Last updated on October 22nd, 2019 at 04:07 pm
Total IgE Test
The immune system plays a critical role in protecting the body against pathogens and any threats. Antibodies are created when the body detects a certain threat. The antibodies are then sent to the location where the threat was detected – and they start to fight against the pathogen that has entered the body.
While the immune system reacts to infection by fighting against bacteria, parasites, and fungus, it can also produce proteins known as immunoglobulins that react to a threat and causes what is known as an allergic reaction. In some cases, allergic reactions would be mild, but there are cases where allergies can cause life-threatening complications, including an anaphylactic shock.
Total IgE Test Instructions
What Is IgE?
IgE, or Immunoglobulin E, is a type of protein that is classified as an antibody. Five different classes of immunoglobulins exist, including A, M, E, D, and G. There are small amounts of these proteins in the blood usually, but when the immune system detects a threat and identifies it as an allergen, more of these proteins may be created.
Plasma cells are responsible for producing immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulin E is the specific type of antibody that reacts to allergies. This would include conditions like asthma. In some cases, this particular type of antibody is also created to fight against parasites that have caused an infection in the body.
Why Test For Total IgE Instead Of Specific IgE?
There are different tests that can be used when measuring IgE in a patient’s blood. A person can obtain a total IgE test, or rather prefer a specific test that will try to identify particular allergies instead of providing a reading on the total IgE that is present in the blood.
It is often advised to prefer a total IgE test, however. This is because the test can provide valuable details on the overall quantity of these proteins that are in the patient’s body. In turn, a physician will be able to use the test results to detect diseases that are related to allergies.
When testing for a specific IgE, the overall quantity is not provided, and additional diseases that the patient suffers from would not be detected.
What It Can Test For
A total IgE test can provide a patient with details on the quantity of Immunoglobulin E antibodies that are present in the blood. This can also help a physician determine if the patient may be suffering from an allergic disease. The data provided can then help the physician identify more specific IgE tests to be performed, such as to identify cat allergies, dog allergies, or even allergic reactions to specific foods. Other conditions that may also cause an elevated total IgE level include allergic asthma, atopic eczema, Hyper IgE syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, and even, in some cases, a parasitic infection.