According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology "more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year".  In fact, the number of people affected by all types of allergies are on the rise.  At Essential Health Solutions, we are experts at detecting allergies (even the "hidden" ones) so you can take control of your symptoms and get back to your life.

At Essential Health Solutions, we offer many allergy test options to detect Immediate Allergies, Food Sensitivities, Hidden Allergies aka Delayed Allergies, Allergies caused by environmental factors such as pollen, pollution, toxins or molds, and Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities caused by Food Additives, Colorings, or Preservatives.  With a simple blood test, followed up by individualized nutrition counseling, quick and lasting relief from allergies can be accomplished.

Our skilled team members are experts at detecting allergies.  Don't Guess About Your Health, Get The Facts and Request an Appointment Online to be evaluated for Allergies or learn more about our Allergy Testing Services below.

 

 OUR ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT ALLERGY TESTING

WHAT IS AN ALLERGY? 

An allergy is an abnormal reaction by the immune system to everyday elements. The immune system holds the job of protecting the body from illness and infection. Allergic reactions occur when the immune system responds to an ordinary, everyday element as though it were a threat to the body's health and well-being. When an ordinary, everyday element produces such a reaction, it is termed an "allergen". Not all allergens have the same effect on all people's bodies.

 

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ALLERGIES

 There are four different types of allergic reactions, divided according to what's termed the "mechanism of tissue injury": or the type of effect the allergen is having on the body.

 

TYPE 1: IMMEDIATE ALLERGIES (IgE Antibody Mediated)

 

A Type 1 allergic reaction is the rarest and most dangerous. It is an immediate reaction that occurs 0-2 hours after exposure to the allergen. It is always acute, meaning severe. Another term for such an allergy is anaphylaxis, and if you've ever heard of "anaphylactic shock" such as from a peanut allergy, then you are familiar with a Type 1 allergy.

 Because immediate allergy testing differs from allergy testing for the other 3 types (all lumped together as "delayed allergies") see the tab above for more information on Immediate Allergy Testing.

 The other three types of allergic reactions, all delayed allergic reactions, are the following:

 

  • Type 2: Antibody-mediated

  • Type 3: Immune Complex

  • Type 4: Cell-mediated

    TYPE 2: ANTIBODY-MEDIATED ALLERGIES (IgA, IgM, and IgG Antibody Mediated)

    In this type of allergy, also known as a "Cytotoxic" reaction, when the body is exposed to an allergen, the allergen attaches to the body's cells, damaging them and causing the body to perceive those cells now as "antigens" or toxic, foreign substances the body must attack. The immune system then produces "antibodies" to combat these antigens, hence producing the symptoms of an allergic reaction. This mechanism applies in the case of hypersensitivity reactions to foods and inhaled allergens, or aeroallergens (e.g. ragweed), as well.

    TYPE 3: IMMUNE-COMPLEX ALLERGIES

    In this type of allergic reaction, the foreign element in the blood (the allergen) binds with with antibodies (rather than binding with the body's own cells as in a Type 2 reaction). Then it proceed to bind with the smaller blood vessel walls in a certain part of the body, such as the skin, where a symptomatic reaction like local inflammation and blood vessel hemorrhaging will then occur. Allergies to medication are commonly Type 3 reactions.

    TYPE 4: CELL-MEDIATED ALLERGIES

    These are the most delayed of the delayed allergies, often occurring many hours after exposure to an allergen. Similarly to Type 2 allergies, in Type 4 allergies the allergen binds with the body's own cells which in turn triggers an immune system response. However the initial exposure to the allergen only activates the immune response. It isn't until the antibodies that the immune system releases come in contact with the allergen that the experience of the allergic reaction in the form of overt symptoms occurs.

    For more on this subject, refer to our Delayed Allergy tab above.

    ALLERGY SYMPTOMS

    Exposure to an allergen that can cause adverse symptoms, or "allergic reactions" can occur a number of different ways, including:

 

  • inhalation

  • ingestion

  • physical contact (with the skin)

    The range of allergy symptoms is extensive -- spanning from the relatively benign (e.g. runny/stuffy nose) to the potentially debilitating (e.g. cramps) to the downright dangerous (e.g. anaphylactic shock) -- and can be explored in-depth on our convenient Allergy Symptoms Reference Page where you can explore the four types of allergies in greater detail, including the symptoms, causes, and conditions associated with each.

    ALLERGY TESTING AT ESSENTIAL HEALTH SOLUTIONS

    Not all delayed allergy testing tests for Type II, III, and IV allergies. However, at Essential Health Solutions, we provide all the blood allergy testing that you need, including Types I-IV: that is, both for immediate and delayed allergies ( including all three pathways).

    There are many ways to test for allergies. An immediate allergy, for example can be testing by exposing the skin to a potential allergen, or through a blood test. All the allergy testing we conduct at our functional medicine center in Chicago is blood testing.  The test we use has been measured to be five times more accurate than other allergy tests available today, with less than 1% false negative readings and less than 0.1% false positive readings.

    ALLERGY TESTING FOR CHICAGO RESIDENTS

    Call us to find out more or to schedule an Allergy Test today, at 773.878.7330.
    We are located in Chicago but are happy to accommodate patients from outside our area or refer you to someone near you - Call our Office for more information.