diseases of the immune system and autoimmune system

The function of the immune system

 The immune system is the system responsible for the system of biological processes carried out , by the organs and cells inside the body of living organisms.


with the aim of protecting them from diseases , and foreign particles from the body. Where this system identifies pathogens, such as microbes or viruses, and works to attack and eliminate them .


diseases of immune system 

Immune system disorders can cause disease . If the immune system’s performance is impaired , the body is more likely to contract infectious diseases, and types of cancers, including simple diseases such as the common cold and influenza.


Immunodeficiency occur when the immune system is less active than normal , resulting in repeated , potentially life-threatening infections.


immunodeficiency disorders ppt

Immunodeficiency can be a result of a genetic disease , such as combined immunodeficiency , or it can be caused by drugs , or an infection , such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) .


Autoimmune diseases result because the immune system is overactive , attacking normal tissues as if they were foreign organisms .


In order for the immune system to be able to defend the body , it must recognize both the factors that belong to the body (the autoimmune factors). those that are foreign to it (the non-self factors).


Autoimmune diseases occur when the body fails to distinguish between autoimmune and non-auto factors. 


When this happens , the body produces antibodies directed against the body’s own tissues, called “autoantibodies“. 


It attacks the normal cells of the body by mistake .  When the immune system is not functioning the way it should , it is called an immune system disorder .


 immune system imbalance

  • 1) – Among the reasons that cause an imbalance in the immune system is insufficient rest , and not sleeping at night for enough hours a day .


  • 2) – Continuous stress for a person , whether it is psychological or physical stress. 


Because this stress may make the immune system resist the feeling of fatigue , which is caused by stress , and this makes a person vulnerable to other diseases .


  • 3) – Not following a healthy diet , as this affects the immune system and weakens its work .


  • 4) – The spread of toxins in abundance in the body , and this makes the body vulnerable to many diseases at the same time . it is difficult for the immune system to fight these diseases adequately .


  • 5) – Eat foods that contain preservatives in abundance , in addition to foods that contain artificial colorings .


  • 6) – Significant increase in weight may cause an imbalance in the function of the immune system , due to the lack of hormone regulation .


Also, when the body is overweight , it loses large amounts of chemicals and antibodies .


  • 7) – Infection by humans with some diseases in the stomach and digestive system , which is one of the factors that cause an imbalance in the immune system.


  • 8- Drinking too much alcohol and stimulants , smoking in abundance , and being addicted to narcotic substances helps to cause , an imbalance in the immune system .


  • 9) – Following severe diets in order to get rid of excess weight , which may be the cause of an imbalance in the immune system. 


This is because this severe diet may cause a decrease in the number of cells ; responsible for fighting various diseases .


  • 10) – Eat large amounts of sugars , during the day .  And not to eat foods and fruits that contain vitamin C , as it helps strengthen the immune system .


  • 11) – Infection with some diseases , that affect the skin may be the reason behind this imbalance. 


Among the most famous is smallpox , and pulmonary tuberculosis may be the cause of an imbalance in the immune system .


  • 12 – Lack of interest in eating some important types of vegetables , which contain antioxidants , which help to strengthen and stimulate the immune system .


  • 13) – Taking some therapeutic drugs that have side effects that affect the activity of the immune system , and with repetition of these drugs , they cause an imbalance in the immune system .


  • 14) – Infecting a person with certain diseases frequently and at close times , which may help weaken and exhaust the immune system , due to its high resistance to these diseases .


 symptoms of a compromised immune system


    1) – Fatigue and stress 



    2) – Having a frequent cold 



    3) – Digestive problems 



    4) – Wounds do not heal quickly 



    5) – Recurring infection 


  • 1) – Fatigue and stress :

People with weak immune systems usually experience fatigue and stress .


This is according to a report issued by the American Psychological Association , that constant stress indicates a weak immune system response.


It is worth noting that stress helps , reduce lymphocytes in the body .


in addition to the inability of white blood cells to fight various infections , which the body may be exposed to, including viruses that cause colds.


  • 2) – Having a frequent cold :

 A large number of colds and influenza is an indication of a weakened immune system , especially for those who suffer from a cold more than 3 times during the year .


