Let’s start with the basics:

What is primary immunodeficiency (PI)?

We’ll go over that and a whole lot more here.

PI is a group of disorders that cause your immune system to not work correctly, which makes it harder for your body to fight infections. There are more than 450 types of PI, and while they’re all different, they all affect the immune system. That's where treatment comes in—to help you fight infections.

Woman stretching.

What causes PI?

PI isn’t contagious, so you can’t catch it from someone like you would a cold or the flu. PI is usually genetic, which means there is a defect in one or more of your genes. This also means that PI diseases can run in families.

What are the symptoms of PI?

When you have PI, one of the most common symptoms is being more prone to infections. This may include more frequent infections, which may be difficult to cure, unusually severe, or caused by unusual germs. However, the symptoms can vary, and they can be mistaken for common infections.

Woman smiling.

How do you know if you have PI?

Your doctor will do primary immunodeficiency testing. Because there are so many types of PI and each type has its own symptoms, it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. So, it’s important to have honest, open conversations with your doctor(s). Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk about any symptoms you may be experiencing. The more you share, the better equipped your doctor will be to help figure out what’s going on with your health.

How is PI treated?

Immune globulin, or IG, is used to treat PI. IG is a term you’ll hear and read about often. IG contains antibodies you can think of as warriors, helping your body fight infections by replacing the antibodies that are missing from your immune system or not working properly.