Immune System Disorders
Immune System Disorders
Immune system disorders, and there are many of them, are disorders that can an abnormally low activity or high activity of the immune system. They include a wide variety of disorders such as autoimmune diseases where the body attacks its own tissues or immune deficiency diseases where the body doesn’t have a high enough immune system to fight off infections. Below are the main immune system disorders you should be aware of.
Allergies and Asthma
The first category of immune system disorders is allergies and asthma, both of which are triggered by immune deficiencies. Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to foreign substances that are non-threatening such as pet dander, pollen, and dust. Your immune system senses the allergen and will then release chemicals. Allergic reactions ensure which include eye irritation, nasal congestion, breathing problems, rash, nausea and vomiting. Treatment for allergies includes taking an antihistamine for reducing symptoms and doing your best to avoid allergens that affect you. Asthma occurs when your immune system is overactive in your lung’s airways. When you have asthma, it is difficult to breathe due to the inflammation in your airways. By using a corticosteroid daily, you can reduce symptoms of asthma.
Another category of immune system disorders is autoimmune disorders. These are caused by antibodies produced by the immune system that attack the body’s tissues instead of fighting against infections. There are a wide variety of autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, Guillain-Barre syndrome, psoriasis, Graves’ disease which causes hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, myasthenia gravis, and vasculitis. Each of these autoimmune disorders is caused by different factors, while many of them have no known cause or are genetic. The symptoms, complications, preventative measures, and treatments also vary widely depending on the disorder.
Immune Deficiency Diseases
Lastly, there are a variety of immune deficiency diseases. This is caused when your immune system is suppressed by illness or the medications you take. They can be present at birth as a genetic disorder, which is known as a primarily immune deficiency. They may also cause a higher level of vulnerability to different types of infections. The immune deficiency diseases include severe combined immune deficiency which is a genetic condition impairing the immune system, common variable immune deficiency which is caused by a genetic defect where there aren’t enough antibodies in the immune system to fight off infections, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) which affects the cells of the immune system preventing the body from fighting off infection, graft versus host syndrome, and drug-induced immune deficiency which is caused by medications.