Re: Hypogammaglobulinemia and c4 deficiency
Hi Wendy ... I know its hard not to panic when you are the parent (I have four kids!!). I am not a doctor, but I do have hypogammaglobulinemia (also known as an antibody deficiency) so I might be able to offer some insights to help you out until you get some solid answers from an immunologist. Hypogamma means that the patient is not producing enough immunoglobulins - that's where we get the antibodies from to protect us from disease. The most prolific one in our bodies is IgG and your son is likely deficient in this and perhaps some others. Those of us lacking IgGs tend to be very prone to infection, although there is a huge range in how this affects different people. The good news is that it is treatable and most of us with hypogamma lead long, relatively healthy lives, especially if the condition is discovered early in life before there is long term damage to lungs etc. The prognosis for your son would be very good I believe. The treatment might involve regular use of antibiotics and agressive treatment of infections ... or it might at some point involve monthly infusions of gammaglobulins (this is known as ivig if you are doing a search). IVIG is a blood product that essentially gives us someone else's immune system for a month. It is very effective, but wears off in a few weeks, hence the regular infusions. There is an organization in th US called the Immune Deficiency Foundation. You might want to check them out. I hope you are seeing an immunologist about this and that you get the problems and treatments worked out soon. It might be a good idea to have your 13 year old's immunoglobulin levels checked as well. Chronic sinus infections are typical with many kinds of immune deficiencies. Let us know how you are making out and if we can help with any other questions.