What are IgE and IgG4?

Our body has its own defense system which protects us from diseases and is made up of several parts. One is the immune system, which actively protects the body against anything it considers foreign or harmful. The maximum defence against even the smallest foreign bodies is ensured by antibodies (immunoglobulins). Once activated, they accurately recognize foreign structures (as if they were a non-matching puzzle piece) and mark them for deactivation. Our body uses the antibodies of different classes to build up several defensive rings that begin to work on pathogens before entry into the body, immediately upon entry, and inside the body. 

IgE is a special class of antibodies that recognize and prevent the entry of foreign and hostile substances into the body. That is why it triggers reactions that impede or block entry. This also explains the typical symptoms associated with IgE-binding are: heavy secretion (tears, diarrhoea, vomiting), coughing, convulsions and local inflammation (redness, itching, temperature increase) as these all work to remove substances from the body. 

The antibody class IgG is active- if a substance is already in the body, it must be deactivated or destroyed as soon as possible. Our internal defense against bacteria and viruses is essentially based on this class of antibodies. The IgG is divided into several subclasses. One of them, called IgG4, is the least abundant of the subclasses, therefore an increased level of this antibody should draw attention. 

The general rule: When antibodies of the IgG class bind to their target, a defense and inflammatory response is set in motion with the goal of blocking and destroying the structure recognized as foreign. The reactions are usually not as strongly felt as with IgE. If there is no danger and the response is misguided, it can cause long-term damage and chronic discomfort.

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