The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body.
The lymphatic system primarily consists of lymphatic vessels, which are similar to the circulatory system's veins and capillaries. The vessels are connected to lymph nodes, where the lymph is filtered. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all part of the lymphatic system.
Harmful organisms are trapped and destroyed by the specialized white blood cells, called lymphocytes, that are present in these nodes. Lymphocytes are also added to the lymph that flows out of nodes and back to the bloodstream.
Antibodies are manufactured by the lymph system. Antibodies are specialized proteins that the body produces in response to invasion by a foreign substance. The process of antibody formation begins when an antigen stimulates specialized lymphocytes, called B cells, into action. Antibodies then counteract invading antigens by combining with the antigen to render it harmless to the body.
Lymphatic System aids our immune system
By removing and destroying waste, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, toxins, and cancer cells the lymphatic system aids our immune system.
The lymphatic system absorbs fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system and delivers these nutrients to the cells of the body where they are used by the cells.
The lymphatic system also removes excess fluid, and waste products from the interstitial spaces between the cells.
The remaining 10% of the fluid that stays behind in the tissues as a clear to yellowish fluid known as lymph.
Unlike blood, which flows throughout the body in a continue loop, lymph flows in only one direction within its own system. This flow is only upward toward the neck.
Here, it flows into the venous blood stream through the subclavian veins which are located on either sides of the neck near the collarbones.
After plasma has delivered its nutrients and removed debris, it leaves the cells. 90% of this fluid returns to the venous circulation through the venules and continues as venous blood.
The remaining 10% of this fluid becomes lymph which is a watery fluid that contains waste products. This waste is protein-rich due to the undigested proteins that were removed from the cells.
Without the lymphatic system, life cannot be sustained - people rarely hear about it or understand its complex work. The lymph system is closely related to the cardiovascular system, although its major function is as a defense mechanism it also:
* filters disease-causing organisms
* manufactures white blood cells
* generates antibodies
* distributes fluids and nutrients
* drains excess fluids and proteins left behind by capillary circulation preventing tissue swelling is the inner excretory mechanism of the body, * * which is four times larger than the blood system
* provides the means for each cell to eliminate waste
* The fluid that circulates within the system is called lymph. It is derived from blood plasma, although clearer and more watery, and lymph
seeps through capillary walls to fill tissue spaces. Besides lymph, the lymphatic system includes lymphatic capillaries, larger vessel lymph nodes, glands, spleen, tonsils, and thymus.
Your lymphatic system matters because it’s on the front line of disease-prevention.
When your body encounters bacteria or toxins, it moves them into the lymph fluid, which carries those baddies to your lymph nodes where they’re destroyed.
It’s your own personal detox system, basically.
No wonder lymph nodes—concentrated in the neck, groin, and armpits—swell when there’s an infection or illness. They’re working hard to get rid of the stuff that’s making you sick.
Even better, the lymphatic system protects you from cancer by shooting down mutated cells before they can spread.
But when the lymphatic system gets stressed, congested or clogged, it can’t get rid of the enemy cells fast enough. Lymph fluid can back up, causing swelling.
You want to get that fluid moving again. You want to help it drain so your lymphatic system can keep on clearing the stuff that might otherwise make you sick.
So how can you best support this amazing system?
Start with the obvious. Hydrate, eat healthy, exercise, breathe deeply, sweat and massage. All things you should be doing anyway to take care of yourself.
Massages are also wonderful for getting that fluid moving again.
If you’re experiencing a condition called lymphedema, which occurs when fluid builds up post-surgery, then there’s a specific form of massage called lymphatic drainage massage that can help. This massage technique can also help reduce scarring and promote healing. However, make sure to get your doctor’s approval first.
In general, any form of massage helps with circulation, whether you see a professional or massage yourself.
So if you want vibrant health, great skin, and a body that looks and feels its best, remember your lymphatic system.
It may not be as cool or popular as other parts of the body, but it deserves a helping hand.