Immunodeficiency Specialist

South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group -  - Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialist

South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group

Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Physicians located in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Redwood City

Your immune system protects your body from foreign invaders, such as germs and chemicals. Immunodeficiency refers to various disorders that result in a weakened immune system, making you more vulnerable to debilitating infections. The allergy, asthma, and immunology experts at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group in San Jose, Los Gatos, Mountain View, and Redwood City, California, specialize in immunodeficiency and have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of these rare conditions. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.

Immunodeficiency Q & A

What is immunodeficiency?

Immunodeficiency, also referred to as primary immunodeficiency, is a general term that refers to rare disorders that affect immune system function, increasing the risk of chronic, debilitating infections.

The disorders are called “primary” immunodeficiency because outside factors, such as a viral infection like HIV or medications, do not cause them. Primary immunodeficiencies are also not the same as autoimmune diseases, which cause an overactive immune system, not underactive. 

There are over 200 types of immunodeficiency disorders. However, the disorders are generally classified into groups based on the area of the immune system they affect. The groups include:

  • B cell antibody deficiencies
  • T cell deficiencies
  • Deficiencies of both T cell and B cell
  • Complement deficiencies
  • Defective phagocytes
  • Unknown

Primary immunodeficiency disorders are inherited, and you may be at risk if they run in your family. 

What are immunodeficiency symptoms?

Immunodeficiency symptoms vary significantly, depending on the immune system defect. However, most people with a primary immunodeficiency disorder experience frequent infections that last longer than normal and may be difficult to treat. 

Other symptoms may include:

  • Recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, or ear infections
  • Anemia
  • Low platelet count
  • Internal organ inflammation
  • Abdominal cramping, nausea, or diarrhea
  • Autoimmune disorders (type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis)

Children with primary immunodeficiency may also experience a delay in growth and development. 

How is immunodeficiency diagnosed?

The specialists at South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group are well-versed in the evaluation and treatment of many common immunodeficiencies. During an evaluation, your specialist reviews your symptoms and takes a thorough medical and family history.

To diagnose an immunodeficiency, your specialist first runs a basic blood test to screen for immune defects. Based on the results of the blood screening, they request more specific tests. 

Some testing may require administration of a vaccine, followed by a blood test several weeks later that evaluates how your immune system responds to the vaccine. 

How is immunodeficiency treated?

South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group develops individualized treatment plans for primary immunodeficiency based on the specific immune defect. Treatment may include:

  • Monthly administration of intravenous antibodies
  • Antibiotics
  • Antifungal medications
  • Minimizing exposure to sick people

If you have an extremely complex case, your doctor refers you to a state-of-the-art medical center for treatment.

To schedule your comprehensive immunodeficiency evaluation, contact South Bay Allergy and Asthma Group by phone or online today.