What Is a Total IGE Blood Test for Allergies??

Updated on June 23, 2008
M.B. asks from Los Angeles, CA
6 answers

I have been running all around to figure out what is going on with my little boy. We are at the point where a surgery is scheduled to remove his adenoids after visiting 2 different pediatric ENTs..One with UCLA and the other is with Cedars. His Ped is the one who suggested I see the specialist after several incidents of scary breathing problems (sleep apnea)that usually accompanied infections and once with earache over a 6 month period.

I discussed with my Ped if he thought it was allergies and if we should see an allergist and he said that he did not really have the signs of a kid with allergies(over the course of his young life). So to calm my worries he said that he would be able to do an IGE blood test for allergies that would not say exactly what he is allergic to but the numbers would show if he was a kid with lots of allergies. Well the test came back negative or "very low score..under the average for healthy people" and he says that confirms what he believes which is that it is not allergies but his adenoids.

I guess I am still wondering if we should do specific testing...We really trust our Ped but I guess I don't really know what the IGE BLood test is and does it include things like wheat and dairy or cat dander etc... I hear that testing for allergies can really be scary and painful for kids and I don't want to put my little boy through anymore than he has too.

BTW...This is very serious when he is sick..his chest puffs back and forth, the lungs struggle for air and the littlest bit tries to get in through the nose without success...the body gives up for several seconds and he coughs and gasps for air. I have tried to squeeze his mouth open during very long pauses when he is sleeping like this and he bits down harder with his teeth because it is still not a natural reaction for him to just open his mouth.

He has had to have prednisone before..has had serveral rounds of antibiotics for infection and has a nose spray that is also steroid that helps the adenoids. This last illness he was on a nebulizer daily to help clear the infection that got into his lungs and to prevent er visit.

He only eats bread and dairy primarily and some egg with french toast!!! If I try to encourage him to eat other things like fruits etc...if it touches his mouth he gags and throws up!!!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Your son sounds a lot like mine. He started showing similar symptoms almost 2 years ago. We went in because he could barely breathe and would cough every night to the point of throwing up. They took chest xrays and found nothing. It took 3 breathing treatment in one day to get him to brethe ok again. Over the next year, he was put on Zyrtek syrup. That stopped working, so they added flonase nose spray. That stopped working after a while, so my ped sent me to an allergist who added a daily inhaler to the mix. At one point, he was on 4 daily medications daily and still coughing is his sleep. The way we cured it was by accident. We went on a super strict diet with him because a friend of a friend looked at hima nd said he looked "puffy". This guy is super knowledgable about this stuff and the diet is really healthy, so we said we would try it for 2 weeks. We saw improvements in every aspect of his life. His mascle tone got better, he started speaking better, his stools are healthier. After about 4 months of the diet we were able to slowly wean him off all of the meds. He has not had any allergy meds for 6 months. My ped was amazed and was trying to figure it out, so she did tests for wheat,dairy, corn, and soy. They all came back negative, but that doesn't really mean anything. Igg adn ige test can only show if your blood has an immediate reaction to the food. If it is a delayed reaction, it won't show. I test negative for a dairy allergy, but I definitely have one. It just takes my system about 3o minutes to react.




answers from Los Angeles on

Oh M.,
My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine what your family must be going through. I'm sorry to say I don't know anything about IGE test. But, I just wanted to tell you that you and your son will be in my prayers.
Does he gag with jarred baby food? If not, I would stick with those types of foods. You didn't say how old he was. I would also go forward with allergy tests. A few pin pricks to your son will help eliminate any concerns of allergies. Hey, you never know how a body reacts to foods. Better be safe then sorry.
My niece just went through a series of allergy tests (she's 3), and she survived.
Have faith that your baby boy will overcome these illnesses and his future will be brighter.
My sister-in-law is actually going through a period of confusion regarding her daughter. She had had a cough for 6 months and was misdiagnosed by many doctors. She went to different specialist and they all said she had completely different illnesses. Who do you believe??? She was told she had a lung infection, then allergies, then scar tissue in her lungs......It's such a difficult thing to go through when it is your child who is sick.
Again, I am thinking of you and your family, good luck in your quest to find out what is wrong with your son. Follow your heart, and do what you feel is best. If you want to see another doctor to get second oppinions, then by all means, do so.
Please take care,



answers from Los Angeles on

If you still want to do specific testing, go to an allergist and get it done. We recently tested my husband. He had to be off ALL antihistamines for 5 days and they tested him in one office visit. My husband is extremely allergic to dust mites, so he will be starting allergy shots in a few weeks. He will have to go get a shot once a week for three years to eliminate his allergies. I think in his case its totally worth it.

I've done a lot of reading on sleep apnea over the last few years. Children who are not sleeping well are often misdiagnosed for ADD and ADHD. Sleep deprivation can do a lot of damage. Removing your son's adnoids is a fairly simple procedure that could improve the quality of his life. I've seen quite a few kids have allergic reactions to different foods and they have never choked on the food they are allergic to. Removing the adnoids makes sense. I wonder why they are not removing the tonsils as well? In my readings they always talk about removing both. Do the doctors see a specific problem with his adnoids?

Good Luck and Get Well Soon!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.,

My son had reoccuring ear infections from 7-12 months. Finally his ped. wanted to put him on maintenance antibiotics and put tubes in his ears. I had a friend suggest trying soy formula, as I had put in on regular formula, (I had breastfed until 7 mo), and the ear infections went away. The Ped. never acknowledged that it could have been the milk (and needless to say, I switched doctors). Anyway, my point is, it's an easy thing to try for 2-3 weeks before doing other medical procedures, especially if he consumes a lot of dairy. (Ok, it won't be easy dealing with your little cutie, but if it is the dairy, oh so much easier than surgery!)
Good luck,




answers from Los Angeles on

Before resorting to surgery, I would STRONGLY recommend seeing a Practitioner of Oriental Medicine to see if there is a non-invasive way to deal with the problems and find their real source. We have used Joe McSweyn and Pari at the offices of MM Van Benschoten in Reseda for over two decades and have found them to be remarkably helpful at dealing with conditions that western medicine has problems diagnosing and treating. The heavily dairy diet may be a significant factor. They can be reached at ###-###-####.



answers from Los Angeles on

Dear M.,

If you are interested I know a Naturpathic Dr. that does testing to determine what is happening in the body. If you are interested I can put you in touch with him.

Blessings & Good Health
M. German

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