Lamb (Meat) Allergy IgE Blood Test
The Lamb (Meat) Allergy IgE Blood Test measures the IgE antibody levels in the blood to detect a food allergy to lamb meat.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Lamb (Meat) Allergy IgE Blood Test measures the IgE antibody levels in the blood to detect a food allergy to lamb meat. Lamb is red meat from domesticated sheep less than a year old. Most lamb is brought to market at around 6 to 8 months of age. Sheep over the age of 1 year is known as mutton.
Although an allergy to lamb meat is uncommon, some hypersensitive individuals may experience a potentially severe allergic reaction after consuming lamb meat or lamb-based products. In addition, due to cross-reactivity, individuals with an allergy to lamb may also be allergic to other mammalian meat, such as beef, venison, pork, or rabbit. Therefore, this Lamb (Meat) Allergy IgE Blood Test may help screen for an allergy to lamb and aid healthcare providers in developing a management and treatment plan.
What causes an allergy to lamb meat?
Once an individual with a lamb allergy ingests lamb or its products, it triggers a response in an individual's immune system. The immune system views specific proteins in lamb meat as harmful and produces IgE antibodies to combat these invaders. Unfortunately, these antibodies cause the chemical histamine to be released, which will cause the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.
Another cause for allergic reactions to lamb meat is if the individual has a history of tick bites, specifically the Lone Star tick. The Lone Star tick is known to cause sensitivity to alpha-gal, a sugar molecule found in mammals such as lamb, beef, pork, rabbit, and venison. In addition, alpha-gal can be found in red meat and products made from mammals, including gelatin, cow's milk, and milk products. The alpha-gal molecule is found in the saliva of the Lone Star tick, usually after feeding on the blood of mammals like cows, pigs, sheep, and deer. Individuals that have been bitten by this tick, especially those bitten repeatedly, become sensitized and start to produce IgE antibodies that cause an allergic reaction known as Alph-Gal syndrome (AGS). AGS symptoms may occur 3-8 hours after consuming red meat and even medications containing alpha-gal.
When should I order a Lamb Meat Allergy Blood Test?
Individuals may order this Lamb Meat Allergy Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms related to a lamb 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 lamb or red meat allergy may experience the following symptoms:
- Tingling sensation near or around the mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itching or hives
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing or wheezing
A serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may sometimes occur. 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 products should I avoid if I have a lamb allergy?
Individuals allergic to lamb meat or red meat should avoid the following products:
- Red meat (such as beef, pork, lamb, venison, rabbit, etc.)
- Meat broth, stock, gravy, or bouillon
- Cow's milk
- Milk products
- Canned soups and stews
- Products made from or cooked in mammalian fat
- Certain meat dishes
- Frozen meals that may contain red meat
- Certain medications
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