What You Need to Know about Immune Deficiency Disease
By Martha Michael
One of the body’s superpowers is its ability to fend off destructive forces. Your immune system is designed to defend you against the presence of viruses, bacteria, and parasites, a process that’s successful when your body is healthy. But for individuals with immunodeficiency disorders it is an uphill battle because their condition lowers their ability to fight infections and disease.
Variety of Conditions
There are more than 80 types of autoimmune diseases, which occur when your body cannot distinguish normal cells from foreign cells, according to an article by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The most common immunodeficiency conditions for women are lupus, thyroid disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
“There are different degrees of autoimmune disease,” says Ana-Maria Orbai, MD, MHS, a rheumatologist at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. “The symptoms a person gets likely relate to multiple factors that include genetics, environment and personal health.”
Autoimmune diseases tend to be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms may be the result of other conditions. Symptoms you may experience when dealing with an autoimmune disease are:
- Recurring fever
- Digestive issues
- Abdominal pain
- Joint pain
- Issues relating to skin
- Swollen glands
WebMD describes some serious immune disorders affecting your ability to fight infections -- some of which are congenital, called primary conditions, and others that are acquired, or secondary.
Severe combined immune deficiency, or SCID - A genetic disease that impairs your immune system on several fronts. Most babies born with SCID live less than a year.
Common variable immune deficiency, or CVID - A genetic defect causing the patient to produce too few antibodies. Children with CVID cannot fight infections and suffer from multiple infections of the nose, eyes, ears and lungs.
Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or HIV/AIDS - A virus that destroys the immune system which means the patient cannot fight infections. It is primarily contracted through unprotected sex or needle sharing.
Drug-induced immune deficiency - Immune system suppression resulting from medicines, which decreases resistance to infections.
There is no prevention for primary immune disorders, but controlling and treating immune deficiencies is possible, says an article by Healthline.
The way forward depends on which type of condition you have, as they vary in the types of infections that result. Doctors typically prescribe antibiotics and immunoglobulin therapies, and at times, patients receive other antiviral drugs, such as interferon, to treat viral infections. But there are also forms of treatment that are less invasive.
People who are immunodeficient can seek chiropractic care for treatment of their symptoms. While it is not a cure for immune disorders, a chiropractor has effective therapies for such challenges as joint pain and digestive problems.
Even for patients with acute illnesses who are undergoing a pharmaceutical regimen, a chiropractor can address pain with manual therapies and offer relief from ongoing symptoms. If you have some of the symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders but have not been diagnosed, discuss them with your chiropractor, who can conduct an examination and consult with you about a strategy of treatment.
Though the battle for control of an autoimmune disease may continue, you can push back on symptoms and disarm their effects through a proper treatment program.
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