Immune System Disorders is an autoimmune disease causing abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system.
In cases of immune system over activity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body's ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infections.
In response to an unknown trigger, the immune system may begin producing antibodies that instead of fighting infections, attack the body’s own tissues. Treatment for autoimmune diseases generally focuses on reducing immune system activity. Examples of autoimmune diseases not covered elsewhere include:
Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) – People with lupus develop autoimmune antibodies that can attach to tissues throughout the body. The joints, lungs, blood cells, nerves, and kidneys are commonly affected in lupus. Treatment often requires daily oral prednisone, a steroid that reduces immune system function.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus – Immune system antibodies attack and destroy insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. By young adulthood, people with type 1 diabetes require insulin injections to survive.
Guillain-Barre syndrome – The immune system attacks the nerves controlling muscles in the legs and sometimes the arms and upper body. Weakness results, which can sometimes be severe. Filtering the blood with a procedure called plasmapheresis is the main treatment for Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Infantile Spasms – These specific types of seizures are sudden, uncontrolled movements of a child’s neck, body, arms, and legs. They last only for a few seconds. Spasms are most common during the early morning or when a child wakes up from a nap.
Spasms can look different in each child. But you may notice any of the following symptoms:
- Repetitive forward head nodding or bobbing
- Bowing from the waist when sitting
- Drawing up of knees when lying down
- Extending or stiffening of the neck, trunk, arms, and legs
- Crossing arms across body as if self-hugging
- Thrusting arms to the side, elbows bent
Nephrotic syndrome – A condition marked by very high levels of protein in the urine; low levels of protein in the blood; swelling, especially around the eyes, feet, and hands; and high cholesterol. Nephrotic syndrome results from damage to the kidneys’ glomeruli (the singular form is glomerulus). Glomeruli are a network of capillaries that filter waste and excess water from the blood and send them to the bladder as urine.
Myositis – Myositis refers to any condition causing inflammation in muscles. Weakness, swelling, and pain are the most common myositis symptoms. Myositis causes include infection, injury, autoimmune conditions, and drug side effects. Treatment of myositis varies according to the cause.