Immunodeficiency disorders make it difficult for your body to fight infections and diseases. This condition makes it easier to contract viruses and bacterial infections.
Immunodeficiency disorders can be inherited or acquired. A congenital disorder, also known as a primary disorder, is one you were born with. An acquired, or secondary disorder occurs later in life. Acquired disorders outnumber congenital disorders.
The following organs are part of your immune system:
- Bone marrow
- lymph glands
These organs are responsible for the processing and release of lymphocytes. These are white blood cells known as B and T cells. Antigens, which are invaders, are combated by B and T cells. B cells produce antibodies specific to the disease your body detects. Certain T cells kill foreign or abnormal cells.
Antigens that your B and T cells may be required to fight include:
- tumor cells
Immune deficiencies impair your body’s ability to defend itself against these antigens.
What exactly is a weakened immune system?
You are immunocompromised if your immune system is compromised. This means that your body cannot fight infections or viruses as effectively as people who are not immunocompromised.
While a weakened immune system is typically caused by diseases, malnutrition, and genetic disorders, it can also be caused temporarily by medications such as anticancer drugs and radiation therapy.
A stem cell or organ transplant can also temporarily weaken your immune system.
Symptoms of an Immunodeficiency
There are numerous types of immunodeficiency disorders. Each disorder has its own set of symptoms, which can be acute or chronic. However, there are a few indicators of something wrong with your immune system.
Individuals with immunodeficiency disorders are prone to recurring infections of certain conditions, such as:
- pink vision
- Infections of the sinuses
- Chronic gum disease (gingivitis)
- Candida infections
Individuals with immunodeficiency disorders may experience chronic abdominal pain and lose weight over time.
If you get sick quickly and have trouble shaking off viruses and other infections, your doctor may recommend that you be tested for an immunodeficiency disorder.
Discuss characteristic findings of an immune dysfunction. Explain what symptomology the patient would exhibit and how these symptoms may complicate daily living and relationships.