Immune Diseases

Immune diseases generally refer to autoimmune diseases, that is, diseases caused by the immune system's immune response to components of the body. Under normal circumstances, the immune system only responds to foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and transplants, and destroys or repels these foreign bodies. However, under the influence of certain factors, the body's tissue components or the immune system itself will be abnormal, causing the immune system to mistake its own components as foreign objects to attack. At this time, the immune system will produce antibodies and active lymphocytes that target some of the body's own components, damaging and destroying its own tissues and organs, leading to disease. Broadly defined immune diseases also include structural or functional abnormalities of the immune system caused by congenital or acquired causes.

Immune Diseases

Classification of Immune Diseases

The immune system is a complex and very effective structure that is specific, inducible and adaptive, protecting the human body from foreign or dangerous invaders. However, incorrect identification or some inherent defects can also make the defense function fail and even attack itself. This situation can be divided into three categories: immune deficiency, autoimmunity, and hypersensitivity. Common immune diseases are listed as follows:

Causes of Immune Diseases

Autoimmune disease means that the body produces an immune response to itself. Autoimmune reactions can occur in a number of ways:

  • Normal body substances are altered by viruses, drugs, sunlight or radiation. This changed substance may be recognized by the immune system as a foreign body. For example, viruses can infect and alter cells in the body. Virus-infected cells stimulate the immune system to attack them.
  • Foreign substances similar to the body's natural substances can enter the body. The immune system can occasionally target similar body substances as well as foreign substances. For example, the bacteria that cause streptococcus throat infection have certain antigens similar to human heart cells. In rare cases, the immune system can attack a patient's heart after attacking streptococcus in the throat.
  • Cells that control antibody production may have abnormal functions and produce abnormal antibodies that attack certain cells of the body.
  • Substances that are normally confined to specific parts of the body are released into the bloodstream. For example, eye trauma can result in the release of eyeball fluid into the bloodstream. The fluid stimulates the immune system to identify the eye as foreign and attack it.

Immunodeficiency disease refers to the inability of the body to produce an appropriate immune response to invading microorganisms. The causes of immunodeficiency diseases can be divided into two types:

  • Primary Immunodeficiency: These diseases usually exist at birth and are usually hereditary. They often manifested in infancy or childhood. There are currently more than 100 primary immunodeficiency diseases, but all are relatively rare.
  • Secondary Immunodeficiency: These diseases usually occur late in life and are often caused by the use of certain drugs or by other diseases such as diabetes or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. They are more common than primary immunodeficiency diseases.

An allergic reaction is an excessive immune response to a generally harmless foreign antigen. Allergens may cause allergic reactions after contact with skin or eyes, inhalation, ingestion or injection.

Prevention and Treatment of Immune Diseases

The prevention and treatment of immune diseases generally depends on the specific type and symptoms of the disease. The treatment of autoimmune diseases requires controlling the autoimmune response by suppressing the immune system. However, it should be noted that many drugs that control the immune response will also interfere with the body's ability to resist disease, especially infection. For immunodeficiency diseases, prevention is usually the main factor. In addition, stem cell transplantation can correct some immunodeficiency diseases, especially severe combined immunodeficiency diseases. Stem cells are usually obtained from the bone marrow and sometimes from the blood, and they are often used to treat serious diseases.

For research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.

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