An immune deficiency means a reduced or absent immune response. Causes for the insufficiency are either some part of your immune system is not working properly or is missing altogether.
Immune deficiency disorders can be inherited (primary) or acquired (secondary).
There are numerous types of primary immunodeficiency disorders, the most common involving these basic immune cells:
- phagocytes ~ cells that ingest & kill microorganisms
- B lymphocytes ~ white blood cell that produce antibodies
- T lymphocytes ~ white blood cell that identify and destroy foreign cells
Problems with B cells, known as common variable immunodeficiency, accounts for over half of all primary immune deficiencies. In severe combined immunodeficiency, aka “bubble boy”, disease both B cells and T cells are dysfunctional. And death is usually the outcome without medical intervention.
Some indications you may be suffering from a primary immunodeficiency include:
- thyroid disease
- blood infections
- growth & development delays
- rheumatic disorders ~ lupus or arthritis
- organ inflammation & infection ~ liver, spleen
- blood disorders ~ low platelet counts, anemia
- digestive issues ~ cramping, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea
- frequent, recurrent ear infections, pneumonia, meningitis, bronchitis, sinus infections, skin infections
Primary immune deficiencies are rare, but early diagnosis and treatment can prevent infections that can cause long term problems, such as heart, nervous system or digestive tract damage.
Probably the most talked about acquired immunodeficiency disease is AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Yet, there are various other causes for you to acquire an immune deficiency.
Medication used to suppress your immune system is sometimes a cause for an acquired immunodeficiency, the likes of.
Secondary immunodeficiency disorders can also be caused by many prolonged serious disease or other conditions, such as:
- lung cancer
- brain cancer
- spleen removal
- aplastic anemia
- chronic hepatitis
- intestinal cancer
- sickle cell disease
- Epstein-Barr virus infection
If you have an immunodeficiency disorder, then you will tend to have back to back infections which are often severe. These infections may involve your respiratory system, membrane linings, ears or skin. For instance:
However, just because you experience many colds it does not necessarily mean you have an immunodeficiency disorder.
Antibiotics, immune system booster therapy and antibody infusions are some of the forms of treatment for those with a deficient immune response.
If your health suffers from a myriad of repetitive infections, then go get an inadequate immune process checked up. As in, pay a visit to your health care professional.