One of the most common signs of primary immunodeficiency is an increased susceptibility to infections. You may have infections that are more frequent, longer lasting or harder to treat than are the infections of someone with a normal immune system. You may also get infections that a person with a healthy immune system likely wouldn't get (opportunistic infections).
Signs and symptoms differ depending on the type of primary immunodeficiency disorder, and they vary from person to person.
Signs and symptoms of primary immunodeficiency can include:
- Frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis or skin infections
- Inflammation and infection of internal organs
- Blood disorders, such as low platelet counts or anemia
- Digestive problems, such as cramping, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea
- Delayed growth and development
- Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes
When to see a doctor
If your child or you have frequent, recurrent or severe infections or infections that don't respond to treatments, talk to your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of primary immune deficiencies may prevent infections that can cause long-term problems.
Jan. 20, 2015
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- Pasternack MS. Approach to the adult with recurrent infections. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 23, 2014.
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- Primary immunodeficiency diseases. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/primary-immunodeficiency-disease.aspx. Accessed Nov. 23, 2014.
- Berger M. Immune globulin therapy in primary immunodeficiency. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 23, 2014.
- General care. Immune Deficiency Foundation. http://primaryimmune.org/about-primary-immunodeficiencies/relevant-info/general-care/. Accessed Nov. 3, 2014.
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