Comprehensive specialist allergy testing service
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0800 158 8820

Monday - Friday 9am-5pm

Immunology Reference Laboratory
Allergy Testing Service

from Spire Pathology Services

Signs and Symptoms of Allergies

  • Allergic diseases present with many signs and symptoms, which are often very difficult to distinguish from other clinical conditions that are non-allergic in origin. Testing to determine if allergy is the cause of an illness is essential before treating and managing these individuals. Individuals with recurrent or persistent ‘allergy-like’ symptoms can have their symptoms investigated with the help of ImmunoCAP® specific IgE blood testing.

    Allergy can both cause and contribute to the symptoms that lead to upper or lower respiratory tract problems, skin problems or gastrointestinal problems. However, in some cases symptoms similar to those of an allergy may not be caused by an allergy at all. 

    At any one time, up to 50% of the population have symptoms associated with allergy, but only about 1 in 4 suffer from IgE-mediated allergy (many unknowingly). People with recurrent or persistent episodes of the following symptoms should be considered for allergy testing:

    • Blocked or running nose
    • Nasal catarrh
    • Itchy running eyes
    • Cough
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Dry itchy skin
    • Diarrhoea
    • Stomach pains

    The substances to which a patient is exposed will generally dictate the allergens to test. Nevertheless, some substances or allergens are more common as causes of allergy than others. Additional parameters to consider are:

    • The patient’s age 
    • The symptoms 
    • Home environment (pets, hobbies, etc.) 
    • Where the patient lives geographically

    Specific IgE symptom profiles help doctors identify those patients whose common, everyday symptoms are caused or contributed  to by allergy. Spire Pathology Services have developed disease specific profiles to aid diagnosis. Click here to read more about how we interpret allergy test results.


    1. Ahlstedt S, Murray CS. 2006. In vitro diagnosis of allergy: how to interpret IgE antibody results in clinical practice. Prim Care Respir J. Aug;15(4):228-36.

    2. Niggemann B, Nilsson M, Friedrichs F. (2008) Paediatric allergy diagnosis in primary care is improved by in vitro allergen-specific IgE testing. Pediatr Allergy Immunol: Jun;19(4):325-31.

    3. Pfiffner P, Truffer R, Matsson P, Rasi C, Mari A, Stadler BM. (2010) Allergen cross reactions: a problem greater than ever thought? Allergy. 2010 Dec;65(12):1536-44.

    4. Schroeder A, Kumar R, Pongracic JA, Sullivan CL, Caruso DM, Costello J, Meyer KE, Vucic Y, Gupta R, Kim JS, Fuleihan R, Wang X. (2009) Food allergy is associated with an increased risk of asthma. Clin Exp Allergy. 2009 Feb;39(2):261-70.

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