Do you know that with a simple blood test you can know the level of antibodies in your blood? Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to help fight against infections. An immunoglobulin G blood test checks for the amount of antibodies called immunoglobulin. This test is able to reveal how strong or weak your immune system is.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the smallest yet the most common type of antibody found in the bloodstream It represents 75-80% of all the antibodies in the body. IgG is found in all the body fluids.
The presence of few immunoglobulins in the blood is an indicator that you are at high risk of getting infections. On the other hand having too many immunoglobulins in the blood shows either you have an allergy or your immune system is overactive.
The IgG blood test is ordered when the doctor suspects a viral or bacterial infection. It can also be ordered if you have been suffering from frequent infections. The doctor seeks to find out if the immune system has been compromised.
When to Have the IGG Blood Test
- If you have frequent infections more so infections affecting the sinuses, stomach or intestines
- You have diarrhea that keeps on and on even if you take medicine.
- Sudden increase in weight that you cannot explain
- Sickness especially after travelling
- Unexplained rashes on the skin
How to Go About the Test
There are two methods. Both use fluids from the body. You can either test with the blood of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF is a fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord.
Blood: A sample of blood is drawn from the veins using a syringe. The blood sample is stored in vials or tubes. The sample is then taken to the lab for assessment. Certified doctors handle the sample. The results will be out in about 3 business days.
The blood test is much easier. It is also less painful.
The alternative method (CSF) is slightly complex. The spinal cord is very delicate. It needs a qualified technician to carry out the procedure. A visit to your local hospital is therefore inevitable.
Understanding the Results
- Chronic infections
- Liver disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Shows your immune system is not working well. It is caused by:
- Medicines such as steroids which weaken the immune system
- Complications from diabetes
- A kidney failure or disease
These are some of the causes of the different level of IgG in the blood. It does not mean that this is exactly what is happening to your body. Make a point of talking with your doctor to give guidance on the next course of action.
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