Immunoglobulin E Blood Test, Total, IgE
The Immunoglobulin E Blood Test, Total, IgE, measures the total IgE antibody levels in the blood to assess the likelihood of experiencing allergic reactions.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Immunoglobulin E Blood Test, Total, IgE, to measure the blood's immunoglobulin E (Total IgE) levels to assess the likelihood of experiencing allergic reactions. Immunoglobulins, commonly known as antibodies, are vital to the body's immune system. These immunoglobulins are proteins produced by plasma cells in the immune system as a response to allergens (dust, pollen, mold, or foods) that the body views as "harmful."
When an individual becomes infected or exposed to an allergen, their immune system recognizes the protein or substance as foreign. As a result, it stimulates the plasma cells to produce specific immunoglobulins E (antibodies) that combat the invaders. Suppose the individual is exposed to the allergen again through direct skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion. In that case, the immune system "recognizes" the allergen encountered. These antibodies cause a chemical known as histamine to be released, triggering an allergic reaction.
What does this test measure?
This Immunoglobulin Blood Test screens one of the most common immunoglobulins, IgE. This immunoglobulin type represents a specific group of antibodies with a unique function. This test screens for the following immunoglobulin:
- Immunoglobulin E (Total IgE) – IgE is found primarily in very small traces in the blood. IgE is associated with allergies, allergic diseases, and with parasitic infections. Therefore, it is also often included in many allergy blood test panels.
Individuals should note that if they want to determine if they are allergic to a specific substance or substances, allergen-specific allergy tests are available.
What causes elevated IgE levels?
Conditions that cause elevated IgE levels may include:
- Allergic conditions (asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, urticaria)
- Autoimmune and inflammatory disorders
- Blood-related cancers
- Immune deficiencies
- Infections (parasitic infection, HIV, CMV, Epstein-Barr virus, tuberculosis)
Why do I need an Immunoglobulin E Blood Test?
Individuals may order an Immunoglobulin E Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms associated with an allergic reaction. Typical signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Congestion or runny nose
- Increased heart rate
- Itchy skin rash or hives
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Loss of consciousness
- Low blood pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sore throat
- Tingling in or around the mouth
- Trouble breathing or wheezing
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