Unlike autoimmune disorders, in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue, immune deficiency disorders (also known as immunodeficiency disorders) occur when the immune system fails to do its job fighting harmful substances in the body.
When everything is working as planned, the body’s immune system protects us from harmful antigens like cancer, toxins and bacteria. But when our white blood cell production doesn’t work correctly or when we do not produce enough antibodies, things go wrong and we can get very sick. Immune deficiency disorders can involve the production of either too much or too little protection from antigens.
These disorders can be caused by:
- An inherited condition.
- Side effects of medications like corticosteroids.
- Side effects of chemotherapy.
- HIV infection.
- Cancer or other conditions and diseases.
- A complication of spleen removal surgery.
The symptoms and signs of immune deficiency disorders vary a great deal, depending on the type. Some general signs include:
- Infections that persist or recur.
- Infections that are caused by microorganisms that do not usually cause these infections.
- Treatment for infections being ineffective.
- Too long a recovery period from an illness.
How are immune deficiency disorders treated? Many cases can be effectively treated with antibiotics. In tougher cases, antibody replacement therapy can have a positive effect. Gamma globulin is administered intravenously. Sometimes bone marrow transplants are used, and gene therapy is being tested for future treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with an immune deficiency disorder, you know how much this condition can impede your daily life activities. While many cases are mild, others are more serious and can even result in death.
The Boston area disability specialists at Keefe Disability Law can answer your questions about your condition and what you need to do to apply for SSA disability benefits. Call us today toll free at 888-904-6847 or fill out the simple form on this page for a free case review. We proudly represent clients in Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.