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Immune System Disorders

Immune System Disorders

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This lesson will examine the cause and effects of several immune system disorders.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This lesson will cover various immune system disorders and diseases by looking at:

  1. Allergies
  2. Autoimmune Disorders
  3. Immunodeficiency

1. Allergies

Allergies are when substances enter the body and cause an immune system attack. The immune system is responding to an allergen, a generally harmless substance that enters the body and causes this immune system attack. Dust, pollen, food, certain medications, pet dander, et cetera can all be allergens. Allergens cause a person's mucous membranes to become inflamed.

Term to Know

    • Allergy
    • A hypersensitivity (overreaction) to environmental substances called allergens, an allergic response is carried out by the release of histamine and is basically an inflammatory response.
IN CONTEXT
Let's say that you are allergic to pollen and you are outside on a day and inhale some pollen. As you inhale that pollen, it will enter your system and attach or bind to B-cells in your body. This causes effector B-cells to make and secrete IgE antibodies to that allergen. From there those antibodies are going to attach to mast cells, a type of white blood cell found in your tissues, which stimulating the release of histamines. The release of histamine granules is what causes inflammation, and therefore is what causes the inflammation of your mucous membranes. This is what makes you feel so awful when you have allergies.

Treatments for allergies can include:

  • Antihistamines-drugs that you can buy that provides short-term allergy relief, because it blocks the effects of histamines.
  • Desensitization therapy is a way to treat allergies that stimulates the body to produce IgG antibodies instead of IgE.

Anaphylactic shock is a type of whole-body allergic reaction, which is very serious and can cause death. A person who goes into anaphylactic shock would need to be injected with epinephrine, which is a drug that will help reverse the effects of that allergy.

Term to Know

    • Anaphylactic Shock
    • Shock is a general term to describe a severe drop in blood pressure; anaphylactic shock is caused by an extreme allergic reaction that causes blood volume and blood pressure to drop as a result of excessive histamine release and inflammation.

2. Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders are when the immune system attacks normal healthy body cells.

Term to Know

    • Autoimmunity
    • When the immune system recognizes a self antigen as being foreign and attacks it; when the immune system attacks our own tissues/organs.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of disorders where joint tissue is attacked. This causes the joints to become inflamed, and it can be really painful.

Type I diabetes is another type of autoimmune disorder in which insulin-producing cells of the pancreas become attacked. The pancreas can no longer produce insulin, and people who have Type I diabetes generally have to use injectable insulin in order to control their blood glucose levels.

Lupus is another type of autoimmune disorder that's characterized by a butterfly rash on the face. With lupus, antibodies are produced to a person's own DNA. Lupus has a wide rangeof effects on the body.

Terms to Know

    • Type I Diabetes
    • A metabolic disease known as diabetes mellitus, type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the destruction of pancreatic β cells. β cells are responsible for producing and secreting insulin, so when a person loses these cells they have a difficult time metabolizing glucose.
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • An autoimmune disease where the immune system produces autoantibodies against the connective tissue capsules of synovial joints. This causes severe inflammation and disfigurement of synovial joints, especially noticeable in the hands and feet.
    • Lupus
    • Known as systemic lupus erythematosus, lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect any organ system. Lupus can be very difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms may mimic other diseases.

3.Immunodeficiency

Immunodeficiency is when a person's own immune system is weak or can even be almost nonexistent.

Term to Know

  • Immunodeficiency
  • A general term used to describe a person that has a weakened/compromised immune system. Immunodeficiencies cause a person to be susceptible to opportunistic infections, which are infections you wouldn’t normally get with a healthy immune system.

A.I.D.S. is a common example of immunodeficiency. It stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is a disease caused by the HIV virus, and it leads to a person's immune system not working, making them susceptible to contracting many other types of diseases. Because their immune system is so weak, they can't fight these other diseases off either.

`Term to Know

    • A.I.D.S.
    • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS is caused by the HIV virus. A person with AIDS has a very low T helper cell count that causes them to lose their ability to coordinate their immune response making them immunodeficient and susceptible to opportunistic infections.

Summary

There are many immune system disorders and diseases that can impact your immune system. Allergies are when generally harmless substances enter the body and cause an immune system attack. Autoimmune Disorders are when a person's own immune system attacks their own health body cells, such as with lupus. Immunodeficiency is a general term to describe a person that has a weakened or compromised immune system. AIDS is an example of this kind of disorder.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Allergy

    A hypersensitivity (overreaction) to environmental substances called allergens, an allergic response is carried out by the release of histamine and is basically an inflammatory response.

  • Autoimmunity

    When the immune system recognizes a self antigen as being foreign and attacks it; when the immune system attacks our own tissues/organs.

  • Type I Diabetes

    A metabolic disease known as diabetes mellitus, type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the destruction of pancreatic β cells. β cells are responsible for producing and secreting insulin, so when a person loses these cells they have a difficult time metabolizing glucose.

  • Immunodeficiency

    A general term used to describe a person that has a weakened/compromised immune system. Immunodeficiencies cause a person to be susceptible to opportunistic infections, which are infections you wouldn’t normally get with a healthy immune system.

  • AIDS

    Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS is caused by the HIV virus. A person with AIDS has a very low T helper cell count that causes them to lose their ability to coordinate their immune response making them immunodeficient and susceptible to opportunistic infections.

  • Anaphylactic Shock

    Shock is a general term to describe a severe drop in blood pressure; anaphylactic shock is caused by an extreme allergic reaction that causes blood volume and blood pressure to drop as a result of excessive histamine release and inflammation.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

    An autoimmune disease where the immune system produces autoantibodies against the connective tissue capsules of synovial joints. This causes severe inflammation and disfigurement of synovial joints, especially noticeable in the hands and feet.

  • Lupus

    Known as systemic lupus erythematosus, lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect any organ system. Lupus can be very difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms may mimic other diseases.