What Does High IgE Mean?

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IgE, otherwise known as Immunoglobulin E, is an antibody cell released by the immune system when an allergic reaction takes place either through foods or inhaled particles. The IgE number indicates allergies may be present.

The Test

  • The results of an IgE test indicate to what degree the body reacts to various types of foods or particles and other allergies. A low score does not necessarily indicate a food is safe, and a high or medium score indicates concern.

Immediate Hypersensitivity

  • IgE reactions to allergies occur swiftly--anywhere between minutes or hours after the allergen enters the system. IgE reactions are typically easy to detect because of their swift response.

For Life

  • IgE reactions to allergies are commonly untreatable and will remain in the patient for life. They primarily affect the skin, lungs, and digestive tract.

Inhalant Allergies

  • All inhalant allergies are IgE reactions. Inhalant allergies are also difficult to detect without specifically testing for them. Common inhalant allergies are pollens, animal dander, dust mites and molds.

No Reaction

  • Foods not eaten two or three weeks prior to an allergy test may not provoke a reaction because there are no allergens to react to. The IgE test is also not infallible--it is just a “snap shot” of a person’s allergies and reactions.

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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