Are you always tired? Suffering from frequent infections, or taking forever to recover from colds and sinus infections?
You could be suffering from Immunodeficiency…
Immunodefiency refers to a lack of the function of the immune system. There is a wide spectrum of disorders that have been identified, and these disorders can be quite complex. Patients will often notice having infections or colds frequently or not being able to get better from these infections as quickly as other people causing frequent missed work and school days.
What is Immunodeficiency? The immune system can be thought of simply as an army. Testing can be performed to determine if there are the correct number of “soldiers” or cells of the immune system. Furthermore, once it is determined that the correct number of cells are present we can perform more sophisticated testing to determine if thoses cells are actually performing the function that they are supposed to do. If an immunodeficiency is identified we can often replenish what the immune system is lacking in a variety of injections. These disorders can also be treated with a variety of unique medications depending on the cause. Dr. Kavosh can discuss the best treatment options after reviewing your medical history and test results.
At clearai, we provide free basic screening for immune deficiency. This test is available for those 16 years of age and older. The test only takes about 15 minutes, and requires only a finger stick to obtain results. Give our office a call for details.
Why is it important to identify and treat immunodeficiencies? Repeat infections may cause organ damage. And, in some cases, immunodeficiency can lead to autoimmune conditions. A normal immune system makes proteins known as antibodies that recognizes and fight against foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses. With autoimmunity the immune system makes antibodies against normal cells and/or tissues of the body which are known as “autoantibodies.” Sometimes people with primary immunodeficiency diseases cannot make “good” antibodies to protect against infection but only make “bad” autoantibodies, which then cause autoimmune disease.
A diagnosis of PI may take years for the average patient. IDF estimates that the average length of time between onset of symptoms and diagnosis is between 9 and 15 years as the rarity of the disease often causes it to be overlooked.
The primary immunodeficiency community often identifies with zebras. This is based on an old saying. In medical school, many doctors learn the saying, “when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras” and are taught to focus on the likeliest possibilities when making a diagnosis, not the unusual ones. However, sometimes physicians need to look for a zebra. Patients with PI are the zebras of the medical world. So IDF says THINK ZEBRA!
For more information about immunodeficiency, visit the Immune Deficiency Foundation.