Delayed Allergies | Hidden Allergies

Chicago Allergies Experts Discuss Everything You Need to Know About Food Allergy Testing. Discover Your Hidden Allergies. Call Us At 773.878.7330.


When other allergy testing fails to identify the source of an allergic reaction, it's time to move to the next level of food allergy testing: delayed allergy testing. Delayed Allergy Testing is also referred to as Food Intolerance Test or Food Sensitivity Testing when food items are being tested.   These terms are sometimes used interchangeably to mean the same thing however there is a difference as we will discover below.  But before delving into the details on food allergy testing, let's first take a moment to define what they are.


Unlike immediate allergies, delayed allergies do not make their presence known upon exposure. Instead, the symptoms from delayed allergies will not usually arise until at least 2 hours past the initial exposure to the allergen; sometimes delayed allergy symptoms won't appear for a day or more after exposure, and it is not uncommon for them to appear up to 3 days after exposure.

The result is that it can make it very difficult for you to identify the antigen responsible for triggering the allergic reaction. Hence, delayed allergies have been commonly dubbed "hidden allergies".


Delayed allergy symptoms can affect nearly all systems of the body, including:

  • central nervous system
  • respiratory system
  • musculoskeletal system
  • gastrointestinal system
  • dermal systems (or the skin)

Learn more about delayed allergies and associated symptoms: Allergy Symptoms Reference

The types of symptoms a delayed allergy can cause are vast, which can often make them more difficult to identify. For example, among the delayed allergy symptoms less commonly associated with an allergy are:

  • depression
  • fatigue
  • inflammation
  • lack of mental clarity

What's more, not only do delayed allergy symptoms typically present themselves long after the original exposure to the allergen, but those symptoms can last for a long time after they present themselves -- often for many weeks.

That is to say: delayed allergy symptoms may not go away so quickly or easily on their own. Often intervention is required in order to experience prompt relief and avoid undue pain and suffering.

Some examples of delayed allergens include:

  • poison ivy
  • foods
  • food additives and preservatives (including food colorings and dyes)
  • herbs
  • medications
  • environmental (pollens)
  • chemicals
  • cosmetics
  • metals
  • soaps
  • solvents

One of the most common delayed allergies, however, are to foods -- and may be familiar to some people as "food sensitivities".


For many people, nutrition is not often associated with food allergies, but the reality is that food allergy testing is one of the most common and effective nutrition counseling services that Essential Health Solutions provides.

Food allergies are typically thought of as immediate allergies, in which the symptomatic responses are instantaneous upon ingestion of the food allergen. But there are also food sensitivities, or delayed allergies, to certain foods or components of certain foods, that present all the same issues discussed above.

Moreover, these food-based delayed allergies -- or food sensitivities -- are often "cyclic". In relation to food sensitivities this can mean either of two things:

  • a person may lose certain food sensitivities after not eating that food for a long enough period of time
  • a person may acquire a food sensitivity after eating too much of a certain food

In both cases, identifying the food allergen as soon as possible through food sensitivity testing (often just called food allergy testing) is the best way to re-mediate it and prevent it from recurring.


Delayed allergies need not stay hidden for long, as the modern methods for allergy testing available to us today at Essential Health Solutions in Chicago are state of the art.

In the past, if the allergic reaction wasn't an immediate allergy then the most an allergy test could determine was whether an allergen was indeed responsible for a reaction. But it could not identify what that allergen was. Now we can.

There are 3 types, or pathways, of delayed allergies:

  • Type II - Reactive Antibody
  • Type III - Immune Complex
  • Type IV - T-Cell Mediated

(Type I allergies are immediate allergies.)

Within each of these pathways, the range of possible causes, symptoms, related conditions, and mode of response on the body differs. In the past, this made identifying a delayed allergen very difficult.

Fortunately, the delayed allergy testing Chicago residents have available to them today through our office at Essential Health Solutions is the most advanced allergy test of its kind, and the only one that tests all 3 pathways from a single blood draw.

Here at Essential Health Solutions we are proud to offer our patients a comprehensive array of panels, containing almost 500 substances in all, including:

  • foods 
  • food additives, preservatives, and colorings
  • molds
  • medications
  • environmental pollens, toxins, and pollutants

Found to be 5 times more accurate than all other delayed allergy testing methods available today, the test we use promises fewer than 1% false negative readings and fewer than .1% false positive readings.


If you have symptoms , we recommend scheduling a problem focused exam.  A problem focused exam will provide us the opportunity to review your history, your symptoms, your goals, and complete a physical examination.  This is an important step so that other conditions which may be causing or contributing to the cause of your symptoms can be ruled out/in.

During your exam, we would discuss possible elimination diet, food allergy testing, or other testing that may be needed in order to find out what is causing your symptoms and how to resolve them.

Food allergy testing requires a blood draw that will be scheduled on your subsequent "Testing Visit".  The amount of blood drawn depends on the number of items being tested.

After your test results are analyzed, a report is prepared, providing you a list of all the items tested and each result.  Recommendations for avoidance, including common routes of exposure, and recommendations for recovery and follow-up are made to make sure your plan is working for you.

Oftentimes, some of the foods may be reintroduced at a later date after the allergic food has been eliminated and the body has had a chance to heal and reset --- only testing will let us know.


Find out more about the allergy testing Essential Health Solutions has available, please call us at 773.878.7330 or request an appointment online.