Does you child seem to always be getting sick? Maybe with a recurring illness? If so, it is possible that there could be an underlying problem and it shouldn’t be swept under the rug!
Primary immunodeficiency, also known as PI, is a genetic defect that can compromise a child’s immune system, which then leads to an increased susceptibility to certain illnesses. There are more than 100 types of PI, each having somewhat different symptoms. Which symptoms a child has will depend on which part of the immune system are affected, and some are worse than others.
Children who have PI will have illnesses that occur frequently and those illnesses will drag on and on and can become chronic, despite the use of antibiotics. If a child suffers from eight or more ear infections or two or more serious sinus infections within a year, they could suffer from a form of PI. Some other warning signs that you could look for are failure to gain weight or grown normally. This is something that could even run in the family.
There are more than 1 million children and young adults in the United States who are affected by PI. Experts estimate that 70-90% of those with the disease go undiagnosed. Without a diagnosis and treatment, these constant infections can significantly weaken a child’s immune system.
It is important for parents to know how simple and inexpensive it is do get a diagnosis for this disorder, all it takes is a blood test in more than 95% of cases. Once there is a diagnosis, there are several different treatment options that can provide your child with a better quality of life, and in some cases, a cure.
If your child has been sick constantly, and you suspect there may be some underlying problem, talk to their doctor. Keep a journal of their illnesses to refer to and to look for patterns. And just remember, with a simple blood test, you could have a life changing answer.