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Maladaptive Responses to Immune Disorders Essay

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Updated: Jun 30th, 2021


Immune disorders are often described as long-lasting and chronic or as conditions that cannot be healed completely but only supported with the help of medicine. Patients with such immune disorders may develop various compensatory mechanisms as their body attempts to adapt to the difference in functioning. Moreover, they may also acquire maladaptive responses if possible treatment is postponed, neglected, or not followed. Both disorders have different prevalence in people according to their ethnicity. The pathophysiology of psoriasis and IBD, which are prevalent in white people, show such compensatory mechanisms as skin land intestine lesions or heart problems, and various maladaptive responses, including harmful eating patterns.

Pathophysiology and Compensatory Mechanisms

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that its pathogenesis relies mainly on the existence of specific triggers which cause the body to respond. These may include psychological trauma, infections, medicine, and biological reaction modifiers (Alharbi et al., 2018). With age, the reasons for psoriasis to develop may be connected to one’s comorbidities and behaviors such as obesity, hypertension, or smoking (Huether & McCance, 2017). Reacting to these factors, one’s body activates its immune cells, producing inflammatory mediators, which, in turn, cause the thickening of the dermis and epidermis and the occurrence of lesions (Huether & McCance, 2017). This process can be considered the body’s compensatory mechanism – it produces plaques as a response to the inflammatory buildup. The metabolism of cells is increased in people with psoriasis, which the body tries to accommodate by dilating the capillaries and causing skin redness – erythema (Huether & McCance, 2017).

IBD can be divided into two conditions – ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). Both affect one’s bowels, UC being prevalent in the colon and CD occurring in intestines. Their pathophysiology includes a complex reaction of one’s body to dietary patterns, genetic susceptibility, or gut microbiota changes (Matsuoka & Kanai, 2015). Various environmental influences change the way intestinal microflora is treated by the body’s immune system, which results in the development of lesions in one’s bowels. Compensatory mechanisms may involve inflammation in other regions of the body and the thickening of the intestinal wall (Huether & McCance, 2017). These responses may cause further damage to one’s liver and heart.

Maladaptive and Physiological Responses

Both disorders may cause stress and emotional problems as they often have periods of relapse. Thus, individuals with such conditions may develop mental health issues and harmful eating patterns. In psoriasis patients, psychological distress may be connected to one’s appearance, while people with IBD may feel discouraged from eating regularly, afraid of feeling pain. Thus, while the responses are different in their manifestation, they are similar in nature, affecting persons’ emotional stability. It should be noted that trauma and stress exacerbate both conditions (Alharbi et al., 2018; Matsuoka & Kanai, 2015).

Affecting Factor

Ethnicity is a factor that seems to have an impact on both psoriasis and IBD. According to Lee and Lamb (2014), psoriasis is prevalent in white people of European descent, regardless of their current geographic location. On the other hand, Pacific Islanders, Maori, and other indigenous groups in New Zealand have lower rates of psoriasis than whites. Similarly, Nguyen, Chong, and Chong (2014) note that non-Hispanic whites are the main part of the population affected by IBD. In the US, ethnic minorities seem to have fewer incidents of IBD in comparison to their white counterparts. Thus, ethnicity plays a role in the development of both immune disorders.


Psoriasis and IBD are immune disorders caused by a combination of one’s genetic predisposition, environmental factors, stress, and behavioral patterns. Psoriasis affects the skin while IBD changes ones’ intestines and colon. Both conditions leave individuals more susceptible to stress-related mental health problems, exacerbating their poor eating habits. Moreover, these disorders seem to be more prevalent in white people than in minority populations and indigenous peoples.


Alharbi, T., Alzahrani, A., Hakami, A., Almohammadi, A., Alsaadi, A., Magbel, N. B.,… Alkhezzi, S. (2018). Psoriasis pathophysiology and impact on life. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, 5(9), 3663-3667.

Huether, S. E., & McCance, K. L. (2017). Understanding pathophysiology (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Lee, M., & Lamb, S. (2014). Ethnicity of psoriasis patients: An Auckland perspective. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1404), 73-74.

Matsuoka, K., & Kanai, T. (2015). The gut microbiota and inflammatory bowel disease. Seminars in Immunopathology, 37(1), 47-55.

Nguyen, G. C., Chong, C. A., & Chong, R. Y. (2014). National estimates of the burden of inflammatory bowel disease among racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, 8(4), 288-295.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Maladaptive Responses to Immune Disorders'. 30 June.

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