Immune System

Immunoglobulin E, Total

Optimal Result: 6 - 495 IU/ml.

If you have an allergy, your immune system overreacts to an allergen by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. This reaction usually causes symptoms in the nose, lungs, throat, or on the skin. 

Each type of IgE has specific "radar" for each type of allergen. That's why some people are only allergic to cat dander (they only have the IgE antibodies specific to cat dander); while others have allergic reactions to multiple allergens because they have many more types of IgE antibodies.

An immunoglobulin test measures the level of certain immunoglobulins, or antibodies, in the blood. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to fight antigens, such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which is associated mainly with allergic reactions (when the immune system overreacts to environmental antigens such as pollen or pet dander). It is found in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes.

Diagnosis of allergy is most often done by reviewing a person's medical history and finding a positive result for the presence of allergen specific IgE when conducting a skin or blood test.

What does it mean if your Immunoglobulin E, Total result is too low?

Can occur in a rare inherited disease that affects muscle coordination (ataxia-telangiectasia).

What does it mean if your Immunoglobulin E, Total result is too high?

IgE antibody levels are often high in people with allergies.

Elevated concentrations of IgE are generally thought of in the context of allergic disease. However, increases in the amount of circulating IgE can also be found in various other diseases, including primary immunodeficiencies, infections, inflammatory diseases, and malignancies. 

Elevated concentrations of total immunoglobulin E (IgE) may be found in a variety of clinical diseases, including allergic disease, certain primary immunodeficiencies, infections, inflammatory diseases, and malignancies.

Elevated total IgE concentrations may be consistent with a diagnosis of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, provided other laboratory and clinical criteria are fulfilled.

IgE antibodies are found in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes. They cause the body to react against foreign substances such as pollen, fungus spores, and animal dander. They are also involved in allergic reactions to milk, some medicines, and some poisons.

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