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Diseases of the immune system

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

The human body can fully function and exist only when it harmoniously interacts with the diverse microbial world. In some situations, it becomes a lifesaver for a person and, in others, a threat to life in terms of autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your body. A healthy immune system is an honest judge that can truly assess the target of a germ in contact with a person.

Signs that your immune system is weakened. The state of the immune system largely depends on the functioning of the human body and some external influences from the environment. These factors can have positive and negative effects on the capabilities of the immune system. In a negative case, immunity decreases, and the following symptoms appear:

  • Poor wound healing is observed.
  • ARVI diseases with a severe and prolonged course.
  • With reduced immunity, viral and colds occur more often than usual (more than twice a year for adults and more than four times for children).
  • The appearance of weakness, pallor of the skin, lack of active resistance in relation to external factors.
  • Detection of tuberculous disease (any form).
  • With reduced immunity, the presence of abscesses on the skin is observed.
  • Fungus on nails, skin, or mucous membranes, such as candidiasis or onychomycosis.
  • Recurrent surgical infection.
  • Diseases of the sinuses and respiratory tract, and urinary system are resistant to treatment.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes.

Each of these signs is considered a consequence of lowered immunity. Another sign is an imbalance in the immune system. It can manifest itself in the form of allergies or autoimmune diseases.

Causes of a weakened immune system

Since the immune system is a complex structure, there are many possible reasons for its decline.

Accompanying illnesses
  • suffered injuries or serious operations;
  • the presence of a cancerous tumor;
  • HIV infection;
  • pathology of the circulatory system (lymphoma, leukemia);
  • the presence of intestinal parasites in humans, helminthic invasion;
  • severe liver damage;
  • the use of aggressive chemotherapy for the treatment of tuberculosis or oncology.
  • diarrhea in the presence of malabsorption syndrome, as well as improper intestinal absorption;
  • any infectious disease, trauma, which is of a long-term nature;
  • the presence of renal proteinuria;
  • the long process of antibiotic therapy;
  • progressive renal-hepatic failure and uremia;
  • immunodeficiencies.
  • temporary or permanent residence in places with increased radiation;
  • an unhealthy diet that lasts for a long time;
  • exposure to toxins from chemicals and industrial emissions;
  • nervous state, irritability, restless sleep;
  • anemia or hypovitaminosis;
  • passion for bad habits, for example, alcohol abuse, smoking, drugs;
  • excessive physical activity or insufficient physical activity.

Active and passive immune system

There are cases when even ideal immunity cannot resist pathogenic microorganisms, which have high virulent characteristics; this can be the presence of whooping cough, diphtheria, polio, hepatitis, tetanus, and other diseases. For these reasons, it is necessary to prepare the human body for possible contact with pathogens, which occurs through vaccination. Specialists can do vaccination in two ways: passive and active.

  • Active immunity occurs when our own immune system is responsible for protecting us from a pathogen. Active immunity can be introduced with a vaccine. This is a preparation that contains weakened, live, and killed microorganisms. In addition, these can be individual elements, for example, antigens, proteins. The drug is administered at the time of absolute well-being in the human body. This becomes the reason for producing certain antibodies and the formation of strong immunity if secondary contact with pathogens is observed.
  • Passive immunity occurs when we are protected from a pathogen by immunity gained from someone else. Passive immunity can only be introduced thanks to special immune sera. These are drugs that contain ready-made antibodies designed against pathogens, as well as their toxins. The use of such drugs is usually required if signs of certain diseases are found. Only in this case, such a method can save the patient’s life.

The main task of humoral factors is the recognition, structuring, and inactivation of pathogens and their elements. Then they are presented to T = cells, which are responsible for the cells and the final inactivation of the pathogen. The mediator, in this case, is the complement system.

Types of Immune system disorders

Immune diseases are usually divided into three groups according to the type of impairment; immunity can function excessively, insufficiently, or atypically (autoimmune diseases).

Allergies. The most common of all immune system disorders is allergy. Its development is based on incorrect identification of substances by cells of the immune system. At the first contact with one or another component, the immune system perceives it as dangerous, which further leads to the development of an allergic reaction of varying severity. And although such an immune response can form to any substance, doctors distinguish a group of potential allergens:

  • Some food products are milk, eggs, citrus fruits, nuts, bright berries, seafood.
  • Plant pollen.
  • Wool, feathers.
  • Household chemicals and latex.
  • Dust.
  • Mushroom spores.

