IgE has a primary role in protecting our body – but what is it?

Let’s talk about IgE – Immunoglobulin E. It’s a type of antibody that our immune cells called B cells produce in response to allergens, pathogens, cancer cells, and other threats. These antibodies help our immune cells recognize and remove these intruders.

IgE has a primary role in protecting our body from worm and other parasite infections, but it’s also involved in allergic reactions. Scientists believe that IgE flags all kinds of unwanted components, acting as the gatekeeper of our immune system. When T immune cells release cytokines IL-4 and IL-13 in response to these components, it stimulates the production of IgE antibodies.

IgE mediates the most common allergic reaction, known as type 1 hypersensitivity. This is an uncontrolled immune response to components in the environment (antigens) in allergic diseases such as asthma, atopic dermatitis (eczema), allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and food allergies.

When an allergic person comes in contact with an allergen for the first time, they become sensitized, producing specific IgE antibodies to that allergen. These antibodies then bind to immune cells (mast cells and basophils), allowing them to recognize the allergen the next time it enters the body. This time, massive amounts of IgE stimulate mast cells and basophils to release histamine and other defense weapons, resulting in unpleasant symptoms ranging from skin itching to life-threatening conditions.

Our B cells produce a specific type of IgE for each allergen, so you can be allergic to only one thing, such as peanuts, or a couple of them.

Now, let’s talk about IgE blood tests. You usually get an IgE blood test when you have recurring infections or to monitor immune disorders such as allergies. There are two types of tests: the standard one called RAST, which is based on radioactive tracking, and the newer method called ImmunoCAP, which is based on fluorescence.

The newer methods are more sensitive and can detect and measure specific IgE antibodies with up to 98% accuracy. This feature can aid in the diagnosis and management of allergies. For example, testing for specific IgE might replace food challenges in diagnosing food allergies.

However, total IgE is not a specific marker and can’t be used to diagnose a particular disease. It can, however, provide certain clues, such as the risk of allergies, infections, and some chronic diseases.

If you suffer from allergies, speak with one of our specialists today!

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Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders, & Allergy Cover

Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders, & Allergy

eBook Verison - $10 | Paperback - Call for pricing (386) 676-0307

Dr. Tsai organizes several of these articles together to discuss common arthritis, autoimmune, and allergy conditions. The goal of this book is to help those who may be suffering from arthritis, autoimmune disorders, or allergies gain a better understanding of what they’re feeling and how their condition may be treated.

Read the full book description...

For several years, Dr. Tsai has been writing bi-weekly medical columns for The Daytona Beach News-Journal. In this book, Dr. Tsai organizes several of these articles together to discuss common arthritis, autoimmune, and allergy conditions. The goal of this book is to help those who may be suffering from arthritis, autoimmune disorders, or allergies gain a better understanding of what they’re feeling and how their condition may be treated.

This book is broken into three parts:

Part 1 focuses on inflammatory arthritis conditions and their treatments. These include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. (For information about osteoarthritis, check out Dr. Tsai’s second book:
Osteoarthritis, Soft Tissue Rheumatism, & Osteoporosis)

Part 2 looks at some autoimmune disorders and analyzes their causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Topics in this section include lupus and vasculitis.

Part 3 discusses allergies. The section explains types of allergic reactions, how they work, types of allergies, and how they can be treated.

Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders, & Allergy was written to be easily read by anyone, no matter their level of medical knowledge. Additionally, several illustrations and photos are included to help visualize concepts and make them easier to grasp.

This book can be purchased online as an eBook or as a physical copy at our main office at the checkout desk or over the phone.

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