Immune System Disorders| Causes and Symptoms| Explained

Immune system is an important protection system in our body. It is a complex network consisting of different parts such as white blood cells, antibodies, complement system, lymphatic system, spleen, thymus, and bone marrow

Immune system disorders occur when your immune system does not function properly. Your immune system defends you against any kind of pathogen and infections from the outside of your body.

You would be easily infected by malicious bacteria, virus and fungi if you have a weak immune system or any kind of immune system disorder.

Your immune system is composed of unique cells, tissues, and organs that collaborate to keep you safe.

Immune system disorders cause immune system activity to be either low or excessive. Overactive immune systems cause the body to attack and harm its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). 

Immune deficiency illnesses reduce the ability of our body to fight against pathogens and make it more susceptible to infection. 

Immune system disorder is referred to as immunodeficiency disease.

After reading this article you will learn about:

  • Types of Immune Disorder and their detailed description
  • Cause and symptoms in details

Types of Immune Disorder

There are mainly two types of  immunodeficiency conditions such as :

  • Primary immunodeficiency disorders
  • Secondary Immunodeficiency Disorders

Primary immunodeficiency disorders

Primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDDs) are said to be very rare genetic disorders. They cause immune system dysfunction in a person’s body.

Primary immunodeficiency disorders is also known as primary immune disorders or primary immunodeficiency which weaken the immune system, making it easier for infections and other health problems to emerge.

Many persons with primary immunodeficiency are born without elements of the body’s immunological defences or with a malfunctioning immune system, making them more susceptible to pathogens that can cause diseases.

There are also some mild types of primary immunodeficiency which remain undetected for a longer period of time, even for years. Other forms are severe enough that they are recognized quickly after a baby is born who is affected.

People who have primary immune deficiency disorders (PIDDs) are more vulnerable to many serious contagious diseases like Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), which is a greater risk of having cancer.

Some PIDDs are severe. Depending on the severity of the disease, PIDDs can be diagnosed in infancy, youth, or adulthood.

There are 200 different types of primary immune deficiency disorders (PIDDs) in the United States and affecting around 500k people.

These rare genetic illnesses can be persistent, incapacitating, and expensive.

Cause of Primary Immunodeficiency Disorder

PIDD is caused by genetic alterations that damage one or more immune system components, such as cells and proteins. Parts of the immune system may be affected as a result of these mutations:

  • There are fewer of them than usual
  • Defective
  • Completely absent

PIDD is linked to abnormalities in B lymphocytes in 50-60% of cases (B cells). Antibodies, or particular proteins in the body, are produced by these immune system cells. Antibodies are used by the immune system to eliminate pathogens (disease-causing agents) such as bacteria and viruses.

Symptoms of Primary Immunodeficiency Disorder

Infection is frequent among people with primary immunodeficiency. The infection is harder to cure and lasts longer.

People with a normal or strong immune system, on the other hand, become infected rarely and recover fast if they do.

The signs and symptoms of primary immunodeficiency sickness vary based on the type of illness and individual to individual.

Some of the indications and symptoms of primary immunodeficiency include:

  • On a regular and recurring basis, you get pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis, or skin infections
  • Inflammation and infection of internal organs
  • Blood illnesses include low platelet counts and anemia
  • Symptoms of digestive issues include cramping, loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea
  • The rate of growth and development is slowing
  • Autoimmune illnesses include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes

Other symptoms that point to a primary immunological weakness include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes or an enlarged spleen
  • Weak growth or weight reduction
  • In order to overcome infections, multiple doses of antibiotics are required.
  • Primary immunodeficiency in the family
  • After receiving a live vaccine, developing issues
  • Infections in the ears, lungs, skin, eyes, mouth, or private regions four or more times a year
  • Thrush (a mouth fungal infection) that won’t go away
  • Antibiotics are ineffective
  • More than once a year, he gets pneumonia

Secondary Immunodeficiency Disorders

Secondary immune deficiencies, also known as acquired deficiencies, are immune system irregularities that are not caused by a genetic mutation but rather by environmental factors.

When the immune system is impaired as a result of an environmental cause, a secondary immune deficiency illness occurs. Outside stressors include HIV, chemotherapy, severe burns, and malnutrition.

Causes of Secondary Immunodeficiency  Disease

Secondary immunodeficiencies can be caused by a variety of immunosuppressive factors, such as starvation, aging, or specific medications (e.g., chemotherapy, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, immunosuppressive drugs after organ transplants, glucocorticoids).

In relation to medications, the term immunosuppression refers to both the positive and potential negative effects of a reduction in immune system function, whereas the term immunodeficiency generally refers only to the negative effects of an increased risk of infection.

In the underdeveloped world, malnutrition is the most common cause of acquired immunodeficiency, and protein-calorie malnutrition is frequently accused.

Hypermetabolism, protein loss, infections, and medicines can all produce secondary immunodeficiencies (SID). Immunosuppressants have a key function in its development.

Symptoms of Secondary Immunodeficiency Disorders

Symptoms of secondary immunodeficiency disorders generally reported by patients as under:

  • The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a viral infection that is acquired over time
  • Malignancies of the immune system are, such as leukemia
  • An example of an immune-complex sickness is viral hepatitis
  • Myeloma (multiple myeloma) is a kind of malignancy that affects the white blood cells (cancer of the plasma cells, which produce antibodies)

Overactive Immune System

If you are born with specific genes, your immune system may respond to normally harmless substances in the environment called allergens.

The most typical symptom of an overactive immune system is an allergic response. The examples of allergens are dust, pollen, mold and certain types of foods.

