Immunodeficiency and Infection: Who’s At Risk?

Immunodeficiency is a serious issue, even if you’re not quite sure what it means. Any child or adult with an immunodeficiency suffers from some type of genetic or medical condition that negatively affects how their immune system works to fight infections.

Some children are born with abnormal immune systems due to genetic conditions called primary immunodeficiency disorders. Other people develop chronic conditions like cancer or lupus that require medications that stunt the immune system. Either way, those with immunodeficiency are significantly more vulnerable to infection than those with healthy and thriving immune systems.

What Medications Suppress the Immune System?

If you take any of the following medications to control a disease or chronic condition, it’s likely that your immune system has become compromised and placed you at higher risk of infection:

  • Steroids like prednisone
  • Calcineurin inhibitors like cyclosporine
  • mTOR inhibitors like sirolimus
  • Biologic response modifiers like Humira and Remicade
  • Chemotherapy or radiation

Why Do Weak Immune Systems Cause Infection?
Your immune system is designed to protect your body against infection. Germs surround you all day, every day, and it’s the core job of your immune system to prevent those germs from invading your body and triggering problems.

However, when diseases and medications weaken the immune system, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can easily make their way through the body to cause common and uncommon infections alike.

How to Prevent and Handle Immunodeficiency

At home, prevention is the best medicine. Practice good hygiene, eat a balanced diet, brush your teeth, and get plenty of exercise and sleep. Optimizing your overall wellness will add strength to your immune system.

However, immunodeficiency requires more than simple home remedies to keep it under control. You need to find a immunodeficiency specialist who can recommend the best management techniques, disease prevention strategies, and medications to tackle your immunodeficiency and protect your body from disease.

Dr. Jaime Kratz of Kratz Allergy & Asthma in Odessa and Port Richey, Florida, specializes in immunology to help his patients live their best and most rewarding lives. Call (813) 670-7062 to learn more today.