Immunology, as a separate section of medicine, has arisen recently, so many people do not know what they are doing and what the immunologist is treating.
His profile is the treatment of diseases associated with disorders of the human immune system.
- Implantology of transplantation – deals with the problems of rejection of foreign organs during their transplantation.
- Radiation immunology – restores immunity damaged due to radiation treatment or received radiation sickness.
- Embryoimmunology – studies the causes of miscarriage associated with immunological incompatibility between mother and child.
What does an immunologist treat?
- Immunodeficiency diseases (primary, secondary, complicated immunodeficiency, HIV);
- allergic diseases (urticaria, allergic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, Goodpacher syndrome);
- hereditary and acquired ailments that are accompanied by a decrease in immunity (Viskot-Aldrich syndrome, IgE overproduction, X-histrocytosis, hereditary agammaglobulinemia, pulmonary fibrosis).
Other cases requiring the help of an immunologist
- Diseases that could be triggered by a decrease in immunity: herpes zoster, various candidiasis, sluggish pneumonia, furunculosis;
- frequent colds and infectious diseases (especially in children);
- infertility and chronic miscarriage;
- the condition after exposure prescribed for the treatment of certain diseases or radiation sickness caused by anthropogenic causes;
- organ transplantation.
What does an immunologist do
- Conducts skin tests to detect allergic reactions;
- examines the immune and interferon (detecting the level of interferon in the blood serum) status of patients;
- conducts computer spirometry;
- determines IgE to allergens by a blood test;
- conducts the necessary cytological studies.
Timely consultation with an immunologist is necessary for everyone, since a modern person is in conditions that contribute to a decrease in immunity. Stress, unbalanced nutrition, and poor ecology can become factors in impaired immune system function.
When to go to the immunologist
- If allergic reactions occur (urticaria, allergic dermatitis, Quincke edema);
- in identifying diseases that are often the result of reduced immunity (poorly treatable and recurrent mycoses, herpes zoster, sluggish pneumonia);
- after radiation exposure and radiation sickness;
- after severely transmitted infections;
- with chronic miscarriage and infertility, the causes of which cannot be determined;
- if the patient underwent organ transplantation.
When a child needs an immunologist consultation
- If the child often suffers from infectious diseases;
- with severe symptoms of diathesis, weight deficiency and rickets;
- with a constant increased reaction to preventive vaccinations (high fever, rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, formation of a seal at the injection site);
- if the child has an allergic reaction to medications, food, etc.;
- with suspected hereditary diseases, manifested, in particular, impaired functioning of the immune system (Wiskot-Aldrich and Di George syndromes, hereditary agammaglobulinemia, Omenn’s disease). In such cases, the pediatrician sends a consultation to this specialist.
How to prepare for an appointment
During the consultation, the doctor carries out a collection of tests that will help identify the source of the allergy and find out the state of the immune system.
In order for the research results to be as accurate as possible, it is necessary to prepare for a doctor’s appointment:
- do not eat for 12 hours before consultation;
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol;
- if possible, exclude the use of medications (if due to health reasons the patient cannot refuse to take the medicine, the doctor must be informed of the medication taken);
- do not drink plenty of fluids in the morning and evening on the eve of the examination;
- if there is nervous stress or an exacerbation of a chronic disease, a visit to the doctor is best rescheduled.