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Total IgE

Total IgE measures blood levels of antibodies produced by your immune system in response to allergens.

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an antibody that initiates an allergic reaction. When you are exposed to an allergen—a normally non-harmful substance that the immune system assumes is dangerous, like peanuts—your body makes specific IgE antibodies designed to recognize that allergen in the future. Then, when you are re-exposed to the same allergen, your immune system quickly produces a large amount of allergen-specific IgE particles to identify and eliminate the allergen. Allergic reactions can range from localized patches of red, itchy skin to anaphylaxis, which involves a sudden drop in blood pressure and difficulty breathing.

The total IgE test detects the presence of IgE antibodies in your blood, indicating an increased likelihood that you will experience allergic reactions. Tests for allergen-specific IgE particles are then used to provide information about the specific substances causing your allergic reactions.


Last updated:
August 6, 2021

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