Immune
Health

Take a Deep Breath Outdoors

Chronic infections that last or occur consistently and / or recurrently flare up can be an indication that your immunity needs some attention. Intravenous immunoglobulin supports the body when it can’t make enough antibodies to fight infection. Dr. Buddiga may order a Streptococcal Pneumonia serotype blood test to review if you are lacking in this type of immunity and may inject a 23 – valent conjugate Strep. Pneumococcal protein vaccination that in most cases “jump-starts” or boosts your immunity.

Recently convalescent plasma transfusions with neutralizing antibodies have been successfully used to defend from active COVID 19 – SARSCov2 Infection complications and has saved hundreds of patients stricken by this novel illness during this ongoing worldwide pandemic. Both testing and successful vaccine treatment are based upon the science of immunology for this novel condition that we are still learning about. The virus evolves everyday regarding response to vaccine type as well as immune pressure to mutate into variants that survive and propagate this infectious disease worldwide.

Immune Health Facts

CAUSES
  • Medications, Penicillin, Sulfa Agents, Pain Medications, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen
  • Foods Such as Nuts, Seafood, Wheat, Milk and Eggs
  • Insect Stings Such As Bees, Wasps and Fire Ants
  • Latex
  • Medications Used In Anesthesia
  • Exercise
  • New Emerging Pathogens Such As SARS-Cov 1 / 2 , Coronavirus Variants / COVID19, Zika , Ebola and Others.
SYMPTOMS
  • Hives
  • Flushed or Pale Skin
  • Sudden Loss of Taste or Smell Sensation
  • Malnutrition – Vitamin Deficiency
  • The Sensation of a Lump in Your Throat
  • Constriction of the Airways
  • A Swollen Tongue or Throat
  • Nausea, Vomiting or Diarrhea
  • Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Unexplained Skin Rashes
TESTING & TREATMENT
Testing

  • Immune Health Testing

    Do you know the strength of your immune system? A number of factors may play into how strong your immunity is, from stress to fatigue, diet, environmental factors, quality of life, work life balance and much more. Testing for stable and strong immune status is an important tool in assessment of the integrity of the patient’s ability to protect oneself from infection. This may be achieved by testing for Immunoglobulin M, immunoglobulin G, Immunoglobulin G1-G4 subclasses and Immunoglobulin A. The immune system consists of 2 major arms the first arm being “Humoral immunity” and the second being “cell-mediated immunity” represented by B cells and T cells respectively. Therefore testing for T and B cell subsets may be helpful diagnostically.

    Other tests such as streptococcal pneumonia titers looking at various serotypes and then vaccinating with the 23-Valent Strep. pneumonia vaccine and rechecking antibody titers 6-8 weeks later also is a common test to assess immune response.

Treatment

  • Shots For Low Immunity

    When the body’s immunity is low, you may suffer from chronic infections. Intravenous immunoglobulin supports the body when it can’t make enough antibodies to fight infection by stopping your white blood cells from destroying your red blood cells. Administered via injection, we treat low immunity patients with intravenous immunoglobulin every three to four weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the major components of a competent human immune system?

    There are four key components we examine when looking at the immune system.

    1. Antibody mediated B-cell immunity
    2. Cell-mediated T-cell immunity
    3. Innate immunity by phagocytosis (cell destruction due to functional abnormalities)
    4. Complement system- inherent immune system that contains a host of proteins that methodically disarm an invading contagion leading to its self-destruction.
  • What are the hallmarks of a competent and strong immune system?

    A competent and strong immune system is represented by a functioning B-cell immunity, competent T-cell immunity and innate immunity that allows for destruction of invading organisms by activation of the complement system (inherent immune system that contains a host of protein that methodically disarms an invading contagion leading to it’s self-destruction)

    If these are left unguarded, invading organisms or agents can produce infection and disease leading to death of the invaded organism.

  • What makes me think I have a weak immune system?

