An immunology disorder is a condition or disease that is caused by some dysfunction in your immune system. There is a wide range of different types of immunology disorders.
Here is an overview of the different types of immunology disorders.
Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID)
Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a genetic condition that weakens the immune system and results in frequent infections. It is considered a primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD). It causes low levels of antibodies in the body, which is why people with CVID experience frequent infections.
CVID impacts both males and females. The condition isn’t usually diagnosed adequately until adulthood but can emerge in children and teenagers.
CVID is caused by a genetic mutation in the immune system genes. This defect results in your body producing a low level of immunoglobulins, such as immunoglobulin G (IgG). Low IgG levels make it hard for your body to fight infections.
Around 10% of CVID cases are hereditary; the rest are random genetic mutations or changes. This genetic change can happen suddenly and without any apparent reason.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA) is an antibody blood protein crucial to your immune system. Having an IgA deficiency means you either have no IgA in your blood or very low levels. Not having enough IgA in your body makes fighting off a wide range of illnesses tough.
A deficiency in IgA can contribute to asthma and allergies since IgA is found primarily in your respiratory and digestive tracts. It is also found in breastmilk, saliva, and tears. A deficiency in IgA has also been linked to autoimmune health problems.
IgA deficiency can be passed down in families, making it a genetic issue. It can also be caused by the medications you are taking. Sometimes, however, there is no apparent cause.
Hyper IgE syndrome (HIES) is caused by a genetic mutation in the STAT3 or DOCK8 genes. These are the known mutations that cause this syndrome, although there may be other mutations that also contribute to this syndrome.
Hyper IgE syndrome can make it hard for you to fight off bacteria and fungi, resulting in severe infections. Serious infections with HIES often impact the lungs and skin.
Hyper IgE Syndrome (HIES)
There is a range of symptoms and signs that indicate you may have hyper IgE syndrome, including the following:
Abscesses in the skin or lungs
Dry, itchy skin (eczema)
Frequent skin infections
Complications of Hyper IgE Syndrome
There are different complications you may experience with HIES, depending on the type of genetic mutation you have.
Viral skin infections, such as herpes, molluscum, and warts
Abnormal curving of the spine
Changes in blood vessels
Delays in losing primary teeth
Increase in broken bones
Treating Hyper IgE Syndrome
With hyper IgE syndrome, the focus is on stopping the symptoms. There are multiple ways to achieve this.
Use antibiotics to treat infections.
Use cream medicines for skin rash.
Check lung function regularly with imaging and spirometry.
You may need to take medications to prevent infections. Some individuals may need IV medication, called IVIg, to provide antibodies that fight off infections.
Hypereosinophilic Syndrome (HES)
Hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) is a group of blood disorders. With HES, you have a high number of eosinophils, which are white blood cells that support your immune system. When you have high levels of eosinophils, it can cause tissue and organ damage.
HES can be a life-threatening condition if it is left untreated.
Causes of HES
HES tends to run in families, so if someone else in your family has it, there is a chance you have it. HES is also associated with some types of cancer.
Symptoms of HES
With HES, you should pay attention to early warning signs, such as:
Your eosinophil levels can increase due to many factors, such as allergies, reactions to medication, and infections. That is why it is crucial to give a complete medical and travel history to your doctor to rule out any other possibilities for why you have high eosinophil levels before getting a HES diagnosis.
A range of lab tests can be used to determine if you have HES and rule out other possibilities. This includes:
Treatment for HES
With HES, the goal of treatment is to reduce tissue damage. Your treatment depends on your symptoms, the cause of your HES, and the severity of your condition.
Generally, systemic corticosteroids are the first line of treatment. Other medications used to treat HES include Vincristine, Imatinib, and Hydroxyurea. Many people also take blood-thinning medication to prevent blood clots.
Sometimes, a bone marrow transplant or stem cell treatment may be necessary.
Specific Antibody Deficiency
If someone doesn’t produce enough IgG antibodies, they have a Specific Antibody Deficiency. Lacking the ability to produce antibodies can increase upper and lower respiratory infections. This can have a lot of health implications for you.
SAD is also called partial antibody deficiency and impaired polysaccharide responsiveness.
Treatment for Immunology Disorders in Portland, Oregon
At West Hills Allergy & Asthma Associates, Dr. Anderson-Cowell has more than two decades of experience diagnosing and treating patients with immunology disorders. Our team can help you get an accurate diagnosis and learn how to manage your immunology disorder.
If you’re looking for expert diagnostic experience and effective treatment history, Dr. Anderson-Cowell can help. For a consultation, please call (503) 297-4779 or request an appointment online.
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