Hyperactive immune system but so many infections?

Hey guys

I'm honestly confused. In the last year or so I've learned so much about my asthma (has had it since 2yo, now I'm 24). Something just bugs me in all this. If my immune system is hyperactive and reacts to allergens too much so my asthma is activated, then why do I have a cold or a chest infection every single month? Isn't my immune system supposed to act hyper again and prevent the colds and the infections?

Pardon my silly question, I am no medic, it just seems too odd for me.

8 Replies

  • Good question! :-/

  • I have this condition too. Developed very quickly about 8-9 years ago. The immune system is like an army, with different squads fighting against different enemies. Our hyperactive (igE) squads job is to defend against allergens...pollen...cat hair certain foods etc. But the other squads fight against invaders such as viruses and bacteria. Sadly when we medicate our body to reduce effect of hyperactive side. Using steroids or equivalent. These meds reduce the whole immune system. All squads become reduced and less effective. Meaning there are bot as many efdective antibodies left to fight the bugs and germs so we get lots more infections. As you progress through the disease. You will be given different treatment. My igE levels were high enough to get put onto xolair every four weeks. Since being on this, I have reduced my steroids and many can come off them. Meaning only the targeted hyperactive antI bodies are effected and rest of system works as it should. I haven't had a single asthma related hospital admission since being on xolair. It will get easier and you will find it easier to manage xx

  • Thanks, Rolland. What you are saying makes a lot of sense. Problem is, I used to get the regular colds and infections even when I wasn't on steroids. In fact, when I wasn't on steroids, I was ill far more often (literally every month) - I was only taking bronchodilators then.

  • I totally get that. It happened to me too. Mine started when I started university. Suddenly being around so many unfamiliar germs from all over the world. And being tired and stressed with heavy work load. I hadn't ever even had a preventative inhaler before. I only ever used my ventolin when ill with a bug or cold. But once I got into the cycle of being ill every month with a different bug. My body started struggling. It started triggering my asthma worse and worse. Leading me to start getting monthly infections and asthma exacerbations. So I was getting monthly anti biotics and then monthly steroids. It kept escalating until I suppose it broke one of the bodies cut off switches which control the amount if anti bodies we make. So I developed this condition. I hope you find a good balance of meds and lifestyle soon that works for you xx

  • So you're saying that either my body will just get used to all the possible germs or I will develop some other condition?

  • Not necessarily. Every body is genetically different. Some people can have a decade of seriously bad asthma that is triggered every month. Then suddenly it isn't as bad and seems to ease and get better again. Others it is a first step on a long trip of medical conditions that are all linked together but need separate treatment. We're all different. But understand each others struggle. Xx

  • I hav similar problem asthma flare every month. I wonder is their a problem wi my immune system and if it were fixed would asthma stop. I

  • diana-stoyanova: Precisely because of that, as far as I understand. I asked the same kind of questions. Realise that our lungs and alveoli are way too sensitive to whatever is in the air so it reacts that way. Imagine a bag with air flowing in, just at the tiniest signal of something that the body detects as "wrong" or "possibly evil" the bag closes violently. This lack of breathing causes coughs. I was told that way and have been under real treatment for 3 years, fortunately I have the beast at bay nowadays. All the best. It dependes on the place, plants, the person, etc as well. I am writing from Spain. Maybe some bodies react differently dependending on the different "airs", if you know what I mean. All the best (the sequel).

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