8 Common Causes of Immune Disorders

Your body’s immune system protects you from disease and infection, but when you suffer from an immune disorder; your immune system becomes dysfunctional and leaves the body prone to attack by invading germs and infection—typically by become over- or under-active.

The most commonly known immune disorders are Lupus, Type one diabetes , Rheumatoid arthritis, and Multiple sclerosis.

There are over 80 different types of immune disorders, and even though direct causes are still a medical mystery, doctors consider the following links as increased risk factors…

1. Heredity

Studies link heredity to a higher chance of developing an immune disorder. For instance, if one parent has an immune disease (i.e., type one diabetes) their children’s risk for inheriting that same disorder increases significantly.

2. Age

Immune disorders typically show themselves during childhood and teen years.  Take Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, a type of rheumatoid arthritis, primarily affects those under the age of 18.

3. Hormones

Medical research has also found a link between the levels of certain naturally occurring hormones (i.e., certain sex hormones) within the body, and the risk of developing certain immune illnesses.

4. Genetic Mutations

In addition to your family history increasing your risk of developing an immune disorder, your specific genetic make-up can also have an effect. Studies suspect that your genes count for raising the risk of immune disorders by one-third.

5. Environment

The idea that immune diseases can be triggered by the surrounding environment has always been speculated.  Many scientists point to the onset of an infection or certain toxins as the initiator.

6. Race

Race can also predispose you to certain immune diseases, particularly for those of African-Americans (i.e., for lupus and scleroderma), and Caucasians (i.e., for type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis).

7. Related Illnesses

It’s known that individuals who have an existing immune disorder are prone to developing multiple related illnesses. Take for example patients with Type 1 Diabetes being at greater risk of Celiac Disease (which affects the small intestine).

8. Gender

Your sex (along with related factors) may also predispose you to an immune disease, with adolescent girls and females in their early 20s being 3 times more likely to develop an immune disease compared to males in the same age group.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.