The exact cause of the allergy has not been clarified, but among the factors that provoke it, doctors call the following:

  • Heredity.
  • Prolonged contact with potentially allergenic components (development of sensitization).
  • Stress.
  • Reduced immunity.

Allergy often manifests itself in childhood, but under unfavorable conditions, it can also develop in adults.

Immunodeficiencies. Insufficient functioning of the immune system includes both congenital and acquired diseases. Genetically determined immunodeficiencies are often diagnosed at an early age, sometimes in the first weeks of life. Since diseases are associated with defects in the immune system itself, they are challenging to treat.

Secondary immune diseases of this type can develop under the influence of such factors:

  • Viral and bacterial infections (rubella, hepatitis, measles, staphylococcus, etc.).
  • Helminthic invasions.
  • The simplest lamblia, chlamydia and others.
  • Persistent infections (AIDS, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus).
  • Intoxication.
  • Eating disorders.

Against the background of immunodeficiencies, health deteriorates significantly, any minor infection can cause complications, and in some cases even cause death, the risk of developing malignant tumors increases.

Causes of a weakened immune system

Immune system diseases

You can observe an imbalance of immunity in various somatic pathologies, which can be called secondary. About primary immunodeficiency, it occurs in diseases of the immune organs and other immune system attacks. For example:

  • Combined immunodeficiency. Among them are immunodeficiency, which is accompanied by eczema of the skin and bleeding (Wiskott-Aldrich disease), as well as a syndrome of defective lymphocytes.
  • The problem of humoral immunity. One of the most common syndromes is Bruton’s syndrome, which implies a lack of immunoglobulins of all types and an increased level of some abnormal antibodies as well as a selective lack of immunoglobulin.
  • Gitlin’s syndrome. It implies a decrease in the level of the immune system, accompanied by a disruption in the functioning of the body and its growth.
  • Breakdown of cell immunity. This is an increase in sensitivity and susceptibility to thymic hypoplasia and some types of congenital fermentopathy.
  • Neutropenia is acquired or hereditary. It includes cyclic neutropenia, Kostman agranulocytosis. Together with these diseases, neutrophilic blood leukocytes are completely absent or reach a critical level.
  • Louis Bar disease. This genetic disease manifests itself as a moderate imbalance in immunity or abnormal development of blood vessels.

In diseases of a non-hereditary type, secondary immunodeficiencies can be found. 

  • For example, AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It intentionally produces immune system attacks on immune cells such as killer T cells. Another example of immunodeficiency can be the consequences of onco hematological diseases.
  • It is also worth taking into account the imbalance of the immune system if it has become a consequence of autoimmune diseases about its own tissues. Such an outcome is likely if a person has lupus erythematosus, allergic reactions, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, glomerulonephritis, Crohn’s disease, etc. Such diseases are usually not accompanied by a decrease in immunity; however, if treatment occurs over a long period, then the immunity of the human body is depleted.

Symptoms and causes of autoimmune diseases

An autoimmune response targets specific organs such as the thyroid, stomach, pancreas, and adrenal glands. Diseases not specific to organs are rheumatism, lupus, and scleroderma. They are characterized by an autoimmune response to antigens in various tissues.

Ulcerative colitis and possibly multiple sclerosis are considered mixed forms. The formation of antibodies precedes any autoimmune disease to the body’s tissues, which form immune complexes as part of the immune response. As a result of the deposition of these immune complexes in individual organs or tissues, symptoms of an autoimmune reaction occur.

Common complaints include:

  • increased body temperature;
  • decreased appetite;
  • loss of body weight;
  • soreness of the joints;
  • increased fatigue and weakness;
  • excessive sweating and shortness of breath;
  • violations of the skin.

Vitiligo, rash, limited movement, and joint pain are common symptoms. Many autoimmune diseases are accompanied by damage to the cardiovascular system.

The symptoms of individual autoimmune diseases vary and depend on the organ or tissue affected. For example, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is characterized by symptoms of autoimmune thyroid inflammation. In this case, hypothyroidism occurs as a result of fibrosis until the complete loss of the thyroid parenchyma and a diffuse struma without nodes develops. Multiple sclerosis is based on auto sensitization to antigens of the meninges of nerve cells. Often starts with paralysis or numbness; the condition usually proceeds in waves.

