WHAT IS SELECTIVE IGA DEFICIENCY?
Selective IgA Deficiency is the most common type of primary immunodeficiency disease. Patients with this deficiency have very low or even absent levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA), a blood protein that protects mucosal surfaces from infections in the respiratory and digestive tract.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Patients with Selective IgA Deficiency have recurrent ear infections, sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. Some of these patients may also have gastrointestinal infections and chronic diarrhea. Other patients with Selective IgA Deficiency may not show outward signs of this condition but display signs of other immune-related disorders, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Allergies and Asthma.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Levels of IgA and other immunoglobulins are measured from a blood sample. A complete blood count and urinalysis can provide information on the condition and functioning of other organs. To determine the condition of your lungs, your Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor may perform a lung function test utilizing a spirometer that measures the total amount of air you can inhale and exhale.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Unfortunately, IgA does not remain in the bloodstream for very long so replacement therapy is not very helpful. Most treatments are centered on clearing infections as they appear. Identifying the organism causing the infection is key to determining the specific antibiotic therapy to use. This can limit the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics unless necessary. Some patients with chronic bronchitis or sinusitis may need to stay on antibiotics long-term. Treatments for autoimmune diseases, in general, include the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and biologics. Contact your Gateway Asthma & Allergy Relief doctor if you think you may have an immune deficiency.