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What is the Lymphatic System?

Even though it is not often acknowledged, the lymphatic system is vital to the immunity of a person. This system performs many functions and is involved with removing toxins and waste. There are certain steps you can take to have a healthier lymphatic system.

By Harshal Chinthala

Published 3:24 EST, September 19th, 2021

Many people don’t know about a very important system in the body, the lymphatic system, which is vital to a person’s immunity. The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, veins, and organs that work together to return lymph, which is a colorless watery fluid, to your circulatory system. This system removes toxins and waste products from the body and removes surplus fluid that drains from cells and tissues throughout the body and sends it to the circulation.The lymph fluid is then recirculated throughout the body.

A healthy lymphatic system helps with many important body processes, such as returning fluid to the circulation, filtering lymph, filtering blood, eliminating pollutants from the body, and fighting illness. The lymphatic system collects excess fluid and drains it into the bloodstream. If the lymphatic system did not remove surplus fluid from the tissues, lymph fluid would accumulate in the body, causing a swelling reaction. The lymphatic system also filters lymph. Cancer cells might adhere to neighboring lymph nodes if they break free from a tumor. For this reason, when evaluating how far cancer has spread, doctors will first examine the lymph nodes. The system also takes out various impurities. The system assists in the removal and disposal of these pollutants through sweat, bowel movements, urine, and breath. Additionally, the lymphatic system plays a role in fighting infections. 

The lymphatic system is made up of many parts. One of these is lymph, a collection of excess fluid drained from cells and tissues but not reabsorbed by the capillaries. Lymph also carries white blood cells that fight infections, known as lymphocytes. This lymph fluid is moved through lymphatic vessels. These vessels make up a network of tubes that transport lymph. Lymphatic veins collect and filter lymph as it moves toward bigger vessels known as collecting ducts. Lymphatic vessels function similarly to your veins. They run at extremely low pressure and have fluid flowing in one direction using a set of valves. The lymphatic vessels also collect the fluid at lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are bean-shaped glands that monitor and purify lymph as it passes through them. There are around 600 lymph nodes distributed throughout your body. Damaged cells and malignant cells are filtered out by the nodes. Lymphocytes and other immune system cells are stored by the lymph nodes. These lymph nodes also generate and store lymphocytes and other immune system cells, which fight and eliminate bacteria and other pathogens in the fluid. 

There are also a number of organs that make up the lymphatic system. The thymus holds white blood cells that fight off invaders. There are also tonsils and adenoids in the mouth, which trap pathogens from your food and the air you breathe. These are your body’s initial line of defense against invading organisms. One organ that is more well-known is the appendix. This organ includes lymphoid tissue and can kill germs before entering the gut and breaking the wall during absorption. A large number of people suffer from appendicitis, in which the appendix is inflamed and must be surgically removed.

There are also other problems that can occur with your lymphatic system. Many diseases can impact the lymphatic system’s channels, glands, and organs. Some occur before birth, while others occur throughout childhood. Further, others emerge as a result of illness or damage. The most frequent lymphatic system illness is lymph node enlargement, which is known as lymphadenopathy. There is also swelling due to lymphatic obstruction, which is known as lymphedema. Infection, inflammation, or malignancy are the most common causes of lymphatic system disorders.

The human body is made up of several organs and glands that are responsible for excreting poisons from the body. The lymphatic system refers to this network of organs and glands. Unfortunately, most people’s lymphatic systems get blocked and do not work correctly. A person’s lymphatic system can get out of balance due to dietary inadequacies, a high intake of processed foods, and a lack of physical activity. You can get a healthier lymphatic system through exercise. Begin with less strenuous training sessions and gradually include more intensive workouts into your regimen. Another helpful tip is to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. There are special lymphatic massages that you can do which can decrease edema and enhance lymphatic circulation throughout the body. Overall, it can be said that the lymphatic system gets overlooked, and it performs many critical functions. It is essential to take care of it just like any other system. 

Harshal Chinthala, Youth Medical Journal 2021

Sources

Ten ways to improve your LYMPHATIC HEALTH. Farm to Fit. (n.d.). https://farmtofit.com/blogs/article/ten-ways-to-improve-your-lymphatic-health. 

10 ways to cleanse a CLOGGED lymphatic system. Synergy Health Associates New York, NY. (2017, August 16). https://synergyhealthassociates.com/blog/cleanse-clogged-lymphatic-system/. 

Zimmermann, K. A. (2018, February 21). Lymphatic system: Facts, functions & diseases. LiveScience. https://www.livescience.com/26983-lymphatic-system.html. 

Lymphatic system: Parts & common problems. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21199-lymphatic-system. 

By Harshal Chinthala

Harshal Chinthala is student in Kansas City. He is interested in the fields of neurology and cardiology.

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