All About the IgE Food Allergy Test
Allergy is widespread and affects approximately a quarter of the population in the UK at some time in their lives.
The term allergy is used to describe a condition where the immune system over reacts to a substance which is not normally harmful in itself. The result can range from a collection of inconvenient symptoms to a disease or even a life threatening reaction.
An allergic person’s immune system believes allergens to be damaging, so it produces a special type of antibody (IgE) to attack the invading material. This stimulates other invasion fighting blood cells to release further chemicals which together cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
The most common symptoms of an allergy are
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes, ears, lips, throat and palate
- Severe wheezing
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus problems
- A sore palate
- Mouth ulcers
- Nettle-like rash.
- Sickness, vomiting, & diarrhoea
- Increase in secretions
In addition conditions such as asthma, eczema, IBS and headaches as well as symptoms diffuse symptoms such as lethargy, loss of concentration and sensitivity to everyday foods are also considered to have an allergy component.
Allergic reactions are caused by substances in the environment known as allergens. This might be something someone has eaten, breathed in or come into skin contact with. Almost anything can be an allergen for someone.
Some of the more common Food Allergens are eggs, milk, gluten, shellfish and nuts.
Testing for allergies
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms or have a condition which may be exacerbated by a food allergy may benefit from a food allergy test.
What is being tested
Blood test that requires a blood sample
You will need to arrange for a blood sample to be collected by a nurse at your G.P. service or at a private clinic or hospital. Any fee for this service is not included in with the test fee.
You will need to send your sample back to the lab via a next day postal service – If you are in the UK, Royal mail offer a suitable next day service. If you are outside of the UK then please check with your postal service for options. The cost of the test does not cover the return postage.
Please note that samples should only be posted on Monday – Thursday so that they do not arrive over the weekend when the lab is closed.
A courier returns option is offered by the lab and details will be included in with your test kit. This is an optional service and the cost is not included in with the test fee. Details about payment, should you wish to take up this offer, are included with the courier details.