Immune System And Immunologist

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cupotee2 | 11:00 Thu 30th Jan 2014 | Health & Fitness
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Does anyone here know what or how an Immunologist can help with a recurring lung infection please.

My little man has COPD and for some months has a recurring infection. Within 3-4 days after finishing a double course of Antibiotics the infection re occurs. He is waiting for an appointment to see an Immunologist.

The Respiratory Nurse says they know the bug he has to prescribe the correct medication but his white blood cells are recognizing it, hence the bug is back yet again. Its wearing him out poor old fellow.


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Left to its own devices, the body's immune system fights infection by producing antibodies. It's usually the presence of these antibodies that produces symptoms rather than the infection itself. Unfortunately, our bodies are not capable of dealing with all infections quickly or comfortably which is why we use modern medicines. These may work by destroying the infection or by relieving the symptoms, but either way they interact with our immune systems.

Problems arise when the medication and immune system start fighting each other. That sounds like junior's current problem. An immunologist can either strengthen his immune system so he can get rid of the infection himself, or suspend part of it so it doesn't have an adverse reaction to the antibiotics.
There are many diseases of the lung which masquerade as COPD but have an underlying problem associated with the immune system..e.g sarcoidosis.

I am not suggesting that this is the reason, as Immunologists deal with ALL disorders of the immune system, but with the information that you have given, then it may well be appropriate.

many of the industrial diseases of the lung involve the Immune System.
\\\\My little man has COPD\\\ you mean your son or your husband?
Question Author
I mean my husband, he's 81 squad. Thank you for your explanation. I assume its the same for older people?

Question Author
He had an injection a month or so ago...was it called a Hib vacine. It appears to have made no difference as the infection hasn't cleared in months now
cupotee...yes, I thought so, but Old_jim put me off as in his post above he describes your husband as " junior" which fooled me somewhat.
Cupotee - I suspect the Hib vaccine was given in an attempt to boost his antibody levels to get rid of the infection. As this does not seem to have worked, he is being referred to an Immunologist who will do some tests to see how well his immune system is working.
An example of one of the tests that may be done is a blood test to check his immunoglobulin (antibody) levels.
The trouble is as we get older the weaker the antibody response is.
Question Author
Thanks for the replies everyone. It helps a little to know what tests may be performed when the appointment eventually happens.

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