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What Are the Different Types of Immune System Disorders?

Deneatra Harmon
Deneatra Harmon

Immune system disorders occur when the body experiences trouble defending itself from germs or other invaders that cause a reaction or illness. Different types of immune system disorders include asthma and allergies, immune deficiency diseases, and autoimmune diseases, as well as Graft-versus-host disease. Treatment and prevention plans often depend on the specific condition and the seriousness of the symptoms.

Asthma is a chronic condition that irritates the airways throughout the lungs. The immune system disease inflames the airways and causes the person to have trouble breathing. Constriction of the airways causes a sensitive or an allergic reaction, which can result in the patient showing symptoms of coughing, chest tightness, and wheezing, in addition to breathing problems. According to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, prescription medicines prevent as well as stop the onset of asthma symptoms.


Medical experts also name allergies as a type of immune system disorder that causes the body to react. People who suffer from allergies often experience sensitivity from exposure to pollen, dust mites, and mold, as well as other substances like pet dander or food. Some common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and rashes. While the body fights off germs, an allergic reaction causes the body to act as a false alarm. Medications, immunotherapy such as allergy shots, and the removal of the allergen usually alleviate the condition.

Immunodeficiency diseases fall under immune system disorders because of the effects that they have on the body. Examples include primary immunodeficiency as well as AIDS, which cause the immune system to weaken because of flaws or abnormalities such as missing T-cells or antibodies. The disorder often manifests itself in viruses such as the common cold or illnesses like the flu. A weakened immune system means that body becomes more susceptible to life-threatening infections and even cancer, as in the case of HIV/AIDS. Treatment options for this specific immune disorder range from antibiotics to inhibitors to transplantation.

Autoimmune diseases also often cause disorder within the body’s immune system. Any flaw in the immune system forces the body to form antibodies that mistakenly attack normal cells. Autoimmune diseases vary when it comes to most symptoms, but some common ones include fatigue, fever, and weight loss, as well as joint pain. Examples of immune system disorders within this category include rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and skin conditions like psoriasis. Over-the-counter drugs treat mild symptoms, while prescription medications or therapies usually suppress the immune system and restore vital substances needed for the body to function.

Graft-versus-host disease is another one of the immune system disorders that complicates normal body functioning. In this instance, it attacks the body following a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Among the symptoms include abdominal cramps, jaundice, and skin rash, as well as digestive tract and lung problems. To prevent further complications, the doctor usually prescribes medication to the transplant recipient to suppress the immune system and protect healthy cells and organs.

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