Lymphatic System: How to Make It Strong and Effective - Dr. Axe (2023)

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Lymphatic System: How to Make It Strong and Effective - Dr. Axe (1)

Which is thelymphatic system? It is a critical part of the immune system that protects us from disease and damage.disease-causing inflammation. Essentially, the lymphatic system is the body's internal "drainage" system, a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes that carry fluid from the tissues around the body into the blood and vice versa.

The main job of the lymphatic system is to protect the body from external threats, such as infections, bacteria, and cancer cells, while helping to maintain balanced fluid levels.

The best way to protect the complex array of crisscrossing lymphatics and "nodes" that crisscross most of the body (everything but the central nervous system) is to eat ahealing diet, exercise and take steps to detoxify the body naturally.

lymphatic vesselsthey carry fluid that is channeled through "valves" that prevent fluid from flowing in the wrong direction, similar to how blood flow works in arteries and veins. In fact, the lymphatic system is very similar to the circulatory system, made up of venous branches, arteries, and capillaries, which carry essential fluids throughout the body and are vital to keeping us alive.

Compared to veins, lymphatic vessels are much smaller, and instead of carrying blood throughout the body, the lymphatic system carries fluid called lymphatic vessels.Sap, which stores our white blood cells. (1)Lymph is a clear, watery fluid and carries protein molecules, salts, glucose, and other substances throughout the body as well as bacteria.

In addition to the lymph nodes and vessels, the lymphatic system (sometimes called "thelymphatic system”) contains several other organs: (2)

  • the tonsils (glands in the back of the throat that filter bacteria before digestion occurs)
  • the adenoids (a gland on the bridge of the nose that protects the entrance to the digestive system and lungs)
  • the spleen and thymus (filtering organs that break down the blood and produce white blood cells)

How the lymphatic system works

This is how the lymphatic system works to protect us from disease: Every day we come into contact with different types of microbes, bacteria, and toxins that invade and make their way into our bodies.lymph fluid. Eventually, the fluid containing these organisms can become trapped in the lymph nodes, where the immune system "attacks" any perceived threat by trying to destroy it with white blood cells.

Withinlymph nodes(which look like little bean-shaped things), bacteria are filtered out, and white blood cells are produced, consumed, and replenished as part of our defense mechanism.

Another important role of the lymphatic system is to keep body fluids in balance. When the lymphatic system is working properly, we do not experience painful swelling or abnormal water retention.

Our blood and lymph vessels suck fluid in and out of surrounding tissues so the fluid can drain away. Excess fluid is expelled from the body, thanks to which the tissues do not swell and swell. However, when we are pinched or injured, fluid accumulates in the damaged area, causing throbbing and pain.

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You've probably experienced swollen lymph nodes before when you were sick, particularly those near your throat or genitals, which can be caused by common infections (urinary tract infection, sore throat, cold or sore throat, etc.).

Lymph nodes are found throughout the body, some of the most noticeable places being the neck, groin, armpits, chest, and abdomen. Lymph nodes are located near the major arteries as the lymphatic system is connected to the blood flow to keep the blood clean. Immune cells that are crucial for fighting infection and healing wounds are produced in the lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes can detect when harmful organisms have entered the body, prompting them to produce more infection-fighting white blood cells.lymphocytes.

In addition to the lymph nodes, lymphatic fluid also passes through the spleen and thymus before being emptied into the bloodstream. The spleen is another filtering organ located in the abdomen below the diaphragm. It has important functions within the immune system to kill dangerous microbes, balance fluids, and destroy old or damaged red blood cells.

One of the most important tasks ofbaseit produces macrophages, B lymphocytes, and T lymphocytes, types of white blood cells that are activated when blood flows through the spleen and harmful substances are detected. These see and destroy bacteria, remove dead cells that remain in the blood, and remove foreign substances from the body. The thymus gland is located under the rib cage and does the same job, filtering the blood and making or removing white blood cells.

