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What causes high IgE levels?

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Quick Answer

According to WebMD, a variety of allergens can cause high levels of immunoglobulin E. IgE is a class of antibodies that are found in the lungs, the mucous membranes and the skin of mammals.Like other antibodies, IgE reacts against foreign substances. IgE antibodies react to pet dander, pollen, fungus, spores, milk, medicines and some poisons.

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More serious complications linked to high IgE antibody levels are asthma, certain cancers, autoimmune diseases and atopic dermatitis. There is a potential risk for a parasite infection in patients who present with high IgE levels. According to WebMD, most patients would present with other symptoms linked to these diseases.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center states that in rare cases, high levels of IgE are caused by IgE multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer that stems from plasma cells.

The Immune Deficiency Foundation explains that hyper IgE syndrome may cause high levels of IgE. This rare immunodeficiency disease may initially present itself as a skin rash, but it eventually leads to serious complications throughout the body. HIES can lead to lung failure, improper bone formation, encephalitis, severe eczema and recurrent fungal infections. Hyper IgE syndrome starts at birth or within a few years after birth.

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