What is Hypogammaglobulinemia?
I’ve recently been diagnosed with the immune disorder Hypogammaglobulinemia which requires the expertise of an Endocrinologist doctor. My doctor isn’t sure how I contracted since I don’t fit any of the noted categories. My thoughts are it’s either my Lithium which I’ve taken for over 35 years or a result of Lyme Diseases.
Lyme may sound like a stretch or crazy but one of the first things my PA told me is since Lyme has no cure and the virus is live in your body you will get other illnesses over time. So far she has been right. I have Fibromyalgia and full-body arthritis. Lyme isn’t a stretch to me. We’ll see as more testing is done.
Like Lyme infusion treatment is necessary, some require only one treatment and others require ongoing infusion treatment. Hearing this makes me think of the nine months I spent on IV Infusion Therapy for Lyme. I am remaining optimistic only one injection will be needed.
I’ll keep you posted and I learn more from the additional testing and meeting the Endocrinologist.
Hypogammaglobulinemia is a problem with the immune system that prevents it from making enough antibodies called immunoglobulins. Antibodies are proteins that help your body recognize and fight off foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Without enough antibodies, you’re more likely to get infections. People with hypogammaglobulinemia can more easily catch pneumonia, meningitis, and other infections that a healthy immune system would normally protect against. These infections can damage organs and lead to potentially serious complications.
Several gene changes (mutations) have been linked to hypogammaglobulinemia.
One such mutation affects the BTK gene. This gene is needed to help B cells grow and mature. B cells are a type of immune cell that makes antibodies. Immature B cells don’t make enough antibodies to protect the body from infection.
THI is more common in premature infants. Babies normally get antibodies from their mother through the placenta during pregnancy. These antibodies protect them from infections once they’re born. Babies that are born too early don’t get enough antibodies from their mother.
A few other conditions can cause hypogammaglobulinemia. Some are passed down through families and start at birth (congenital). These are called primary immune deficiencies.
- ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T)
- autosomal recessive agammaglobulinemia (ARA)
- common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)
- hyper-IgM syndromes
- IgG subclass deficiency
- isolated non-IgG immunoglobulin deficiencies
- severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)
- specific antibody deficiency (SAD)
- Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
- x-linked agammaglobulinemia
More oftenTrusted Source, hypogammaglobulinemia develops as a result of another condition, called secondary or acquired immune deficiencies. These include:
- blood cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), lymphoma, or myeloma
- nephrotic syndrome
- poor nutrition
- protein-losing enteropathy
- organ transplant
Certain medications can also cause hypogammaglobulinemia, including:
- medicines that suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids
- chemotherapy drugs
- antiseizure medications
Doctors treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. People who get severe or frequent bacterial infections may need to take antibiotics for several months at a time to prevent them.
If your hypogammaglobulinemia is severe, you may get immune globulin replacement therapy to replace what your body isn’t making. You get this treatment through an IV. The immune globulin comes from the blood plasma of healthy donors.
Some people only need a single injection of immune globulin replacement. Others will need to stay on this treatment for a year or more. Your doctor will do blood tests every few months to check your levels until they get up to normal.