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Why do I have high immunoglobulin E (IgE) level?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Answered by: Dr Lawrence Youlten
Consultant, Department of Allergy, Addenbrookes, Cambridge
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Q. I am a 31 years old man having high immunoglobulin E (IgE) level in blood (high allergy). Slight swelling comes on my left side of face occasionally after eating food. I did my IgE blood test a month ago and it was 1000 IU/ml. Now I did this test again and it was 1093.2 IU/ml. These results are nearly 10 times the normal values. I am taking Ketasma 1 mg and Montech-LC daily. The doctor has advised me to continue it for 2 months. How long it will take to come down to the normal level? Can IgE value come down to normal without using medicines? Are there any side effects of the above-mentioned medicines? I had been treated for tuberculosis (TB) some 5 years back and took the medicines regularly for 6 months. My stool test showed no parasite infections, but Entamoeba histolytica was present, so I took Flagyl for seven days. The next stool test showed no Entamoeba histolytica but still IgE level is very high. Please advise.

A.  High IgE in itself is not a cause for concern, if causes such as intestinal parasites have been excluded. People who are atopic, (i.e. who have a familial tendency to develop childhood eczema, hay fever or allergic asthma); generally have IgE levels above the normal or non-atopic range. Those with atopic eczema are particularly likely to have raised IgE levels. It is a marker of atopic status rather than something requiring correction.

A.  High IgE in itself is not a cause for concern, if causes such as intestinal parasites have been excluded. People who are atopic, (i.e. who have a familial tendency to develop childhood eczema, hay fever or allergic asthma); generally have IgE levels above the normal or non-atopic range. Those with atopic eczema are particularly likely to have raised IgE levels. It is a marker of atopic status rather than something requiring correction.

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