In case of allergies, IgE antibodies are sought in the blood, directed against food or allergens in your environment such as house dust or pollen. These allergies, mainly food allergies, only occur in people who have a genetic predisposition to this. We call this genetic predisposition atopy. Only a quarter of the Dutch population has such a talent. In atopic patients, one or more of the following syndromes occur, such as atopic eczema, hives, runny nose or stuffy nose, Quincke’s edema, conjunctivitis, pollinosis (hay fever) and allergic asthma. In fact, atopy means increased reactivity of the mucous membranes.
Atopic people exhibit allergic diseases, such as skin rashes and urticaria, through the use of medicines. Furthermore, they react more to dust, infections, natural phenomena, weather influences, clothing and the like.
The vast majority (75%) of the Dutch population lacks this allergic predisposition. But food allergies and other allergic reactions also occur with them. In these people, antibodies of a different type are produced, namely IgG (4). To detect these antibodies, tests are required as developed by the laboratory of the KEAC (see there).
The response to a food or other substance is in almost eighty percent of the cases via certain allergy cells located in the mucous membranes (mast cells) and in the blood (basophilic leukocytes). When an allergen enters the human blood for the first time through the intestinal wall, the body makes an anti-dust against it, which fits seamlessly on the allergen as a key in a lock. These antibodies are carried along with the blood and adhere to the previously mentioned allergy cells. If the food is eaten again, it will attach itself to these antibodies on the mast cells. The cell will then release various substances, including histamine. This substance can contract the muscles of the lungs and intestines, it activates certain glands, it dilates the blood vessels and stimulates the nerve endings. The result of this can be chest tightness, intestinal complaints, expectoration of mucus, excess stomach acid, skin redness, fluid retention and itching.
An allergy is a reaction in which the immune system (immune system) is involved with its antibodies. These antibodies are also called immunoglobulins (Ig). One distinguishes IgA, IgE, IgG and IgM. In an acute allergy to cow’s milk, antibodies of one specific type (IgE) are produced.
Investigation of blood serum for the presence of these antibodies will speed up, simplify and make more reliable the detection of complaints-causing foods and other substances in the patient’s environment.
If you have absolutely not eaten a food for a long time or did not come in contact with it, the result may be negative although you may have had an allergic reaction to it in the past. In principle, you are therefore no longer allergic to that food, but after consumption the reaction can start again within a few minutes. The antibodies have a half-life of 23 days. This means that half a year after a reaction, allergy research on IgE-specific antibodies is of little use anymore.
IgE screening is only advised if the total IgE is greatly increased. Usually a total IgE total study has already been carried out during earlier regular research. In an IgE screening, a group of allergens (module) is first checked to see if a positive reaction is found. If this is the case, then the individual allergens are immediately determined one by one. The costs of such research are therefore not always predictable, unless you agree not to break down the individual allergens in advance. Let yourself therefore be well informed to prevent misunderstandings.
IgE inhalation screening
The composition of this IgE inhalation screening includes: grass pollen mix, tree pollen mix, herb pollen mix, European house dust mite, cat, dog and a fungus mix. If the test is positive, it is broken down into the individual allergens.
IgE-inhalation screening extended
This test measures IgE-specific antibodies against odor grass pollen, English ryegrass pollen, timothy pollen, rye pollen, white-ball pollen, alder pollen, birch pollen, hazel pollen, oak pollen, willow pollen, European and American dust mites, cockroach, cat, dog, horse and cow hair. If the test is positive, it is broken down into the individual allergens.
IgE-toddler screening extended
This test measures IgE-specific antibodies against: grass grass, perennial rye, timothy grass, rye pollen, white pollen, alder pollen, birch pollen, hazel pollen, oak pollen, willow pollen, European and American house dust mite, cockroach, cat, dog, horse and cow hair, egg, milk, wheat, soy, cod, peanut. If the test is positive, it is broken down into the individual allergens.
IgE-child screening food
This food screening includes the following allergens: chicken egg protein, milk, wheat, soy, cod and peanut. If the test is positive, it is broken down into the individual allergens.
IgE-food screening extended
This test includes the allergens: egg, milk, wheat, soy, cod, peanut, peas, white beans, carrot, potato, tomato, spinach, cabbage, paprika, oats, corn, sesame, beef, pork, chicken, mackerel, herring , plaice, cod. The test is carried out in six groups and only divided into the individual allergens, if there is a positive reaction within the group.
Other IgE-allergy screenings (modules)
There are various allergy modules with four to six allergens. There are several modules for each category of food, for example vegetables.
Vegetables-1 carrot, potato, spinach, cucumber
Vegetables-2 corn, pea, white bean, carrot, broccoli
Vegetables-3 pea, white bean, carrot, potato
Vegetables-5 tomato, spinach, cabbage, paprika
Loose allergy tests
It is also possible to have one or more foods or fungi tested separately. The laboratory of the KEAC has thousands of allergens such as food, plants, fungi and the like.