Lymphatic system is made up of glands, lymph ducts, nodes, and vessels, the spleen, thymus gland and tonsils.
Lymphatic system carries the body’s cellular waste away from the tissues to the blood, where it can be filtered by the liver and kidneys; body’s main detoxification organ. This cellular waste is made up of by-products of cellular metabolism, certain proteins and hormones, pathogens, microbes, drugs, and other toxins
When the fluid in your lymphatic system becomes thick and stagnant with toxins overload, your muscles don’t get the required amount of blood, your tissues feel painful and tight, and you feel tired, fatigued and energy levels drop low.
A poorly functioning lymphatic system may lead to a host of diseases ranging from cellulite to cancer. Other signs of a sluggish lymphatic flow are
- Recurrent infections due to impaired immunity
- Chronic pain
- Abdominal fat (belly fat)
- Bloating and puffiness throughout the body (especially in the abdomen, face and under eye area)
- Fluid retention or swelling (edema)
- Acid reflux or indigestion
- Skin rash
- Bronchitis, pneumonia
- Chronic sinusitis
- Swollen glands
Other, more serious, symptoms can also occur
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Chronic Fatigue
Why lymphatic system is so important?
1. Lymphatic system helps move/remove pathogens, tumor cells and toxins (sodium, byproducts of cellular respiration) from the body and the blood.
2. Filters the Blood. Spleen (part of lymphatic system) removes old and dead red blood cells and replaces with the new cells.
3. Fights infection. The lymphatic system enhances immunity by producing white blood cells (called lymphocytes) and antigen presenting cells that produce antibodies that are helpful in immune responses that defend the body against diseases.
4. Absorbs fats. Lymphatic system absorbs and transports fats and fatty acids as chylomicrons and fat-soluble vitamins from the gut and delivers these nutrients to the working cells of the body.
5. Weight loss and weight management. Supporting your lymphatic system can assist in losing weight and gaining muscle tone more easily.
Anatomy of Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system consists of a fluid (lymph), lymphatic vessels that transport lymph and organs that contain lymphoid tissue.
- The colorless or yellow fluid, lymph is similar in composition to blood plasma.
- As the interstitial fluid begins to accumulate between the cells, it is picked up and removed by tiny lymphatic vessels.
- When the interstitial fluid enters the lymphatic capillaries, it is called lymph.
- It contains undigested proteins, salts, glucose, water white blood cells and cellular debris.
2. Lymphatic Vessels
- The tiny lymphatic vessels are called the lymphatic capillaries.
- Lymph capillaries remove interstitial fluid and drain it into vessels called lymphatic vessels.
- Small lymphatic vessels merge to form larger tributaries, called lymphatic trunks.
- Lymphatic trunks join until the lymph enters the two lymphatic ducts-right and left.
- The two ducts then enter the subclavian veins near your collarbone and becomes part of venous blood.
3. Lymph nodes
- The lymph nodes are small pockets interspersed along the lymphatic system.
- Lymph nodes counteract infection by engulfing and removing any bacteria and foreign substances
- Once a particular pathogen is identified, lymph nodes create specific antibodies to get rid of them with the help of antigen-presenting cells.
- There are about 600-700 lymph nodes present in the average human body.
- Lymph nodes filter the lymph before it enters the venous circulation.
- Lymph nodes also trap and destroy metastatic cancer cells.
- Lymph nodes are particularly numerous in chest, neck, pelvis, armpits, groin and abdomen and in association with the blood vessels of the intestines.