Although in excess of an estimated 145 million people suffering allergies in the United States, very little is known about why they are increasing at such a rapid rate.
The term allergy is used when an immunological mechanism has been defined or suspected causing an immune reaction.
There are two types of reaction:
- An IgE Mediated reaction
- A non-IgE Mediated reaction
This is the most well known but is estimated to only equate to 2% of all allergies.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) are antibodies produced by the immune system. 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.
How Do You Identify An IgE Mediated Allergy?
An IgE-mediated allergy is normally initially identified by the speed of the reaction – anything from immediate to up to 2 hours reaction. These kinds of symptoms require medical attention.
How Do You Test For An IgE Mediated Allergy?
The normal test is a skin prick test (or RAST Test) but also IgE blood tests are often commonly used.
It is important to note that an IgE blood test will only identify IgE-mediated allergies – accounting for only 2% of all allergies.
A non IgE-mediated allergy (also known as an intolerance): these equate for the other 43% of estimated allergies.
It is believed that Non IgE-mediated allergies are a reaction at a cellular level, in particular the T cells. But research continues into these kinds of reactions.
How Do You Identify A Non IgE-Mediated Allergy?
The symptoms can be identical to those of IgE mediated allergies, but the reaction time is usually slower from an hour up to in some cases, 48 hours.
How Do You Test For A Non IgE-Mediated Allergy?
There is currently no agreement within experts of the best method on testing for these types of allergies, although it is agreed that an IgE blood test will not identify non-IgE reacting allergies.
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