Delayed (non-IgE mediated) food allergies
There are two types of food allergy; which type depends on whether or not the allergic reaction is triggered by an antibody called immunoglobulin E (usually called IgE). These antibodies are the chemical signals that set off an acute (sudden) allergic reaction. Dealyed non-IgE mediated food allergies are caused by a reaction involving other components of the immune system apart from IgE antibodies. The reactions do not appear immediately, often taking longer to develop (hours to days).
Symptoms can include one or more of the following:
- dry, itchy and red skin (eczema)
- abdominal discomfort or colic during infancy
- reflux (vomiting) or silent reflux (pain)
- diarrhoea, mucous or blood in stools
- poor weight gain
- more rarely, constipation
We most commonly see delayed (non-IgE mediated) food allergies in infants in the first few months of life. Through detailed history taking, examination, and where appropriate allergy testing, I will assess whether you child is likely to have these symptoms because of a food allergy or because of another condition. I will provide the next steps on how to confirm whether these symptoms are being driven by a delayed food allergy (usually by exclusion of the offending food followed by reintroduction). We ensure that any changes to the diet that we make at this time in the infant or maternal diet (whilst breastfeeding), do not lead to any nutritional deficiencies.