The below are some of the issues that may be induced by an overactive immune system:

Asthma. Coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulties are all signs of the lungs’ responses. General allergens like dust or pollen, as well as irritants like cigarette smoke, can provoke asthma.

Eczema.  An allergen causes atopic dermatitis, which is an itchy rash.

Allergies. A kind of allergic rhinitis is allergic rhinitis. Sneezing, a runny nose, sniffling, and nasal passage edema can be caused by interior pollutants like dirt and pets, as well as outside pollutants such as pollens and molds.

Autoimmune disorders

The body assaults normal, healthy tissues in autoimmune illness. The cause of this is unknown. The genes are most likely triggered by a combination of an individual’s genes and something in the atmosphere.

In response to an unidentified stimulus, our immune system may generate antibodies which target our own tissue rather than protecting us from infections.

Treatment for autoimmune diseases aims to lower immune system activation.

A total of 80 different types of autoimmune disorders exist.

Autoimmune diseases include the following:

Rheumatoid arthritis

One of the most frequent long-term autoimmune illnesses is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It primarily affects the bone joints of our body.

Knees, wrists, and hands joints are the most typically affected. It affects the same joints on both parts of the body.

Other body components, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, nerves, and blood, may be impacted.

Low red blood cell counts, inflammation from around lungs, and irritation all around the heart will all be the result.   

Rheumatoid arthritis is thought to be caused by a variety of hereditary and environmental factors, while the exact cause is unknown.

A family background of RA raises the chances by 3 to 5 times;  genetics may account for 40 to 65 percent of instances of seropositive RA, but only about 20 percent of cases of seronegative RA, according to estimates from 2016.

Genetic tissue type Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) antigen genes are substantially related with RA.

Recent research has improved our knowledge of external factors that affect RA risk, such as smoking and alcohol consumption.

Other characteristics that have been linked to risk include birth weight, breastfeeding, socioeconomic status, and birth location.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus)

Autoimmune antibodies can cling to tissues all across the body in persons with lupus. Joints, lungs, blood cells, nerves and kidneys are generally influenced by lupus. Prednisone, an anti-inflammatory steroid, is usually used as part of the treatment.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Symptoms of the immune system attacking the gut lining include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, frequent bowel problems, upset stomach, fever, and weight decrease. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two most frequent kinds of IBD. IBD can be treated with immunosuppressive drugs, both oral and injectable.

Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Pain, blindness, fatigue, lack of coordination, and muscular spasms are some of the symptoms caused by the immune system destroying nerve cells. Multiple sclerosis can be treated by taking medications that protect Immune system.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Antibodies in the immune system assault and destroy pancreatic insulin-producing cells. When people suffering type 1 diabetes are first diagnosed, they must take insulin to survive.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

The nerves that control muscular action in the legs, hands, and upper body are assaulted by the immune system. Weakness develops, which in some situations can be severe. The most frequent therapy for Guillain-Barre Syndrome is plasmapheresis, or blood filtration.

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy

The immune system attacks the nerves in CIDP in the same manner it attacks them in Guillain-Barre Syndrome, but the symptoms last much longer. Almost 30% of people would be detained to a wheelchair if they were not diagnosed and treated promptly. GBS and CIDP have essentially identical treatments.


In psoriasis, the immune system’s T cells gather inside the skin. Skin cells grow at a rapid rate as a result of the immune system’s response, resulting in silvery, scaly plaques on the skin.

Graves’ disease

The thyroid gland releases excessive levels of thyroid hormone into the bloodstream as a result of proteins called antibodies created by the immune system (hyperthyroidism).

Bulging eyes, excitement, impatience, fast heartbeat, fatigue, and fragile hair are all symptoms of Graves’ illness.

Graves’ disease is usually treated with medicines or surgery to damage or remove the thyroid gland.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

The immune system’s antibodies attack the thyroid gland, destroying the thyroid hormone-producing cells over time. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) can take months or years to develop. Tiredness, constipation, gaining excess body weight, depression, dryness of  skin, and cold sensitivity are just a few of the signs and symptoms. Daily use of an oral synthetic thyroid hormone pill aids in the restoration of normal physiological functions.

Myasthenia gravis.

Antibodies bind to neurons, preventing them from providing appropriate muscular stimulation. Myasthenia gravis causes weakness that gets worse with activities. The most widely prescribed medicine for myasthenia gravis is mestinon (pyridostigmine).


This kind of immune system disorder targets, attacks and damages our blood arteries. Vasculitis  may cause harm to any organ of our body, as a result a variety of symptoms can appear everywhere in our body. To suppress immune system activity, prednisone or an equivalent corticosteroid is routinely utilized.


The common symptoms of autoimmune system disorder are as follows:

  • Tiredness
  • Achiness of muscles
  • Swelling and redness
  • Fever
  • Concentration problem
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Hair loss
  • Rashness of skin

Symptoms usually appear gradually over weeks or months.


The immune system is made up of a complicated network of systems whose primary goal is to keep the body safe. However, if it is not well regulated, it can result in hypersensitivity and/or autoimmunity. 

As a result, understanding how our immune system works and where these illnesses come from is critical. The most common hypersensitivity events affecting organs and tissues are currently anaphylactic shock and cutaneous reactions.

 Hypersensitivity reactions are triggered by a variety of processes and circumstances. On the other hand, despite the fact that autoimmune disorders are very widespread, our understanding of the mechanisms involved in their development is restricted.

More reads:

Trusted Source. Please read the Disclaimer first

Care69 has written 95 articles