Autoimmune diseases and its complications

These immune system diseases are characterized by the reaction that develops not to foreign elements but its cells and tissues, mistakenly identified as dangerous. As a result of such processes, extremely serious conditions develop. In particular, such diseases include:

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

The reasons for the development of autoimmune diseases often remain unclear. Doctors note that in some cases, they can occur against the background of oncology or prolonged inflammatory processes (often caused by a virus). Therefore, chronic diseases require mandatory treatment and control to prevent the development of such complications.

An autoimmune response targets specific organs such as the thyroid, stomach, pancreas, and adrenal glands. Diseases not specific to organs are rheumatism, lupus, and scleroderma. They are characterized by an autoimmune response to antigens in various tissues.

Ulcerative colitis and possibly multiple sclerosis are considered mixed forms. The formation of antibodies precedes any autoimmune disease to the body’s tissues, which form immune complexes as part of the immune response. As a result of the deposition of these immune complexes in individual organs or tissues, symptoms of an autoimmune reaction occur.

Common complaints include:

  • increased body temperature;
  • decreased appetite;
  • loss of body weight;
  • soreness of the joints;
  • increased fatigue and weakness;
  • excessive sweating and shortness of breath;
  • violations of the skin.

strengthen the immune system

How to strengthen your  immune system

If a person has a reduced immunity, it is necessary to undertake treatment at the initial stage. It is not at all easy to help the immune system, but it is possible. In this case, you need to use an integrated approach since any little thing is really important. What to do:

  • Normalize your lifestyle, balance your diet, and create a sleep pattern. It is relevant if the lifestyle has caused a decrease in immunity.
  • Get rid of bad habits.
  • Carry out the correct treatment of diseases.
  • Get rid of the reasons that caused the drop in immunity.
  • Strictly follow the rules that were given by experts when prescribing medication for immune imbalance.
  • Take medicinal plants that belong to the group of immunomodulators. Such plants include plantain, echinacea, and beekeeping products.
  • Take vitamin complexes.

Bathhouse procedure. To maintain immunity, you can also go to the bathhouse. However, a visit to the bathhouse should only be done by those with no contraindications for high temperatures. The healing effect is the stimulation of blood circulation throughout the body. This leads to getting rid of chronic infection factors, removes toxic products, accelerates the synthesis of immunoglobulins.

Hardening. Another way to increase immunity is hardening. However, here you need to know when to stop. Hardening should be phased; otherwise, it can lead to the opposite consequences. It cannot be hardened starting from low temperatures. The temperature should be lowered gradually with the help of air baths and water procedures.

Medication. It is another way. The therapy is directed to the place where the breakdown is. It is necessary to strictly control the intake of medications so that there is no risk of developing imbalance and autoimmune aggression.

Immunity must be increased after taking antibiotics if there has been a long course of treatment. To do this, you need to follow doctors’ recommendations, a healthy lifestyle, take probiotics, vitamins, and enhanced nutrition. 


  • What is an immune system disease?

Immune diseases are a whole category of pathologies in which disorders in the functioning of the human immune system occur. With them, pronounced changes in the action of effective immunity mechanisms are observed, due to which the state of health deteriorates.

  • What are the cells of the immune system of the human body?

The central organs of the immune system include the bone marrow and thymus. In the bone marrow, B-lymphocytes are formed from its stem cells. In the thymus, T-lymphocytes are differentiated from the stem cells of the bone marrow that entered this organ.

  • What is the name of a disease that affects the immune system?

Autoimmune diseases are diseases associated with a dysfunction of the human immune system, which begins to perceive its own tissues as foreign and damage them.

  • What organs constitute the immune system?

The organs of the immune system are central and peripheral. The former include the thymus and red bone marrow, peripheral spleen, lymph nodes, and lymphoid tissue.

  • What are the signs of a weakened immune system?

The first sign will be poor and long wound healing, frequent soreness and colds, and abscesses may appear on the skin. If you feel weak, then immediately consult a doctor to make the correct diagnosis.

  • How to treat the immune system diseases?
  1. Take medicinal plants that belong to the group of immunomodulators. Such plants include plantain, echinacea, and beekeeping products.
  2. Take vitamin complexes.
  3. Normalize your lifestyle, balance your diet, and create a sleep pattern. It is relevant if the lifestyle has caused a decrease in immunity.
  4. Get rid of bad habits.
  5. Get rid of the reasons that caused the drop in immunity.

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Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
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Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
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Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
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Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
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Steve Nabavi
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It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
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16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
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Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
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The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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