  • 3) – Digestive problems :

 Frequent exposure to digestive problems is a symptom of a weakened immune system .


One of these problems is exposure to diarrhea , constipation or gas frequently .


Studies have shown that beneficial bacteria are always present in the intestine , which supports the immune system and helps to strengthen it .


  • 4) – Wounds do not heal quickly :
 If a person’s immune system is weak , then when he suffers a wound , it heals slowly .  This means that the body is slow to send blood along with nutrients to the skin , which helps regenerate skin cells .


  • 5) – Recurring infection :

Exposure to repeated infections may be one of the causes of weak immune system , such as having pneumonia , having an infection in the ear , and suffering from frequent sinus infections .


 Immune system diseases and disorders

 Diseases affecting the immune system , are one of these four divisions :


  • (1) – When a person’s immune system does not function the way it should, then this is called an immune system disorder .  A person can be born with a weak immune system .  This is called primary immunodeficiency .


  • (2) – When a disease weakens the immune system ,  This is called HIV infection .


  • (3) – When a person has a very active immune system ,  This may happen with an allergic reaction .


  • (4) – When the immune system turns against the body , and this is called an autoimmune disease .


 immune system disorders list


    A) – Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) 



    B) – Temporary Acquired Immune Deficiency 



    C) –  HIV / AIDS 



    D) – Overactive immune system ; ex)  
  • 1) – Asthma 

  • 2) – Eczema 
  • 3) – Allergic rhinitis


  • A) – Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) :

This is an example of an immune deficiency present at birth . 


babies are at constant risk of infection by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  This disorder is sometimes called “bubble disease.” 


In the 1970s, a boy had to live in a sterile environment inside a plastic bubble .  toddlers with SCID are missing important white blood cells .


  • B) – Temporary Acquired Immune Deficiency :
The immune system can be weakened by some medications , for example this can happen to people who are receiving chemotherapy , or other drugs used to treat cancer .


It can also happen to people who are transplanted who take medication to prevent organ rejection. 


Also, infections such as influenza virus, mononucleosis , and measles can suppress the immune system for a short time . 


The immune system can also be weakened , by smoking , alcohol and malnutrition .


  • C) –  HIV / AIDS :

HIV, which causes AIDS, is an acquired viral infection that destroys important white blood cells and weakens the immune system . 


People infected with HIV (AIDS) develop serious diseases that most people can fight .  These infections are called “opportunistic infections” because they benefit from a weakened immune system .


  • D) – Overactive immune system :

If a person is infertile with certain genes, their immune system may react to substances in the environment that are usually harmless.  These substances are called allergens. 


An allergic reaction is the most common example of an overactive immune system .


Dust , mold , pollen , and some foods are examples of allergens .  Some of the conditions caused by an overactive immune system are:


  •  1) – Asthma :

The lung response can cause coughing , wheezing , and difficulty breathing .  Asthma can be triggered by common allergens , such as dust or pollen , or by an irritant such as tobacco smoke .


  •  2) – Eczema :

 Allergens cause an itchy rash, known as atopic dermatitis.


  • 3) – Allergic rhinitis :

Sneezing , runny nose , sniffling , and swollen nasal passages are internal allergens , such as dust and pets .  Or external allergens such as pollen .


 Autoimmune diseases

  • In autoimmune diseases, the body attacks normal , healthy tissues ,  The cause is unknown. 


  • Maybe it’s a combination of a person’s genes , and something in the environment turns these genes on .  When an autoimmune disease occurs, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body.


It is known that the human immune system works to protect the body from germs such as bacteria, fungi and viruses . 


  • When the immune system senses the presence of foreign bodies, it immediately performs its job to fight these bodies, by sending a large group of protective cells .


  • The immune system has the ability to distinguish between , foreign cells and normal body cells .


  • But when a person suffers from an autoimmune disease , the immune system confuses some parts of the body and considers them foreign. 


  • In this case, it works to secrete some proteins, which are “antibodies” to attack healthy cells.


  • Some types of autoimmune diseases only target one organ , such as type 1 diabetes , as it destroys the pancreas .


  • Autoimmune diseases may target the entire body , such as lupus .


 autoimmune diseases causes

No one knows exactly what causes autoimmune diseases, but several factors appear to exist.


