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Immune system disorders

Related Terms

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Background

  • Immune system disorders occur when the body's immune system does not function properly. The immune system is a complex network of cells, proteins, tissues, and organs that work together to fight off harmful substances and disease-causing microorganisms called pathogens. A healthy immune system helps protect the body from disease, infection, and cancer.
  • An immune system disorder can be classified as either an autoimmune disorder or an immune deficiency.
  • Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system mistakes body cells for harmful invaders, such as bacteria, and attacks them. Autoimmune disorders can destroy body tissues, cause abnormal organ growth, and/or impair organ function.
  • Immune deficiencies occur when an individual's ability to fight against an infectious disease is compromised or entirely absent. Patients who suffer from immune deficiencies experience recurrent infections, such as sinusitis and pneumonia. There are two main types of immune deficiencies: primary immune deficiencies and secondary immune deficiencies.
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Causes

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Signs and Symptoms

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Complications

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.