Immunodeficiency disorders: a problem in the immune system
These kinds of disorders occur due to the reduction or absence of the body’s immune response.
Also named as Immunosuppression; Immunosuppressed — immunodeficiency; Immunodepressed — immunodeficiency; Agammaglobulinemia — immunodeficiency; Hypogammaglobulinemia — immunodeficiency
The reason Immunodeficiency disorders happen is the reduction or absence of the body’s immune response.
Causes of Immunodeficiency disorder
Lymphoid tissue makes the immune system up. It includes bone marrow, lymph nodes, parts of the spleen and gastrointestinal tract, thymus, and tonsils.
Other parts of the immune system are proteins and cells in the blood.
What the immune system does is protect the body from antigens; antigens are harmful substances like bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, and foreign blood or tissues from another person or species.
When detecting an antigen, the immune system responds by producing antibodies to destroy the harmful substances. This response also involves phagocytosis; it is a process during which certain white blood cells swallow and destroy foreign substances such as bacteria. Some proteins called complement help with this process.
Any part of the immune system might be affected by immunodeficiency disorders. Immunodeficiency disorders mostly occur when special white blood cells called T or B lymphocytes (or both of them) do not function normally or the body does not produce enough antibodies.
Different kinds of inherited immunodeficiency disorders
Inherited immunodeficiency disorders and the problem in the immune system that affect B cells are:
- Hypogammaglobulinemia: usually leading to respiratory and gastrointestinal infections
- Agammaglobulinemia: resulting in severe, often deadly infections early in life
repeated Candida infections can be caused by inherited immunodeficiency disorders that affect T cells. If the inherited combined immunodeficiency that affects both T cells and B cells is not treated early, it may be fatal within the first year of life. This is one of the first causes of Immunodeficiency disorder.
Some medicines are the causes of Immunodeficiency disorder. Sometimes due to the use of medicines that weaken and make problem in the immune system, people get an immunodeficiency disorder; in this condition, they are said to be immunosuppressed. Immunosuppression is a common side effect of chemotherapy used to treat cancer.
Cancers are the causes of Immunodeficiency disorder. Many cancers and a complication of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malnutrition (especially not getting enough protein) may cause acquired immunodeficiency.
Acquired immunodeficiency happens to people whose spleens are removed. They are also at higher risk for infection by the bacteria that the spleen would normally help fight. People with diabetes are more likely to be infected by certain infections.
As human gets older, the problem in the immune system appears and the immune system become less effective. The number and activity of white blood cells drop and the immune system tissues shrink.
Conditions that can lead to an immunodeficiency disorder
These conditions and diseases can lead to an immunodeficiency disorder:
- Complement deficiencies
- DiGeorge syndrome
- Job syndrome
- Leukocyte adhesion defects
- Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
Symptoms of Immunodeficiency disorder
The symptoms of Immunodeficiency disorder may cause your health care provider to think you have an immunodeficiency disorder:
- Infections that come back several times or do not go away
- Severe infection caused by germs that usually do not cause severe infection
And some other signs and symptoms of Immunodeficiency disorder such as:
- Poor response to treatment for infections
- Delayed or incomplete recovery from illness
- Certain types of cancers (for example Kaposi sarcoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma)
- Certain infections (like some forms of pneumonia or repeated Candida infections)
Different kinds of disorders cause different symptoms of Immunodeficiency disorder. For example, people whose levels of IgA are decreased, and their levels of certain IgG subclasses are low, are likely to have problems that involve the sinuses, lungs, throat, digestive trac , and ears.
Exams and Tests
To help diagnose an immunodeficiency disorder, these tests might be suitable:
- Tests to measure substances released by the immune system or complement levels in the blood
- HIV test
- Immunoglobulin levels in the blood
- Protein electrophoresis
- T lymphocyte count
- White blood cell count
Immunodeficiency disorder Treatment
The treatment is done to prevent infections and treat any disease and infections that do develop.
If your immune system is weakened, you should avoid contact with people who have infections or contagious disorders and avoid people vaccinated with live virus vaccines within the past 2 weeks.
If you develop an infection, you may have to use antibiotic or antifungal drugs for a long time to prevent infections from coming back.
Interferon is a medicine that makes the immune system work better and is used to treat viral infections and some types of cancer.
To improve the immunity of persons who have HIV/AIDS, they may take combinations of drugs to reduce the amount of HIV in their immune systems.
People who are going to have a spleen removal should get vaccinated against certain bacteria 2 weeks before the surgery.
To treat certain immunodeficiency conditions, we may use bone marrow transplants.
After you have been exposed to certain bacteria or viruses, passive immunity may be recommended to prevent illness; it means you may need to receive antibodies produced by another person or animal.
We may help people with low or absent levels of certain immunoglobulins by giving intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) through their veins.
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Immunodeficiency disorders can be mild or severe and fatal. Immunosuppression which is caused by medicines often goes away once the medicine is stopped.
- Frequent or ongoing illness
- Increased risk of certain cancers
- Increased risk of tumors
- Increased risk of infection
When to Contact a Medical Professional
If you are on chemotherapy or corticosteroids, call your health care provider immediately if you develop:
- A fever of 100.5°F or higher
- A cough with shortness of breath
- Stomach pain
- Other new symptoms
If you have a stiff neck and headache with a fever, go to the emergency room or call your local emergency number.
If you have repeated yeast infections or oral thrush, contact your health care provider.
Immunodeficiency disorder Prevention
There is no known way to prevent these kinds of disorders. You can seek genetic counseling if you have a family history of immunodeficiency disorders.
Practicing safer sex and avoiding the sharing of body fluids are helpful in preventing HIV/AIDS. A medicine called Truvada might be right for some people to prevent HIV infection.
You may prevent acquired immunodeficiency caused by malnutrition by good nutrition.