Get to know the causes and symptoms of a dysfunctional lymphatic system :
What is a lymphatic system?
The human circulatory system is a combination of the lymphatic system and the cardiovascular system.
The lymphatic system, a major part of our circulatory system, is responsible for flushing out toxins, waste, and excess fluid from the human body. It also plays a major role in improving the body’s immunity and helps to fight infection with the help of lymphocytes or white blood cells.
The cardiovascular system transports blood through veins, arteries, and capillaries while the lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to transport a watery and colourless fluid called lymph back into your circulatory system which is the bloodstream. Tonsils, adenoids, spleen, and thymus are all part of the lymphatic system.
There are hundreds of lymph nodes in the human body. Located deep inside the body, around the lungs and heart, or closer to the surface, such as under the arm or groin, such nodes are found from the head to the knee area.
Unlike blood, which flows throughout the body in a continuous loop, lymph flows in only one direction — upward and against gravity.
Functions of Lymphatic system
The key functions include:
1) Balancing fluid levels in your body
The lymphatic system absorbs the excess fluid drained from tissues and cells throughout your body and returns it to the bloodstream which are re-circulated in the body.
2) Protecting your body against infection
The system produces lymphocytes or white blood cells which can attack and destroy any disease-causing foreign bacteria, virus, or fungi that may enter our body.
3) Absorbing fats from the digestive tract
Lymph contains fat and protein-rich fluids from the intestine, and those are further moved back to the bloodstream.
Reasons for clogging in the lymphatic system
As the lymph system tries to fight gravity it occasionally gets clogged. Clogging in the lymphatic system leads to swelling (or lymphedema) and if toxins cannot be eliminated from the body, cells do not function properly and result in major diseases within the body.
Diseases of the lymphatic system
Immunologists treat the disorders of the lymphatic system. Vascular surgeons, cancer specialists, and dermatologists also provide different treatments to the ailments of the system.
Lymphadenopathy, which is the enlargement of the lymph nodes and Lymphedema, the swelling due to blockage of lymph nodes and cancers of the system are the main diseases affecting the system.
Several factors can overload the system and result in clogging which include :
1) presence of too many toxins in the bloodstream
2) poor diet and
3) overexposure to environmental toxins
Some other factors can deteriorate and even stop the lymph flow which includes sleep deprivation, dehydration, mental stress and trauma, infections, and lack of body movement.
When the lymphatic system is dysfunctional, the immune system gets compromised and inflammation can occur.
Symptoms of a clogged immune system
The following symptoms may be indicative of a clogged lymphatic system
- Swelling in your fingers
- Soreness when you wake up in the morning
- Cold hands and feet
- Chronic fatigue, Depression
- Feeling of bloating
- Dry or itchy skin
- Sinus infections, frequent colds
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