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Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID)
Transcript of Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID)
CVID is only found in a very small amount of people- only around 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 50,000 people. CVID generally affects all races and genders equally, but is more commonly diagnosed in 20-30-year-olds. CVID is also found more often in people who have come in contact with more germs/viruses than others.
Body Systems Affected
CVID finds itself mainly affecting the immune system, and subsequently can affect a variety of parts in the body (depending on what antibody is malfunctioning/missing, of course). When antibodies are missing, bacteria isn't fought off like it should be and can damage your body. Sometimes, antibodies may even malfunction and attack other cells/tissues in the body. Most often, CVID patients experience more frequent infections in the ears, sinuses, and respiratory system. If infection is recurring, the lungs and bronchi can be damaged beyond repair. An enlarged spleen due to infection is also a possible effect of CVID.
CVID is a non-communicable disease-- it cannot be "caught" from another person. CVID is thought to be genetic, but there are cases where it shows-up/develops without any family history of it-- as such, scientists aren't entirely sure what the root cause of CVID is.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
CVID is usually suspected in people who have recurring infections of the lungs, bronchi, ears, and sinuses. The only way to know, however, is to get tested to see your levels of immunoglobulins and antibody function. A lack of certain antibodies-- especially those created after specific vaccines-- may confirm a doctor's suspicion.
Schwartz, Robert A. "Common Variable Immunodeficiency ." Common Variable Immunodeficiency. WebMD, n.d. Web. 07 July 2014. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1051103-overview>.
"Common Variable Immune Deficiency." Immune Deficiency Foundation. Immune Deficiency Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 July 2014. <http://primaryimmune.org/about-primary-immunodeficiencies/specific-disease-types/common-variable-immune-deficiency/>.
"Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID)." Information and Support for People with Primary Immune Deficiency. Baxter Healthcare Corporation, n.d. Web. 07 July 2014. <http://www.immunedisease.com/about-pi/types-of-pi/common-variable-immunodeficiency-cvid.html>.
Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID)
Prevention & Treatment
Given CVID isn't studied as much by professionals, there isn't a solid cure for it. One treatment for it is the IV replacement of immunoglobulins or other antibodies. Once you know you have it, though, there are precautions that can be taken so you can prolong your life and avoid making it worse. Some of the precautions include simply avoiding crowds and people in general.
The procession of somebody's life after they are diagnosed with CVID depends on how they handle it and what antibodies they are missing. Those people who are extremely cautious and take the steps needed to protect themselves tend to live lives as long as any other. Those who aren't careful or don't get properly diagnosed can wind up contracting other major diseases such as lymphoma, and find themselves living a very short life. Also, some antibodies can be replaced easier than others can-- some antibodies can be replaced in a few sessions of therapy to give the person a full recovery.
An example image of what patients with CVID lack-- Serum Immunoglobulins (Antibodies)!
Charles Alderson Janeway, famous for being one of the first people to study immunodeficiency, is credited with finding the first case of CVID back in 1953. It is thought that the disease was active well before Janeway's discovery, but was never properly studied or diagnosed.
The Immune Deficiency Foundation is a group dedicated to all sorts of immunodeficiencies. They have their own website -- http://primaryimmune.org/ -- which has resources for patients and families, articles to educate people on immune diseases, and plenty of ways for you to take part in spreading awareness. The Jeffery Modell Foundation also aims to spread awareness and inform others about the dangers of primary immunodeficiencies.
I chose CVID because it has an effect on my life. My mom was diagnosed with CVID just a few years back, and really took a hit. Pretty swiftly, she started to become fatigued and couldn't do much all without getting worn out or even fainting. Though she can still go outside and live her life to some extent, she isn't nearly as exciting and upbeat as she wants to be. On top of that, I'm predisposed to having CVID. It's not guaranteed that I have it, but I plan on doing all that I can to make sure I am educated and aware of what can happen to me-- this includes getting tested regularly and making sure I am careful with who/what I interact with.