What is Autoimmune Deficiency?
Normally, the immune system protects the body against disease; however, immunodeficiency disorders hinder the body from properly fighting diseases and infections, which in turn, makes it easier to catch bacterial infections and viruses. Immunodeficiency disorders are categorized as secondary or primary. Secondary, or acquired, immunodeficiency disorders typically appear later in life, while primary, or congenital, immunodeficiency disorders you are born with.Common Symptoms of Autoimmune Deficiency
There are many types of immunodeficiency disorders, each with its own unique set of symptoms; however, the most common symptoms include:
Common Causes of Autoimmune Deficiency
- Chronic illnesses, such as colds, sinus infections, pink eye, or diarrhea that don't respond to treatment or get better over time
- Recurring pneumonia
- Recurring yeast infections
- Poor wound healing
- Skin infections and abscesses
- Chronic fatigue
- Joint pain
- Muscle weakness
- Chronic gastrointestinal tract problems, including malabsorption
Secondary Immunodeficiency disorders occur when an outside source, such as infection or a toxic chemical, attacks the body. Radiation and severe burns have also been known to cause immunodeficiency. Some examples of secondary disorders include leukemia, AIDS, and multiple myeloma. Primary immunodeficiency disorders, you are born with, which means your family history plays a role in causing the disorder. People with a family history of congenital disorders have a higher risk of developing congenital disorders. Some examples of primary immunodeficiency disorders include severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), and alymphocytosis.
An insufficient amount of protein can also increase your risk of developing immunodeficiency disorders. Proteins help strengthen your immune system. The body also produces proteins while you are asleep that aid your immune system in fighting infection. Therefore, a lack of protein or a lack of sleep can lower your immunity. Sometimes drugs taken to treat another condition can cause immunodeficiency. For instance, organ transplant patients are often administered drugs that suppress the immune system so their body won't reject the new organ. Certain infections, such as chickenpox, German measles, tuberculosis, lupus, chronic hepatitis, and fungal and bacterial infections can also lead to immunodeficiency.
Having your spleen removed can also weaken your immune system. Your spleen, as well as the tonsils, bone marrow, and lymph nodes produce white blood cells, which helps strengthen your immune system. These organs release antibodies specific to the disease your body detects and kills off cells that are under attack by disease, bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Having your spleen removed lowers white blood cells, which can weaken your immune system. Chemotherapy and cancer drugs can also weaken the immune system because it kills immune system cells.