Are Your Mystery Symptoms a Delayed Immune Response?

Delayed allergic reactions

 By Dr. Susan Brown and Cameron Vazquez, MPH

Do you suffer from random symptoms that seemingly appear out of nowhere? For instance, do you get headaches from time to time with no obvious trigger or do you have joint pain that comes and goes? These mysterious symptoms may be delayed immune responses. Here, we discuss delayed immune responses and what they indicate about your health.

A breakdown of immune responses

According to Dr. Russell Jaffe, mentor and professional colleague of Dr. Brown, there are 4 categories of immune reactions—types I, II, III, and IV (see the pie chart below). These four types can be categorized into 2 groups: immediate and delayed responses. Type I is classified as an immediate response and types II, III, and IV are delayed responses.

In a previous blog, we discussed immediate immune responses (IgE reactions, otherwise known as allergies) and the characteristics that too many of us are all too familiar withhives, skin rashes, sneezing, itching, swelling, etc. However, the body has 3 other types of immune reactions, all of which are delayed immune responses. In fact, according to Dr. Jaffe, 80% of all immune responses are delayed. These delayed immune responses are often referred to as hypersensitivities.  

Symptoms of delayed immune responses

Delayed immune responses can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms can be headaches or migraines, fibromyalgia, joint pain, digestive disorders, and autoimmune disease. The symptoms that arise depend on where the inflammation affects each individual’s body. Below are the types of disorders found to be associated with delayed immune responses:

Delayed allergic reactions

Why do delayed immune responses occur?

Delayed immune responses suggest a “repair deficit” in the body. They occur because poorly digested food particles leak through the gut (leaky gut), pass the next level of defense (Peyer’s patches), and eventually get into the bloodstream. When the immune system is resilient and at full capacity, any partially digested food particles that make their way into the bloodstream are “soaked up” gently by our immune cells. This is done without producing symptoms and we don’t even notice it.

But when the immune system is overworked and under-supported (i.e., when there is a “repair deficit”), it senses these foreign particles as very threatening and calls for the white blood cells to produce clones to attack these substances. The production of new white blood cell clones with the same immunological fingerprint takes time and thus these reactions are “delayed.” This cloning process may take hours, days, or weeks to manifest depending on the severity of your repair deficit.

The role of repair deficit

Repair deficit plays a part in all delayed immune responses in several ways:

  1. Intestinal wall permeability: An intestinal wall that is well-repaired and with tight junctions does not allow for undigested materials to pass through. This “leakage” would then be prevented.
  2. Peyer’s patches function: When these lymphoid patches are well-repaired and effective, they can neutralize the foreign particle before it makes it into the bloodstream.
  3. When the immune system is rested and not overworked, it would likely be capable of soaking up the foreign particle without calling for assistance from white blood cell clones.
  4. The immune system itself, however, can be weakened by repair deficit in numerous ways

Health indications of delayed immune responses

Delayed immune responses say a lot about your current health status and they impact the body in several ways.  

  • Delayed immune responses burden the immune system and waste its finite energy.
  • The immune system has 3 main jobs: to defend the body against foreign invaders, to communicate, and to direct repair. If the body is overburdened by delayed immune responses, it will not have the capacity to carry out these actions in full. The “repair” action of the immune system is often sacrificed.
  • A delayed immune response indicates that the immune system is already unable to repair the gut. If more and more foreign invaders leak through the gut because of this lack of repair, then the immune system must direct its energy to fight foreign invaders, therefore, limiting its capacities for directing communication and repair.
  • This state of disrepair, therefore, leads to more foreign invaders which then cause more delayed immune responses.
  • Additionally, delayed reactions cause a highly inflammatory state where the body may not only be attacking the foreign particle, but also attacking itself. Lymphocytes are in “seek and destroy” mode in which they release chemicals that cause harsh symptoms. This action can link delayed hypersensitivities and autoimmune disease.
Leaky gut


How you can help yourself:

While several laboratories have tried to develop tests for delayed hypersensitivities, here at Alkaline for Life®, Dr. Brown has found the Lymphocyte Response Assay by ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies to be the most valuable. If you would like to learn more about the Lymphocyte Response Assay created by Dr. Russell Jaffe, we invite you to visit ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies website here


Alkaline for Life® Protocol for Delayed Hypersensitivities:

  • Avoid all known reactants.
  • Seek a test for delayed immune responses when possible.
  • Follow the Alkaline for Life Diet® to energize and support cellular functioning.
  • Supplement with key nutrients to enhance immune functioning, reduce allergic response, lessen inflammation, and help heal a “leaky gut.”


Supplement Protocol:


Stay tuned, this is a complicated topic. We will be diving further into the growing epidemic of delayed hypersensitivities and autoimmune diseases in the future!