Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases, or PIDD, are a group of over 200 rare, chronic immune diseases affecting 500,000 people in the United States. Often, someone with PIDD will have recurrent or severe infections due to their immune system not working properly.
The most severe cases are typically diagnosed in infancy and early childhood, but you can develop PIDD at any age. Although deficiencies usually become prominent before age 20, it is easy for PIDD to be misdiagnosed, and it is not uncommon for an adult to have one of these conditions without realizing it. For example, common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is usually diagnosed in adulthood.
If you have PIDD or suspect you might, this is what you should know.
What Causes PIDD?
PIDD is caused by genetic mutations and deficiencies, such as:
- B cell deficiencies
- T cell deficiencies
- Combination deficiencies (B and T)
- Defective phagocytes
Different genetic factors are present in each disease, so the various types of PIDD diseases all vary in severity. In some cases of severe mutation, the immune system is almost completely absent.
Since these genetic factors are present at birth, there is no way to prevent disease development. However, there are some ways you can manage PIDD once you’ve been diagnosed.
When Should You Be Concerned about PIDD?
If you know that you have a family history of PIDD or autoimmune diseases, you should keep an eye on your health. Contact your doctor if you have symptoms such as:
- Frequent or repeated infections, including:
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Infections that are more severe, harder to treat, or last longer than in people with healthy immune systems
- Digestive problems
- Wounds that do not heal
What Does Having PIDD Mean in the Long Run?
People with PIDD are more likely to have accompanying or subsequent conditions, such as
- Autoimmune disorders
- Blood disorders
- Organ Damage
- Serious infection resulting in injury or death
Therefore, people with PIDD need to be more careful than most. It is recommended that they take special care to practice good hygiene and avoid sick people if possible.
Many adults living with undiagnosed PIDD may have sought treatment in the past and feel frustrated with unsuccessful medical intervention. However, with proper treatment and management, many people with PIDD are able to live long, fulfilling lives.
Do you think you might have Primary Immune Deficiency Disease (PIDD)? Talk to Langford Allergy.
Dr. Langford and our team work closely with local infectious disease specialists to help you manage your diagnosis and get the care you need. Schedule an appointment or call our office to learn more: 478-787-4728