    A recurrent theme of having constant infections despite antibiotic use, and / or a constant assault by various bacterial, viral, fungal, protozoal or other contagions.

    These conditions mandate an immunological evaluation of competency of one’s immune system.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis or Esophagus inflammation

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a chronic immune condition that results in the inflammation of the esophagus, the conduit of smooth muscle that connects the throat to the stomach. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cells normally present in the digestive tract, but in the case of eosinophilic esophagitis, they multiply significantly causing inflammation or difficulty swallowing.

The FDA recently approved the first medicine to treat this condition just recently in September 2020 known as Dupilumab – a monoclonal antibody given by subcutaneous injection to safely treat this condition.

CAUSES
  • Environmental Allergies
  • Food Allergies
  • Acid Reflux
SYMPTOMS
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Food Impaction
  • Chest Pain
Sinus Infections

Sinuses are large hollow spaces around the nasal passage internally which are normally filled with air. Viruses, bacteria and allergens can lead to the infection and blockage of the nasal passage. During a sinus infection, inflammation blocks the nasal passages, preventing drainage secondary to built-up mucus.

CAUSES
  • Infection
  • Allergies
  • Sinus Irritation
  • Nasal Polyps
SYMPTOMS
  • Sinus Pressure
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Headache
Flying Insect Allergies

An insect sting usually causes redness and swelling at the site of the insect sting. Although in some cases the poisonous venom (aka Hymenoptera Venom) may cause an overreaction of the immune system leading to a severe allergy that can be life-threatening.

CAUSES
  • Honey Bees
  • Yellow Hornet, White Faced Hornets
  • Wasps
  • Yellow Jackets
  • Fire Ants
SYMPTOMS
  • Hives
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Itchiness
  • Flushing
  • Swelling In Areas Away from the Sting
  • Dizziness or a Sharp Drop In Blood Pressure
TESTING & TREATMENT
Testing

  • Testing

    This is performed in the clinic by scratch testing to flying insect hymenoptera venom as well as graded intradermal skin testing at various dilutions. Usually RAST testing for Honeybee IgE, Hornet species IgE, Wasp IgE, Yellow Jacket IgE and Fire Ant IgE may also be performed prior to skin testing. You are recommended to do Skin testing to avoid possible false negatives on blood testing.

Treatment

  • Treatment

    The desensitization treatment protocol to hymenoptera venom is a graded escalation of dose of flying insect antigen/ venom of Honey Bee, Yellow Jacket, Wasp , Yellow Hornet, White faced hornet on a weekly basis for 16 weeks then once a month at a maintenance dose administered subcutaneously.

    Treatment with this desensitization process prevents death due to accidental sting by a venomous flying insect. The patient still carries an Epi-pen for emergencies.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the first three treatments administered to someone having an allergic reaction to a flying insect bite / sting ?

    Epinephrine, Epinephrine, Epinephrine

  • What are some of the avoidance techniques to prevent an insect sting?

    1. Avoid wearing bright and light colored clothes that could attract bees.
    2. Avoid wearing scents and perfumes.
    3. Wear gloves and long pants while working in gardens
    4. Avoid drinking out of uncovered open soda cans left outside
    5. Wear shoes, long pants while walking in the grass fields.
    6. Use insecticides specially designed to kill hymenoptera
  • How effective is Hymenoptera venom immunotherapy?

    1. The rate of protection varies depending on the maintenance dose and whether the immunotherapy is for vespid (yellowjacket, white faced hornet, yellow hornet) or honeybee.
    2. At the usual maintenance dose of 100 µg once a month approximately 98% of adults and children on vespid immunotherapy have clinical protection.
    3. The clinical protection for honeybee is reported to be 80%

     

    References:

    1- Golden DBK: Epidemiology of allergy to insect venoms and stings. Allergy Proceedings 10:103–107, 1989

    2- . Golden DBK, Marsh DG, Freidhoff DR, et al. Natural history of Hymenoptera venom sensitivity in adults. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997;100:760–766. [PubMed: 9438483]

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