Many common allergies can be associated with immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE is an antibody created by the immune response to a substance usually considered harmless.
IgE is crucial in allergic responses but can sometimes be high for other reasons, such as inflammatory diseases or chronic infections. This is why additional tests may be needed if you test for high IgE levels, depending on symptoms.
Adults and children with asthma are also more likely to have high levels of IgE. This is why some treatments for asthma may include an anti-IgE medication to lower the amounts of this antibody and its effects. An at-home allergy test can come in useful to help determine whether this may or may not be helpful in your case.
What is the role of IgE?
IgE is produced by a type of immune white blood cell called B cell lymphocytes. They are typically activated to help your body to fight infection.
However, exposure to allergens such as dust or pollen can also trigger the body to produce and release IgE in some people.
IgE antibodies bind to the allergen in these situations and create an inflammatory response that can look like allergy symptoms such as a skin rash, sneezing and swollen lips.
Common allergens include:
- Animal Dander
- Dust mites
When your body releases IgE, lots of other immune responses will follow. IgE is believed to activate and bind to several types of immune cells, such as:
- Mast cells
which can overstimulate your immune system.
What causes higher levels of IgE?
The most common cause of high levels of IgE in allergic conditions. Hige IgE levels cannot confirm a specific allergy diagnosis; they can only suggest you have an allergy.
However, antibody levels can vary, and your IgE level may be within the normal range even if you have an allergy.
There can be many reasons for high abnormal immunoglobulin IgE levels, including:
Allergic Conditions – such as:
- Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever)
- Allergic Asthma
- Aptopic Dermatitis
- Allergic Bronchopulmonary Asperfillosis
- Allergic Fungal Rhinosinusitis
Infections – such as
- Epstein-Barr Virus
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Parasitic Infections such as Ascariasis, Schistosomiasis or Strongyloidiasis
Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases such as
- Celiac Disease
- Churg-Strauss Syndrome
- Kawasaki Disease
- Kimura Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
What is the treatment for high levels of IgE?
There is a lot of scientific research being undertaken at the moment around developing new drugs or methods that would alleviate allergic diseases that lead to a high level of IgE in a safe, effective and convenient manner.
The primary method for reducing IgE levels involved achieving specific binding and neutralising free IgE in serum to prevent it from binding receptors on target cells.
An overreaction causes allergies to one or more allergens, so you are likely to experience symptoms every time you are exposed to these allergens. High levels of IgE can therefore support a diagnosis of allergies, and anti-IgE medication may be helpful to control your symptoms.
The advantage of taking a Fit2Fly at-home allergy test is that it can quickly identify whether the levels of IgE in your blood are higher than usual. If they are, you should contact your doctor to discuss the results, as professionals must only make medical decisions.