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Immune System Etc.com focus: immune system information, the immune response, immune system support, what you need to be aware of when you boost the immune system, what is immune system balancing, combating immune system stressors, what weakens the immune system, what strengthens the immune system, immune deficiency including autoimmune diseases and how you can help the body heal.
Immune System: Underactive/Weak? Overactive/Autoimmune?
Immune dysfunction could be very simply defined as an immune system that’s unable to do the job right.
Two Categories of Immune Dysfunction
Immune dysfunction classically comes in two categories:
A. Underactive, weakened immune function, or immunodeficiency
B. Overactive function, autoimmunity, or autoimmune disease
Underactive, Weakened Immune Function or Immune Deficiency
In the case of weakened immune function, the immune system just might not be up to the task at hand. It is deficient. Serious diseases can result when the immune system isn’t operating at full strength. Some examples of manifested weakened immune function (some things that have labels) might be:
Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
ANY infection (viral, bacterial, yeast) causing a problem
Frequent/long lasting colds or flu
Two Types of Immune Deficiencies
There are two types of immune deficiencies according to Dr. William R. Clark. One is a “primary immune deficiency” which is genetic in origin and occurs in about 1 out of 10,000 people.
We would expect to see in the area of 400 new cases each year in the United States. As these disorders tend to manifest during the first few years of life, this is an area that falls within the province of pediatricians who are trained to detect such problems.
Secondary or Acquired
The other type of immune deficiency is called a “secondary” or “acquired immune deficiency”. “These are not the result of inherited genetic abnormalities, but arise secondary to some other disease process, or after exposure to drugs or chemicals that are toxic to the immune system. These are by far the majority of immune deficiencies seen clinically.” Dr. William Clark
An unanswered question is, can an immune deficiency lead to autoimmune disease?