Facts about Allergic reactions
An allergic reaction is a response of the immune system where the body’s defense reacts to substances that are perceived as harmful, so called allergens, and release of chemicals such as histamines is triggered. In some individuals an allergic reaction can be triggered by harmless allergens, such as pollen, food and even drugs. There are many different causes of allergy and symptoms can range from mild to sometimes even life-threatening. We are pleased to now be offering New Clinical Diagnostic Solutions for Allergy and Autoimmune Testing. For a total list of allergies that we can test for and the prices, please click the below button:
How does the test work?
The test is a Specific IgE (sIgE) Blood Test (sometimes also referred to as RAST or ImmunoCAP testing). This test measures levels of a certain type of antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the blood sample. IgEs, like other antibodies, are produced by our immune system in response to different allergens, such as bacteria, fungal spores or any other type of substances perceived as a threat. The IgEs are allergen-specific, which means that different variants of IgE are produced as a response to different allergens, for example the IgE variant in cases of a cat hair allergy will be different to the IgE variant in the case of a dust mite allergy. Increased levels of allergen-specific IgE in the blood sample indicate an allergy to the specific substance of interest.
Is the test safe?
Yes, this type of allergy test using a blood draw is far less risky than a skin prick test. In a skin prick test the allergens are directly introduced, which could result in very serious complications, if not fatal, in individuals (especially children) who can have a life-threatening reaction.
Will the test always provide positive results if I am allergic to something?
IgE levels tend to rise when exposure is high and can dwindle when there has been no exposure. For example, in cases of an allergy to pollen, we would expect IgE levels to increase around spring but decline later on in the year when pollen levels in the air also decline. If a person is allergic to something they are persistently exposed to, perhaps a house pet, then IgE levels would likely be persistently high.
What is required for testing?
You will need a referral letter from your Specialist or Genetic Counsellor for this test. Once you have confirmed that you wish to proceed with testing, we can provide you with the necessary referral form to be filled out and signed by your Doctor.All we require for this test is a small blood sample which will be taken by a medical professional. We can provide you with details for one of our affiliated collectors based on your location.
The test will usually be recommended if you have persistent symptoms that could indicate an allergy. The most common symptoms typically affect the respiratory tract, digestive system, eyes or skin but other parts of the body could be affected. In order to direct you to this test, your specialist will need an indication that the symptoms are due to an allergy:
· Ask detailed questions about signs and symptoms
· Perform a physical exam
· Have you keep a detailed diary of symptoms and possible triggers
The results of an allergy test are best interpreted by a specialist and we require that this test be recommended by your specialist.
Ordering your test:
We arrange everything for you. Upon confirmation of your order we will send you an email with the forms your Doctor will need to sign and return to us by Fax, the email will also include a recommendation for one of our affiliated Pathology Collection Centre close to you. We will arrange your appointment and book the courier to collect your samples after your appointment.Results will be available within 14-21 working days after receipt of specimen in our Brisbane laboratory and will be emailed to your Doctor as soon as they are available.
Note: Note: Your only additional cost will be the blood collection fee that may vary based on State/Location. Once your order is received, we will email you to confirm the order and advise the applicable fee for sample collection. Alternatively, you may contact our office for a quote.
Dealing with allergies
For more information about how to live with allergies, common allergies, remedies and more such general information, visit our article on Living with Allergies, Treatments and Common Allergies.