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Health Information For Parents
A blood test is when a blood sample is tested in a lab. Doctors order blood tests to check things such as the levels of glucose, hemoglobin, or white blood cells. This can help them find problems like a disease or medical condition. Sometimes, blood tests can help them see how well an organ (such as the liver or kidneys) is working.
An immunoglobulin (im-yeh-no-GLOB-yeh-len) test measures the level of types of antibodies in the blood. The immune system makes antibodies to protect the body from bacteria, viruses, and allergens.
The body makes different antibodies, or immunoglobulins, to fight different things. For example, the antibody for chickenpox isn’t the same as the antibody for mononucleosis. Sometimes, the body may even mistakenly make antibodies against itself, treating healthy organs and tissues like foreign invaders. This is called an autoimmune disease.
The types of antibodies are:
Doctors may check immunoglobulin levels to see if a person has an infection or is protected from getting an infection (is immune to it). Doctors also use immunoglobulin tests to help diagnose immunodeficiencies (when the immune system isn’t working as it should). Doctors may suspect an immunodeficiency in a child who gets a lot of infections or unusual infections.
The tests might be done as part of an evaluation for allergies or autoimmune conditions such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease.
Kids can eat and drink normally unless also getting other tests that require fasting beforehand. Tell your doctor about any medicines your child takes because some drugs might affect the test results.
Wearing a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt for the test can make things easier for your child, and you also can bring along a toy or book as a distraction.
Most blood tests take a small amount of blood from a vein. To do that, a health professional will:
Sometimes immunoglobulin tests can be done with a “fingerstick” test. The health professional will clean your child’s finger, then prick the tip of it with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect the blood.
In babies, blood draws are sometimes done as a “heel stick collection.” After cleaning the area, the health professional will prick your baby’s heel with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect a small sample of blood.
Collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel like a quick pinprick.
Parents usually can stay with their child during a blood test. Encourage your child to relax and stay still because tensing muscles can make it harder to draw blood. Your child might want to look away when the needle is inserted and the blood is collected. Help your child to relax by taking slow deep breaths or singing a favorite song.
Most blood tests take just a few minutes. Sometimes, it can be hard to find a vein, so the health professional may need to try more than once.
The health professional will remove the elastic band and the needle and cover the area with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleeding. Afterward, there may be some mild bruising, which should go away in a few days.
It may take a few days for the results to be available. If the test results show signs of a problem, the doctor might order other tests to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it.
An immunoglobulin test is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Some kids might feel faint or lightheaded from the test. A few kids and teens have a strong fear of needles. If your child is anxious, talk with the doctor before the test about ways to make it easier.
A small bruise or mild soreness around the blood test site is common and can last for a few days. Get medical care for your child if the discomfort gets worse or lasts longer.
If you have questions about the immunoglobulin test, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.
The immune system, composed of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that protect against germs and microorganisms, is the body’s defense against disease.
Lupus is known as an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system mistakenly works against the body’s own tissues.
Checking IgA levels can help doctors diagnose problems with the immune system, intestines, and kidneys. It’s also used to evaluate autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease.
The immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test is often done as part of an initial screen for allergies. High IgE levels also may indicate a parasitic infection.
This blood test can check for some kinds of allergies.
An erythrocyte sedimentation rate test (ESR) detects inflammation that may be caused by infection and some autoimmune diseases.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is making people sick with flu-like symptoms. Read this article to learn how to protect your family, and to know when to call your doctor.
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a type of protein in the body called an antibody.
In juvenile idiopathic arthritis (also called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)), a person can develop swollen, warm, and painful joints. Learn more.
Kids who have celiac disease, a disorder that makes their bodies react to gluten, can’t eat certain kinds of foods. Find out more – including what foods are safe and where to find them.
The immune system is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that defend people against germs and microorganisms.
People who have celiac disease, a disorder that makes their bodies react to gluten, can’t eat certain kinds of foods. Find out more – including what foods are safe and where to find them.
People with celiac disease can’t eat gluten, which is found in many everyday foods, such as bread. Find out more by reading this article for kids.
A blood test might sound scary, but it usually takes less than a minute. Watch what happens in this video for kids.
Many people have allergy-induced asthma, which means that their asthma symptoms are triggered by allergic reactions.
Lupus is a disease that affects the immune system. Learn how lupus is treated, signs and symptoms, how to support a friend who has it, and more.
These videos show what’s involved in getting a blood test and what it’s like to be the person taking the blood sample.
Millions of Americans, including many kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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