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Immediate and delayed food allergies

The best known and well-studied form of food allergies is called a Type 1 immune reaction. Type 1 food allergies occur in less than 5 percent of the population — mostly in children, They are also called immediate-onset, IgE-mediated and/or atopic food allergies. Usually occurring in the genetically predisposed individual, the immune system begins creating a specific type of antibody called IgE (immunoglobulin IgE) to certain foods. One side of the IgE antibody will recognize and tenaciously bind to the allergic food. The other side of the antibody is attached to a specialized immune cell packed with histamine, called the Mast cell. Primed for action, the IgE antibody now only have to patiently wait for re-exposure to food allergens. When you eat the allergic food the next time, IgE antibodies hungrily latch onto the food. Instantaneously histamine and other allergy-related chemicals — called chemical mediators — are released from the mast cell, rapidly bringing on the unwelcome appearance of stomach cramping, diarrhea, skin rashes, hives, swelling, wheezing or the most dreaded of Type 1 reactions, anaphylaxis.

Type 3 Delayed-Onset Food Allergy… Type 3 immune reactions are much more commonly involved in food allergy than Type 1 reactions. A Type 3 food allergy also involves the immune system. They occur when your immune system creates an overabundance of IgG antibodies to a particular food. The IgG antibodies, instead of attaching to mast cells like IgE antibodies in Type 1 allergies, bind directly to the food as it enters the bloodstream, forming different sizes of so-called circulating immune complexes (food allergens bound to antibodies circulating in the bloodstream). The allergic symptoms in Type 3 immune reactions are delayed in onset, appearing anywhere from within two hours up to several days after consuming allergic foods (Example: migraine headaches characteristically first appear 48 hours after allergic foods are eaten).

Delayed food reactions may emanate from any organ or tissue in the human body, provoking over 100 allergic symptoms and well over 150 different medical diseases. An estimated 60 to 80 million Americans suffer from clinically significant food allergies, most all of whom suffer delayed symptoms.

Immediate vs Delayed Food Allergy… Here’s a overview of the important differences between these two types of food allergies: Once thought to be the only “true” food allergy, immediate food allergy is common in children, but rare in adults. Once thought to be uncommon at best, delayed food allergy is now thought by many investigators to be quite common. In fact, it is the most common form of food allergy in children and adults. Allergic symptoms in immediate reactions occur within two hours of eating. Allergic symptoms in delayed reactions do not appear for at least 2 hours, not infrequently showing up 24 to 48 hours later (there are even reports of delayed symptoms appearing 3 to 7 days after eating). Immediate-onset food allergy involves one or two foods in the diet, as a rule. Delayed reactions characteristically involve 3 to 10 foods, sometimes as many of 20 foods in very allergic, “leaky” individuals. Because a small amount of a single food is involved and the allergic symptoms appear immediately, immediate food allergy is usually self-diagnosed. You eat the food. It causes symptoms quickly. You see the connection. You stop eating it.

Due to a combination of delayed symptoms, multiple foods, and food cravings, Type 3 delayed-onset food allergies are rarely self-diagnosed. To detect the allergic foods here you will need the skills of a health professional who’s smart about food allergies and the use of laboratory immunoassays needed to help you discover what foods you’re allergic to. Immediate food allergy involves foods that are rarely eaten. Unfortunately, delayed food allergy involves commonly eaten foods, foods that you eat every day and may even crave. When people quit eating foods that cause immediate symptoms, they have no withdrawal or detoxification symptoms. They don’t crave or miss these foods. Powerful addictive cravings and disabling withdrawal symptoms are reported in over 30 percent of delayed food allergy patients when they stop eating food. Immediate food allergens primarily affect the skin, airway and the digestive tract. Virtually any tissue, organ or system of the body can be affected by delayed food allergy. This includes the brain, joints, muscles, hormone-producing glands, lungs, kidneys, and nervous system. In fact, delayed-onset food allergy is linked to over 100 medical conditions involving every single part of the body and some 100 different allergic symptoms.

Immediate-onset food allergies are frequently permanent and fixed allergies. Once you develop an allergy to peanuts or shellfish, for example, it’s for life. Delayed-onset food allergies are commonly reversible. If you strictly eliminate the allergic foods for 3 to 6 months, you can bring most of them back into your diet and remain symptom-free. Because delayed-onset food allergies are so often undetected and untreated, they lie behind many of chronic medical conditions of unknown cause. These allergic people suffer for years, even decades, without ever suspecting that their health problems are rooted in what they eat. Immediate-onset food allergy is often a skin-test positive allergy. The doctor can diagnose it with a simple skin test. Delayed food allergies are skin-test negative. The traditional skin tests are poor tests for detecting delayed food allergies. Instead, delayed reactions food often require state-of-the-art blood tests. These tests detect serum levels of IgG antibodies to foods — IgA antibody as well as IgG in gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Because delayed food allergies do not make themselves apparent immediately and can be caused by multiple foods, they are very difficult to detect without sophisticated laboratory testing. There are many forms of allergy testing available such as cytotoxic, computerized cytotoxic, applied kinesiology, vega tests, and others, but each of these tests share the same critical disadvantage… they are frequently unreliable, so the test of choice is the IgG ELISA food allergy test.