Immune Deficiency: Lifestyle Management


Immune deficiency management includes:

  • Avoiding and treating infections
  • Medication and replacement therapies
  • Learning to live with an immune deficiency


Avoiding Infections

Complete isolation from foreign invaders is difficult and prevents a normal lifestyle.  Actions you can take to avoid infection include:    

  • Stay away from people who have a cold or other infection.  
  • Wash your hands with soap before eating, after outings and after using the toilet. Disinfectant (germ killing) hand wipes or other hand cleaners may be used when a restroom is not available.   
  • Clean cuts and scrapes right away with soap. Apply antibacterial cream or ointment and cover the cut or scrape with a fresh bandage at least daily. Tell your doctor if any redness or drainage develops.
  • Tooth decay and gum diseases are types of infection.  Brush your teeth after meals and floss at least daily.  Have a dental exam every 6 months.

If you notice any of the following, you may have an infection.

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nasal congestion or discharge
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Unusual discharge
  • Swelling or redness on the skin

If you suspect you have an infection of any kind, notify your doctor right away.


Living With an Immune Deficiency

This information has taught you about immune deficiencies, healthy lifestyle, avoiding and treating infections and medications. All of these things can help you control immune deficiencies. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you have questions. Your doctor is your partner in taking care of your immune deficiency.

Other people also can help you take care of your immune deficiency. Your family and friends also can help. Talk with these people about your immune deficiency.

Sometimes a chronic illness can be hard on the whole family. If your immune deficiency is causing family problems, be sure to talk with someone. Your doctor can help you find an expert to talk with. There also may be support groups where you can meet and talk to other people with an immune deficiency.

Remember your goals:

  • Participate in work, school, family and social activities
  • Decrease the number and severity of infections
  • Have few, if any, side effects from medications and other treatments
  • Feel good about yourself and your treatment program

Maintaining a normal lifestyle is possible for most people with an immune deficiency.
 


More Lifestyle Management Information
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