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Immune Deficiency Specialist

Premier Allergy Asthma & Immunology, PLLC

Kiranjit K. Khalsa, MD, MPH

Allergy & Immunology Practice serving Scottsdale, Phoenix, AZ, and the surrounding areas

Everyone depends on their immune system to keep them healthy. When it doesn't work normally, you develop an immune deficiency that puts your well-being at risk. At Premier Allergy Asthma & Immunology, PLLC, Kiranjit Khalsa, MD, MPH, specializes in diagnosing and treating immune deficiency diseases. If you have frequent infections or would like to learn more about immune deficiency, call the office in Scottsdale, Arizona, or book an appointment online today.

Immune Deficiency Q&A

What is an immune deficiency?

Your immune system normally protects you from disease, illness, and invading pathogens. But sometimes, the immune system becomes overactive or underactive. An overactive immune system causes problems like allergies and autoimmune diseases.

When your immune system weakens and stops protecting you, you have an immune deficiency. Immune deficiencies generally occur due to a genetic condition or an acquired disease such as AIDS.

What type of immune deficiency is hereditary angioedema?

Angioedema refers to a buildup of fluids in the tissues below the skin's surface. Hereditary angioedema is an inherited disorder that causes recurrent episodes of fluid accumulation.

The fluids cause rapid swelling in your hands, arms, feet, legs, and face. You can also have swelling in your airways, intestinal tract, and other internal organs.

The symptoms of hereditary angioedema start in childhood and usually worsen during adolescence. Your child may experience:

  • Swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Non-itchy skin rash

Without treatment, most children have an angioedema flare-up every 1-2 weeks. Each episode lasts about four days.

What problems commonly develop due to an immune deficiency?

You could have one of hundreds of different primary immune deficiency diseases. They affect different body areas and cause specific symptoms.

However, most immune deficiency diseases make you susceptible to infections. As a result, they cause frequent or recurring infections, such as:

  • Ear infections
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Eye infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Meningitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Gastritis

The most common immune deficiency condition, immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency, causes recurrent respiratory infections.

How are immune deficiencies treated?

The treatment for most immune deficiencies falls into two broad categories. Some treatments boost the deficient part of your immune system, and others target your symptoms.

For example, Dr. Khalsa may prescribe one of several possible medications for hereditary angioedema. These medications prevent or quickly reduce the fluid buildup that causes swelling.

One common treatment for restoring your immune system is an intravenous infusion of immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins refer to a large group of proteins that work as antibodies that fight infections and illnesses.

If you struggle with frequent infections or need experienced care for an immune deficiency, call Premier Allergy Asthma & Immunology, PLLC, or book an appointment online today.