ImmunologyMidwest Allergy Sinus Asthma, SC
Allergy and immunology is the subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of problems with the human immune system.
As allergists, we have advanced training and experience in diagnosing, treating and managing immunodeficiency disorders.
If you have an immunodeficiency disorder, your body’s immune system is compromised and has difficulty fighting infections.
When part of the immune system is either absent or not functioning properly, it can result in an immune deficiency disease. These diseases can be acquired or inherited. The inherited/genetic immune diseases are called primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDD). There are currently more than 150 different primary immune deficiencies.
The immune system is composed of white blood cells. These cells are made in the bone marrow and travel through the bloodstream and lymph nodes. They protect and defend against attacks by “foreign” invaders such as germs, bacteria and fungi. In the most common PIDDs, different forms of these cells are missing. This creates a pattern of repeated infections, severe infections and/or infections that are unusually hard to cure. These infections may attack the skin, respiratory system, the ears, the brain or spinal cord, or in the urinary or gastrointestinal tracts.
In some instances, PIDD targets specific and/or multiple organs, glands, cells and tissues. For example, heart defects are present in some PIDDs. Other PIDDs alter facial features, some stunt normal growth and still others are connected to autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Most severe PIDD appear in infancy but milder forms may not present till later in life. Important signs that may indicate a PIDD include:
Recurrent, unusual or difficult to treat infections
Poor growth or loss of weight
Recurrent pneumonia, ear infections or sinusitis
Multiple courses of antibiotics or IV antibiotics necessary to clear infections
Recurrent deep abscesses of the organs or skin
A family history of PIDD
Swollen lymph glands or an enlarged spleen