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The information in this website is intended only for laboratory professionals. By entering this site, you are confirming that you are a laboratory professional.
By definition, an allergy is a hypersensitivity immune response to normally harmless substances, such as pollens or foods. For most people, these substances–also called allergens–pose no problem. In allergic individuals, however, the immune system identifies them as a threat and produces an inappropriate response.1
The symptoms of allergic diseases are numerous and may also be attributable to more than one allergy, as up to 80% of allergic patients are sensitized to more than one allergen.2
Identifying your patient’s allergic triggers can help:
The identification and management of allergies can be summarized a similar process to that of other diseases you may already be managing:
1. History and examination
As with all medical conundrums, the first step is a focused history and physical examination.
2. Test to identify IgE sensitization
The second step is identifying sensitizing allergens and their sources—this step is critical to the diagnosis and clinical management of allergies. Used routinely to aid in the diagnosis of allergies, specific IgE testing is an objective tool that yields quantifiable results you can also use in the management of your patient’s allergies.3,4 Specific IgE testing is a logical addition to your testing array because it fits into the workup in a similar manner, as the assays you may regularly order for managing diabetes or hypercholesterolemia.
3. Targeted management
The third step is targeted management. By confirming the patient’s unique triggers, your management approach, which may include pharmacological and non-pharmacological options, can be targeted to manage the patient's unique pattern of triggers and associated symptoms.3,4
As with all medical conundrums, the first step is a focused history and physical examination. In possible allergic diseases, the second step is identifying sensitizing allergens and their sources—this step is critical to the diagnosis of allergen sensitivities.3
Specific IgE testing is a logical addition to your testing array because it fits into the workup in a similar manner, as the assays you may regularly order for managing diabetes or hypercholesterolemia.
|Type 2 Diabetes
||Allergy & Asthma
|Hx & PE
||Hx & PE
||Hx & PE
|diet and exercise||diet and exercise
||targeted exposure reduction
The third step is management. The mainstay of management in allergic conditions is exposure reduction, and/or avoidance, thereby reducing the causative factor behind symptoms.3
Guided by the allergy-focused patient history and physical exam, the most appropriate next step may be to conduct testing for allergic sensitization. Skin prick testing and specific IgE measurements can help you rule in or rule out specific allergen sensitizations, which may give you the ability to correctly diagnose and improve clinical management.4,5
If you have a clinical suspicion of allergic involvement, specific IgE testing can be requested via your local laboratory ordering system. The test is already available – it may be listed as specific IgE, RAST, SpIgE, sIgE, ImmunoCAPTM. You may need to specify the allergen/s you require for the test and provide a brief patient history.