Casein Allergy Blood Test, IgE
The Casein Allergy Blood Test measures IgE antibody levels in the blood to screen for an allergy to the milk protein casein.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Casein Allergy Blood Test to measure IgE antibody levels in the blood to screen for an allergy to the milk protein casein. Casein is a protein found in milk or dairy products, making up about 80% of the proteins in milk. The casein protein also gives milk its defining white color. However, some individuals are sensitive to this protein, and their immune system overreacts. This condition is often confused with lactose intolerance because they share some symptoms, and both are caused by milk consumption. However, besides gastrointestinal discomfort, allergy to casein can be life-threatening in severe cases, so it is essential to distinguish whether you have a true allergy to casein or lactose intolerance.
What causes an allergic reaction to casein?
Once an individual with a casein allergy ingests a product that contains dairy (milk), it triggers a response in their immune system. The immune system views the casein protein in these products as harmful and produces IgE antibodies to combat these invaders. Unfortunately, these antibodies cause the chemical histamine to be released, which will induce the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.
When should I order a Casein Allergy Blood Test?
Although most dairy-related allergies occur in children and are outgrown as they age, some individuals do not outgrow these symptoms, which continue into adulthood. Therefore, individuals may order this Casein Allergy Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms related to a casein allergy. Allergy symptoms vary depending on the individual, ranging from mild to severe reactions. Most food-related symptoms occur within two hours of ingestion; however, they frequently begin within minutes. In addition, the response can be delayed by four to six hours or even longer in some rare cases.
An allergic reaction may affect the skin, intestinal lining, and air pathways. Individuals with a casein allergy may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Tingling sensation near or around the mouth
- Abdominal discomfort
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itching or hives
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing or wheezing
A severe, possibly life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur in some cases. An anaphylactic response requires immediate medical attention. Signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
- Rapid or increased heart rate
- Swollen throat or lump making it difficult to breathe
- Low blood pressure
- Extreme dizziness or loss of consciousness
What other food products should I avoid if I have a casein allergy?
Individuals allergic to casein should not only avoid milk which is the most common cause of an allergic reaction but also avoid other dairy-based products, including:
- Milk in all forms (whole, low-fat, skim, or buttermilk)
- Dairy products like cheese, yogurt, pudding
- Margarine, butter, butter flavoring, ghee
- Baked goods and desserts
- Half-and-half and non-dairy creamers
- Frozen desserts (ice cream, gelato, and sherbert)
- Some specialty beverages (smoothies, lattes, milkshakes)
- Candy (chocolate, nougat, and caramel candies)
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