Meat Allergy IgE Blood Test
The Meat Allergy IgE Blood Test measures the IgE antibody levels in the blood to help detect an allergy to various types of meat, such as beef, chicken, and pork.
The Meat Allergy IgE Blood Test includes:
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Meat Allergy IgE Blood Test to measure the IgE antibody levels in the blood to detect an allergy to various types of meat, such as beef, pork, and chicken. Food allergens are prevalent in the United States. It is estimated that food allergies currently affect about 5% of adults and 8% of children. Although allergies may appear to be hereditary, whether a child will inherit a food allergy or if siblings will have similar allergic responses can not be predicted. Therefore, this test may help screen for an allergy to certain meats and aid healthcare providers in developing a management and treatment plan.
What causes an allergic reaction to certain meats?
Although any food can cause an allergy, only a few common foods have been characterized as causing most food allergies. However, even exposure to minimal amounts of these foods may trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. Food allergies are primarily broken into two categories, either IgE-mediated or non-IgE-mediated.
- IgE-mediated food allergies are activated by an immune system response that produces IgE antibodies to combat harmful substances. This type of reaction happens within minutes or hours of ingesting certain foods. IgE-mediated allergies are associated with skin rashes and respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.
- Non-IgE-mediated food allergies, often referred to as food sensitivity, are triggered by other immune system factors unrelated to IgE antibodies. Unlike, IgE-mediated allergic reactions, these types of responses do not occur directly after the ingestion of the food and usually cause gastrointestinal-related symptoms such as vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea.
Meat allergies can arise at any age. Some people are more vulnerable than others, such as those with past infections, eczema, certain blood types, tick bites, or co-existing food allergies. Beef and pork allergies are usually associated with alpha galactose (alpha-gal). Alpha-gal is a carbohydrate particle present in most red meat. Chicken or poultry allergy is even less common than those involving red meat. Usually, if an allergy occurs, it is the result of the poultry being undercooked. Individuals with a chicken allergy are usually also allergic to fish and possibly shrimp.
Consuming certain meats may trigger an individual's immune system response. This response is because the body views certain substances as harmful and produces IgE antibodies to combat these invaders. Unfortunately, these antibodies cause histamine to be released, resulting in the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.
When should I order a Meat Allergy IgE Blood Test?
Individuals may order this Meat Allergy IgE Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms related to a food allergy. Allergy symptoms vary depending on the individual, ranging from mild to severe reactions. The majority of food allergy 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 food allergies may experience the following symptoms:
- Tingling sensation near or around the mouth
- Abdominal discomfort
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itching or hives
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or wheezing
An extreme, 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
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