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.  (https://in-healthclinic.com/allergies-part-i/)

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
  • ADD/ADHD
  • 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.

Don’t Let Sleep Issues Keep You Up At Night!

 

How well are you sleeping?  Your sleep is an important health indicator so it’s important to determine if a disruption in sleep patterns is an isolated incident or a symptom of something more serious.

 

In today’s busy world, most people believe that feeling tired is just part of life and something they have to deal with.   After all, there are lots of reasons to be tired; sick kids, challenging job, late-night television, holiday demands, and we all know that the list goes on.  But if you are constantly in need of coffee or find yourself falling asleep the moment you sit down, you may need something as simple as a few more hour of sleep to recover.  However, it’s important to rule out a more serious condition as the offender.

 

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2009 Sleep in America Poll, we get only about six hours of shut-eye on weeknights.  This increases to seven hours on weekends.  However, most adults need seven to nine hours nightly to ensure good health.  So before you blame your busy life for lack of sleep, take a careful look at these typical “Sleep Offenders”.

 

Offender:  Vitamin and/or Mineral Deficiency

Having low levels of B vitamins will cause anxiousness, fatigue and weakness since it helps nourish the nerves and tissue.  Vitamin D deficiency will also cause fatigue and lowered immune function.  Low levels of Calcium and Magnesium can cause leg and muscle cramping that will make it difficult to relax and go to sleep.

Solution:

Our complete Vitamin and Mineral testing will give us all the information we need to develop a supplement regimen to address your needs.

 

Offender:  Your Adrenal Glands

Many of us live in a constant state of stress resulting in what is known as the fight or flight response.  This response should last only seconds to a couple of minutes.  However, if this response continues, the adrenal gland that sits above your kidney will get over-worked and the hormone levels will drop putting you into a constant state of adrenal fatigue. The adrenal hormone, known as Cortisol, becomes so low that you feel tired constantly or wake in the morning only to feel un-refreshed.  If you wake at 3 a.m., +/- an hour, at least every other night and get sleepy or cranky if you don’t eat regular meals, this could be the culprit.

Solution:

We are able to treat this very successfully with a combination of supplements and stress reduction techniques. A simple saliva test can determine your cortisol levels as well as your hormone levels.  The test is done at four different times during the day so that we can see your rhythm over the whole daily cycle.

 

Offender:  The Blues

People with depression may be more likely to experience fatigue.  If your blues occur more in the wintertime you may have Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD).

 

 

Solution:

Using a full spectrum bulb and turning it on each morning can be very helpful.  In many cases getting 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise can minimize the blues and get your sleep patterns back on track.  If neither of these solutions is effective, we can refer you to the appropriate professional.

 

Offender:  Food

Food-sensitivity isn’t just a trendy buzzword.  Many people are suffering significant symptoms from eating foods that their body reacts to.  This means by simply avoiding certain foods you can bring the body back into harmony and feel better.

Solution:

Testing is done with a simple blood test that is often covered by insurance.

 

Offender: Caffeine

Kicking the caffeine habit is your first line of defense. That afternoon pick-me-up may actually make you sleepier as it dehydrates cells and tissue causing fatigue.

Solution:

Increase your water intake. Sample the wonderful selection of herbal teas that are now available. Our favorites are peppermint or pomegranate to give you the pick-me-up you may need in the mid afternoon.

 

Offender:  Underlining illness

Viral illnesses that basic blood work may not pick up, such as Lyme’s disease, can cause chronic fatigue.  Estrogen dominance, otherwise known as low progesterone, can also result in fatigue. Sleep apnea may be something that is going undiagnosed and can easily be determined with a sleep study.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be a combination of multiple health issues.

Solution:

If you have tried all the above techniques we can refer you to the appropriate health care professional to help you determine your exact condition.

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