Diseases that damage the lymphatic system

When the lymphatic system is under excessive stress, the following symptoms and signs may appear: (3)

  • chronic fatigue
  • swelling in the lymph nodes(such as the neck, armpits, or groin)
  • muscle aches and pains
  • joint pain
  • Sore throats and frequent colds
  • frequent infections or viruses
  • fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Arthritis
  • and even the formation of cancer

The body protects us from infection and disease by capturing microbes from our tissues (mainly bacteria that we ingest from the environment) and sending them to the lymph nodes where they become 'trapped'. This prevents bacteria from spreading and causing more problems like viruses. Once the bacteria are trapped, the lymphocytes attack and kill the bacteria.

Lymphatic System: How to Make It Strong and Effective - Dr. Axe (2)

Lymph nodes swell when you have an infection or virus, even if cancer cells are found, because lymphocyte production increases. This essentially creates inflammation. (4) Sometimes seen when a lymph node is swollen, such asglandular fever, a disease in which the lymph nodes become tender. Other diseases that affect the lymphatic system include:

  • Lymphoma: A type of cancer that begins in the lymph nodes, when lymphocytes change and then multiply and form a tumor, the tumor can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Hodgkin's disease - cancer of the lymphatic system
  • Edema (also called edema): fluid retention and swelling caused by fluid trapped in tissues
  • Tonsillitis: Infection of the tonsils in the throat, often resulting in the need to remove the inflamed tonsils.
  • lymphadenopathy- the lymph nodes are swollen or enlarged due to an infection, sometimes more than one can swell and cause pain
  • lymphadenitis- Swollen lymph nodes caused by a tissue infection, usually a bacterial infection and often in the throat.lymphangitis It is another infection of the lymphatic system that affects the lymphatic vessels instead of the nodes.
  • Splenomegaly: Enlargement of the spleen due to a viral infection. It can be dangerous to exercise or play contact sports when someone has this condition, as any impact on a severely swollen spleen can cause it to rupture.

The lymphatic system and carcinogenesis

The lymphatic system is crucial in protecting us from the development of cancer. When cancer cells break away from a tumor, they can become trapped in a nearby lymph node, so swollen lymph nodes are a possible sign that a cancerous tumor might be lurking (although this isn't always the case). Doctors often check the lymph nodes for swelling and abnormalities when examining a patient for cancer or to determine if an existing cancer has spread.

A very important job of the immune system is the production of lymphocytes, some of which produce antibodies, proteins that destroy germs and prevent the spread of infections or mutated cells. In some cases, this process does not work fast enough.Fights free radical damageand prevent the cancer from spreading. Or mutated and malfunctioning cells can multiply and spread very quickly.

Cancer can start in the lymph nodes (calledlymphoma), or it can spread there from somewhere else. Cancer cells that have broken away from a tumor can travel to other parts of the body through the blood or lymph, where they can reach other organs and continue to multiply.

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Most of the time, the body takes care of this process and can destroy small numbers of mutated cells or escaped cancer cells before they spread, but it only takes a small number of mutated cancer cells to reach another part of the body. body body before they can form new tumors (so-called metastases). This can become painful and noticeable very quickly as the lymph nodes enlarge (sometimes they are large and tender enough to feel with your fingers when pressing on the skin).

Cancer found in the lymph nodes affects how the cancer is treated and what stage of cancer a person is at. A surgeon may remove a lymph node if it becomes infected with cancer cells (called a biopsy), or if it is too late because the cancer is spreading, other treatments may be needed, such as chemotherapy or radiation. One of the problems with removing lymph nodes to kill cancer cells is that it reduces the body's ability to balance fluids and remove waste from tissue, which can cause the tissue to become swollen and painful, a condition known as lymphedema. (5)

Many doctors use the "TNM system" to classify the stages of cancer, which means tumor, metastasis, and (lymph) nodes. If there is no cancer in the lymph nodes, a score of 0 is given; if the cancer is found in a small number of nodes and is not yet severe, a number between 1 and 3 is assigned; and when it is found in many nodules, the cancer is diagnosed as “late stage”, that is, stage 3-4. (6)

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How to maintain a strong lymphatic system

If you ignore the health of your lymphatic system, it means that your immunity will suffer and you are more likely to face common diseases and even long-term health problems. Here are five waysStrengthen your immune systemand also support a healthy lymphatic system:

1. Reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation.

Eat healthy, exercise, not smoke, get enough sleep, andreduces stressAll are essential in reducing oxidative stress and stopping the body's natural detoxification process.processes. The circulatory system and the lymphatic system depend on each other.