  • The genetic factor is one of the causes that lead to autoimmune diseases.  As some genetic intervention resembles “the meaning of several persons in the family from a particular disease,” .
it is likely to enhance the transmissibility , and development of autoimmune diseases to their own generations .


  • Dysfunction of the immune system , meaning when the body’s immune system is unable to produce antibodies , in order to help fight bacteria, fungi , viruses , as well as cancer cells , and other toxins that are exposed to them in the environment .


When it is unable to fight all these bodies , it can lead to disease .


  • Hormonal disorders may lead to exposure to autoimmune diseases .
 Mothers develop autoimmune diseases , they are more susceptible compared to men , and women are more susceptible to the disease during pregnancy and childbearing from the age of 14 to 44 years .


  • Common autoimmune diseases include thyroiditis , Hashimoto , rheumatoid arthritis , type 1 diabetes and lupus . 
  • Myasthenia gravis is another disease , that is considered an autoimmune disorder .


Among the common autoimmune diseases are :

  1. 1) – Type 1 diabetes 
  2. 2) – Rheumatoid arthritis 
  3. 3) – Lupus 
  4. 4) – Psoriasis
  5. 5) – Multiple Sclerosis 
  6. 6) – Myasthenia 
  7. 7) – Autoimmune thyroiditis 
  8. 8) – Graves’ disease 
  9. 9) – Inflammatory bowel disease 


  • 1) – Type 1 diabetes :

It helps the pancreas produce a hormone that works to regulate blood sugar levels in the body , called the hormone insulin . 


In type 1 diabetes , the immune system works to fight and kill the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas . 


With the occurrence of high blood sugar , it can cause damage to blood vessels and organs such as the eyes , nerves , heart , and kidneys .


  • 2) – Rheumatoid arthritis :

This type of arthritis causes swelling and deformities in the joints .  An auto-antibody called rheumatoid factor is present in the blood of some people with rheumatoid arthritis .


  • 3) – Lupus :

Lupus attacks body tissues , including the kidneys , lung , and skin . 


Many types of autoantibodies are found in the blood of people with lupus . 


It appears as a rash on the face with the width of the cheeks , similar to the wings of a butterfly .


Most people with SLE are able to live a normal life with treatment .


autoimmune diseases that cause joint pain

  • 4) – Psoriasis:


 Dermal cells grow normally in the body , and when they are useless they fall off .  This causes skin cells to rapidly weaken , and excess cells form and become scaly red spots , called plaques and scales . 


A type of psoriasis is known as psoriatic arthritis , when the affected person experiences swelling , stiffness and pain in the joints , and that is 30% .


  • 5) – Multiple Sclerosis :

Multiple sclerosis is sclerosis , which affects both the brain and nerves . 


The cells of the immune system attack the myelin sheath, which is the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells .


when it destroys the myelin sheath, it greatly affects the transmission of nerve messages between the brain and the body , because it is the protective layer that surrounds nerve cells .


  • 6) – Myasthenia :

 The immune system attacks both nerves and muscles, causing severe weakness and weakness.


  • 7) – Autoimmune thyroiditis :

 This condition causes cells in the thyroid gland to become inflamed and destroyed , which in turn causes an underactive thyroid gland .


  • 8) – Graves’ disease :

 It is a disease that affects the thyroid gland , causing it to become overactive .


  • 9) – Inflammatory bowel disease :

The immune system attacks the lining of the intestine , causing severe cases of diarrhea , rectal bleeding , urgent bowel movements , abdominal pain , fever and weight loss . 


Examples of inflammatory bowel disease include ulcerative colitis , and Crohn’s disease .


Treating autoimmune diseases

  • So far , there are no sure treatments for autoimmune diseases , but there is hope through some treatments that can control these diseases of all kinds . 


  • As anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids) and painkillers can deal with autoimmune diseases that affect the joints.


  • blood transfusions can improve those health conditions associated with blood problems .  And also with drugs that suppress the immune system , as well as more formulated therapies that include blood purification.


  • Other combination treatments include plasmapheresis , intravenous infusion of antibiotics from other people (VIG – Intravenous immunoglobulin) .


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