Immunosuppressed: Types of Disorders, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Immunodeficiency disorders due to a disease.

When the body has difficulty producing a correct immune response, the person is at risk of being in an immunosuppressed state because of an infection or disease, such as that caused by HIV, or as a result of drug or radiation treatment.

Immunodeficiency disorders prevent your body from fighting infections and diseases. This type of disorder facilitates the detection of viruses and bacterial infections.

Immunodeficiency disorders are congenital or acquired. A congenital or primary disorder is that with which the person is born. Acquired or secondary disorders that appear later in life. Acquired disorders are more common than congenital disorders.

Your immune system includes the following organs:

  • Base.
  • Tonsils
  • Bone marrow.
  • Lymph nodes

These organs produce and release lymphocytes. These are white blood cells classified as B cells and T cells. B and T cells fight against the invaders called antigens.

B cells release specific antibodies to the disease that your body detects. T cells destroy foreign or abnormal cells.

Examples of antigens that your B and T cells might need to fight include:

  • Bacteria
  • Virus.
  • Carcinogenic cells.
  • Parasites

An immunodeficiency disorder disrupts your body’s ability to defend against these antigens.

What are the different types of immunodeficiency disorders?

An immunodeficiency disease occurs when the immune system is not functioning properly. If it is born with a deficiency or if there is a genetic cause, it is called primary immunodeficiency disease. There are more than 100 primary immunodeficiency disorders.

Examples of primary immunodeficiency disorders include:

  • Agammaglobulinemia ligada a X.
  • Common variable immunodeficiency.
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency, which is known as aliminocytosis.

Secondary immunodeficiency disorders occur when an external source such as a toxic chemical or an infection attacks your body. The following may cause a secondary immunodeficiency disorder:

  • Severe burns.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Radiation.
  • Diabetes.
  • Malnutrition.

Examples of secondary immunodeficiency disorders include:

  • PAGE.
  • Cancers of the immune system, such as leukemia.
  • Diseases of the immune complex, such as viral hepatitis.
  • Multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells, which produce antibodies).

Who is at risk of being an immunocompromised ?.

People who have a family history of primary immunodeficiency disorders have a higher-than-normal risk for developing primary disorders.

Anything that weakens your immune system can lead to a secondary immune deficiency disorder.

For example, exposure to body fluids infected with HIV or removal of the spleen may be the causes. The removal of the spleen may be necessary due to conditions such as liver cirrhosis, sickle cell anemia or spleen trauma.

Aging also weakens your immune system. As you get older, some of the organs that make white blood cells shrink and produce less of them.

Proteins are important for your immunity. Not having enough protein in your diet can weaken your immune system. Your body also produces proteins when you sleep that help your body fight infections.

For this reason, lack of sleep reduces your immune defenses. Cancers and chemotherapy drugs can also reduce your immunity.

The following diseases and conditions are related to primary immunodeficiency disorders:

  • Ataxia-telangiectasia.
  • Síndrome Chediak-Higashi.
  • Combined immunodeficiency disease.
  • Deficiencies of the complement.
  • DiGeorge syndrome.
  • Hipogammaglobulinemia.
  • Work syndrome
  • Defects of leukocyte adhesion.
  • Panhipogammaglobulinemia.
  • Bruton’s disease
  • Congenital agammaglobulinemia.
  • Selective IgA deficiency.
  • Síndrome de Wiskott-Aldrich.

Symptoms of an Immune Depressed disorder.

Each disorder has unique symptoms that may be frequent or chronic. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Sinus infections.
  • Colds
  • Diarrhea.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Fungal infections

If these problems do not respond to treatment or if they do not improve completely over time, your doctor may examine you for an immunodeficiency disorder.

How are immune disorders diagnosed?

If your doctor thinks you might have an immune deficiency disorder, they will want to do the following:

  • Ask about your medical history.
  • Perform a physical exam.
  • Determine your white blood cell count.
  • Determine your T cell count
  • Determine your immunoglobulin levels.

Vaccines can evaluate the response of your immune system in what is called an antibody test. Your doctor will give you a vaccine. Then, they will evaluate your blood for your response to the vaccine a few days or weeks later.

If you do not have an immunodeficiency disorder, your immune system will produce antibodies to fight the organisms in the vaccine. You may have a disorder if your blood test shows no antibodies.

How are immunodeficiency disorders treated?

The treatment for each immunodeficiency disorder will depend on the specific conditions. For example, AIDS causes several different infections.

Your doctor will prescribe medications for each infection. And you may be given an antiretroviral for HIV treatment and infection, if applicable.

Treatment for immunodeficiency disorders commonly includes antibiotics and immunoglobulin therapy.

Other antiviral medications, amantadine and acyclovir, or a medication called interferon are used to treat viral infections caused by immunodeficiency disorders.

If your bone marrow is not producing enough lymphocytes, your doctor may order a bone marrow transplant (stem cells).

How can immunodeficiency disorders be prevented?

Primary immunodeficiency disorders can be controlled and treated, but they can not be prevented.

Secondary disorders can be prevented in several ways. For example, it is possible to avoid contracting AIDS by not having unprotected sex with someone who transmits HIV.

Sleep is very important for a healthy immune system. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults need approximately eight hours of sleep per night. It is also important that you stay away from people who are sick if your immune system is not working properly.

If you have a contagious immunodeficiency disorder such as AIDS, you can keep others healthy by practicing safe sex and not sharing bodily fluids with people who are not infected.

What is the prognosis for someone with an immunodeficiency disorder?

Most doctors agree that people with immune deficiency disorders can lead a full and productive life. Early identification and treatment of the disorder are very important.