What we measure
This test measures the levels of antibodies called allergen-specific immunoglobin E (IgE) in your blood, which rise when your body is having an allergic reaction. There are different types of IgE that increase in response to specific allergens. Our Complete Allergy Profile test looks at IgE levels in relation to 295 food and environmental triggers, while our Allergy UK Profile test looks at 50 common food, grass, animal fur, dust mites, and latex allergens. If IgE associated with a specific substance is high, this suggests that you’re allergic to it.
This test can help indicate whether you have an allergy, and what you’re allergic to.
Allergic reactions happen when your immune system sees a harmless substance as a threat, so it turns on the immune response to fight it off. As part of this, it makes more IgE.
This response is what causes allergy symptoms, from sneezing and itchy skin to swelling of the eyes, lips, mouth, or throat. Over 40% of people in the UK have at least one allergy.
To figure out which substances trigger the immune response, a sample of your blood is exposed to them in the lab. If a substance makes IgE go up, this can indicate that you’re allergic to it.
An allergy test can help you find out if your symptoms are being caused by an allergy or something else. For example, itchy skin can also be a symptom of other conditions.
what to expect
Your test results will tell you how much IgE is in your blood and whether it’s risen in response to different allergens.
High total IgE means that you may have some kind of allergy, whereas elevated IgE in relation to a specific substance suggests that you’re allergic to it.
These readings can indicate whether you have an allergy and what you’re allergic to, but they are not a diagnosis. Only a doctor can diagnose you with an allergy, but they may use your results alongside other information to inform their decision.
If you have symptoms but your results don’t suggest that you have an allergy, this might mean that they’re being caused by something else. Here, it’s best to speak with your doctor who may decide to run further tests.
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Allergy tests are accurate in measuring your IgE levels, which can indicate that you’ve got an allergy but aren’t a diagnosis in themselves. Your doctor will consider your results alongside other factors, like symptoms you’re experiencing, when deciding whether to diagnose you with an allergy.
For example, raised IgE is usually a sign of an allergy but it could also be caused by other factors, for example if your body is fighting an infection. If your doctor doesn’t think your results are caused by an allergy then they can do other tests to find out what’s going on.
Our tests are safe and meet high standards for health service best practice and safety in the UK. We’re regulated by the CGC, which is a quality mark for healthcare you can trust, and UKAS accredited—plus, all our tests are validated by registered clinical scientists and doctors.
These can include:
- A runny nose or sneezing
- Rashes or hives
- Itchy skin
- Pain or tenderness on your face, including around your eyes, forehead, or cheeks
- Feeling sick
- Swelling of the eyes, lips, mouth, or throat
As the name of each test suggests, they are both different methods of testing for allergies. In a blood test, a sample of blood is drawn from your arm by a healthcare practitioner. During a skin prick test, tiny pinpricks are made on your skin and then an allergen is applied to it. If you have a reaction, this suggests you’re allergic.
Skin prick tests offer immediate results but they aren’t suitable for everyone, such as people with certain skin conditions, some existing allergies, or who take antihistamines.
There’s no special preparation you need to do ahead of this test. You don’t need to fast or avoid any particular supplements or medications.
Nope, you can keep taking them as normal.
Your results will be ready within 5 working days. Just log into your account on our website to get them.