight bacterial and viral infections as well as allergens. They are the only type of antibody able to cross the placenta in pregnant women to help protect the baby.

IgE antibodies are found in the lungs, skin, and mucus membranes. They react to foreign substances such as pollen, fungus, medications, poisons, animal dander, and food items. Patients with allergies and children with anaphylactic reactions will have high levels of IgE antibodies.

What are the most common foods associated in delayed-onset reactions

  • Cow’s milk
  • Wheat gluten (gliadin)
  • Gluten (in wheat, oats, rye and barley)
  • Yeast
  • Egg whites
  • Cashews
  • Egg yolks
  • Garlic
  • Soy beans
  • Brazil nuts
  • Almonds
  • Corn
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pineapple
  • Sesame seeds
  • Kale
  • Navy beans

What are the symptoms of delayed-onset reactions?

  • Sore throat
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Achy joints
  • Skin conditions (eczema, rash, hives)
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Gas, bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Aggressive or hyperactive behavior in children
  • Colic and increased spit up
  • Mental fogginess

Since delayed-onset reactions are less severe than anaphylactic allergies what happens if I ignore them?

When inflammation is present in the body and is left untreated the immune system is in a state of constant hyperactivity making the body feel as if it is working in over- drive. An over-worked immune system may be more susceptible to the many autoimmune disease reactions and inflammatory conditions we see today. Whether this is the complete cause or whether this simply makes it worse is unknown.

Autoimmune diseases that have been linked to a hyperactive immune system include the following:

  • Thyroid disease
  • Infertility
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Adrenal disease

Inflammatory diseases that are made worse by constant inflammation in the body include some of the following:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Crohn’s
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis (Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis)
  • Gout 

What do delayed-onset reactions look like in children? 

In children, food sensitivities can often be interpreted as poor behavior.  Children who consistently don’t feel well and are over-tired tend to act out in many ways.  Some of the conditions that have improved by testing and removing sensitivities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Poor sleep
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Headaches
  • Tummy aches and colic
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Poor immune system
  • Sensory disorders
  • Ear infections (due to improper drainage)

Can I self-test?

Self-testing is possible, but certainly not easy, which is why most patients will opt for blood testing. The following self-test requires strict adherence to the process with absolutely no cheating which most people find almost impossible.

How to self-test:

For 30 days eliminate all foods found in the above list of common foods associated with delayed-onset reactions. Keep a detailed journal of how you feel during the time these foods have been eliminated.

After 30 days, start adding in one food at a time. Re-introduce only this food for about 3 days. If you do not experience symptoms on the first day of the test then double the quantity on the second day. If no reaction occurs then you can move to the next food. If you do have a reaction to the food, put it on your list of foods to avoid. Remember to keep journaling.

Repeat this process for each new food item until you developed a list of foods you can eat and foods to avoid.

For more specific instructions, ask our office to provide you with a specific elimination diet.  It can also be nice to do a Medi-clear cleanse at the same time to detox your body of inflammation and also mildly cleanse your liver.

How does the blood testing work and what do the results tell me?

When doing blood testing for food allergies we require that you are not currently suffering from seasonal allergies or have recently had a cold or flu. If you have taken any antihistamines 24 hours prior to the test, you may have false readings.  We generally don’t test children under four, but there are some exceptions.  For severe cases in children younger than four there is a heel stick test or we test mom and treat the child according to the positive results on mom’s test.  This is not a fasting blood test.

Our blood panel tests 190 food allergens including most foods as well as spices, yeast and sugars. The results are then carefully examined by one of our doctors to determine the most effective plan for treatment. This will included a recommended diet and the best approach to dealing with your specific allergens.

At In Health Clinic we are always available to discuss your health concerns and would be happy to help you decide whether or not this test is right for you.


Currently the diagnosis for ADD and ADHD is becoming more and more common for students and children with extra activity.  The most common form of treatment is to give stimulant type drugs that enable the children to focus and harness their energy.  However we find that stimulants are not only hard on children’s health but also not a good long term fix.  What most parents want to know is what are the healthier and more of the long term options.  The answer is holistic medicine and diets can actually be a really great option to manage an ADD child.

The first option is diet.  Numerous amounts of children with ADD or ADHD have food sensitivities of some kind.  There are two types of immunoglobulin’s IgE and IgG.  IgE antibodies are the ones that cause an immediate allergic reaction.  An example of this is a child that eats a peanut and then has an immediate allergic reaction which can put them in danger of not being able to breath.  IgG antibodies are a delayed sensitivity that can cause numerous symptoms. The symptoms include but are not limited to: fatigue, behavior modification, headaches, Sore-throat, loose stool, constipation, mood changes and decrease in immunity due to body inflammation.

The second option is homeopathy.  Homeopathic medicine is very effective in treating not only ADD but also other childhood behavioral disorders.  This is a type of treatment that is easy for kids to take and produces remarkable results.  An example of Homeopathy is taking a specific symptom or personality and diluting compounds that would enhance that symptom.  By diluting the compound only a mild remnant remains and this stimulates a negative feedback loop causing the body to stop the over active symptoms of ADD.  This reaction helps the body to teach itself to adapt to its lack of concentration by knowing when it’s time to focus and when there is an appropriate time to be energetic.  This can be a very empower solution for both parents and child.

The third option is daily activity modification.  For most of us this can be very challenging as a parent since it requires you to get your child on a schedule that can sometimes be very strict.  This schedule would include exercise, a set bedtime and scheduled study or homework time.

Our office can help with any and all of these elements. We would love to answer any questions you have.