As blood circulates through the body's blood vessels, some of the fluid naturally leaks out and enters the tissues. This is a normal process that brings nutrients, water, and protein to the cells. The fluid also collects waste products from cells, such as bacteria, or even dead or damaged cells, such as cancer cells.

Tissues around the body can become inflamed and painful when blood flow slows and inflammation builds up. A healthy lymphatic system nourishes muscles, joints, and other tissues because lymph vessels have tiny openings that allow gases, water, and nutrients to pass through to surrounding cells (called lymph vessels).interstitial fluid). The fluid then returns to the lymph vessels, then to the lymph nodes to be filtered, and finally to a larger lymph vessel located at the base of the neck called the thoracic duct.

The thoracic duct directs clean lymphatic fluid back into the blood and circulation continues, which is why circulation is important for the system to function properly; otherwise, the tissues can swell with excess debris. To keep your circulatory system and lymphatic system functioning optimally, it's important to get all the important nutrients you need, such as vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and antioxidants.

2. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet

The more nutritious your diet and the fewer chemicals entering your body, the better your lymphatic system can function. Foods that stress the digestive, circulatory, and immune systems include common allergens (such as dairy, gluten, soy, shellfish, or nightshades), poor-quality animal products, refined vegetable oils, and processed foods that contain chemical toxins.

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anti-inflammatory foods, on the other hand, provides much-needed nutrients and antioxidants while reducing free radical damage (also known as oxidative stress), which ages the body and reduces immunity.

Some of the top antioxidant-rich foods to focus on include:

  • green leafy vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Behind
  • omega 3 foodssuch as salmon and wild shellfish
  • Nuts and seeds (chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, etc.)
  • unrefined oils such as extra virgin olive oil andcoconut beer
  • Herbs and spices (for example, ginger, turmeric, garlic)

3rd exercise

The lymphatic system works best when you move your body, which helps fluids circulate and nutrients reach cells. There's a reason stagnation makes you feel more sore, stiff, and prone to nausea.

any kind of regularA practiceand exercise (such as simply walking more) is good for maintaining lymphatic flow, but some exercises appear to be particularly beneficial, including yoga (which twists the body and aids in fluid drainage), high-intensity interval training (also calledHIIT training, which is excellent for improving circulation) or "rebound.

Increasingly popular, rebounding involves jumping on a small trampoline that you may have at home. It only takes a few feet, and just five to 10 minutes of jumping a day can really get your heart rate up and help keep your lymphatic system running smoothly.

(And why not a relaxing one after exercise?detox bathto further improve blood circulation?)

4. Massage therapy and foam rollers

Foam rolling and massage therapy are common to prevent swelling, pain, and fluid buildup in tissues.foam rollers, also called Self-Myofascial Release, is a type of self-massage that many people perform before or after a workout. Its purpose is to aid in tissue repair and to break up muscle and tissue adhesions that can cause strain and injury. Foam rolling also increases blood flow to the muscles and is used to allow for faster recovery and better performance.

lymphatic drainage massageIt is a type of specialized massage therapy that helps cells release toxins and dissolve lymphatic congestion. Studies have shown that reducing pain intensity, pain pressure, and pain threshold is beneficial. (7) Massage can activate the lymphatic system and help remove excess fluid from tissues.

Some massage therapists are specially trained to do this.Manual lymphatic drainage, but any type of deep tissue massage is also beneficial. You can even give yourself a massage to relieve pain in swollen lymph nodes, muscles, or joints.

5. Infrared Sauna Treatment

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i never heard itinfrared saunas? This simple treatment is one of the best ways to naturally detoxify the body and support an overall healthy immune system. Infrared sauna therapy works by increasing sweat production, allowing more toxins to be removed from the tissues. It can also improve circulation and aid in tissue healing, which is vital for lymphatic health.

Studies show that regular infrared sauna treatments can improve the quality of life for people with chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and congestive heart failure. (8) People who use sauna therapy love it because it is relaxing, healing, inexpensive, can be done in your own home, and it really works. Infrared saunas use heat lamps that generate infrared light waves that penetrate tissues and promote cell regeneration as well as sweating.

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