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Immune system

The human body is made up of a number of cells and organs that work in coordination to protect each other. If it weren’t for the work of the immune system , many bacteria, viruses and infections would keep the body suffering from countless diseases.

The immune system can be likened to a protective shield, as its main task is to prevent infections and viruses from spreading . Its ability is to contain diseases and with the help of lymphocytes or white blood cells to prevent them from stationing and developing in the other organs of the body.

Why is the immune system important?

There are diseases that directly attack the mentioned system and it has been determined that in the absence of this protective shield, the body is completely exposed to diseases. In these cases, drugs are required that emulate their function but they never work in coordination like the set of organs and cells.

How it is composed: parts and organs

The word system already indicates that it is the union of several parts that, when working together, fulfill a certain task. The defense of the human body is in charge of seven important parts that finally rise with the name of the immune system, they are the following:

  • The bone marrow: it is found in the internal part of the bones and its name is associated even more with the spine, because it is from there that samples are taken for transplants or associated studies.
  • Adenoids: they are located behind the nostrils within the body, their function can be compared to that of the tonsils; These proceed to retain the bacteria that enter the nasal cavity and fight them before they spread.
  • The tonsils: they are found in the throat , at the end of the tongue and their job is to protect the body from bacteria that want to enter the oral cavity. In reaction to any attack they become inflamed and produce fever , some people require surgery to remove them when they are already badly damaged.
  • The spleen: it is common to hear about this small organ that is located in the abdominal area and that is also associated with the immune system for the general defense of the body.
  • The nodes: they work in conjunction with the lymphatic system and when they detect an abnormality they become inflamed to alert the body. They are found throughout the body and their main characteristic is their small and rounded shape.
  • Lymphatic vessels: lymphocytes fight disease and they are the channel through which they move. The vessels are throughout the body and serve as transport for the lymphatic organs.
  • The thymus: perhaps the least known but also extremely important organ, in it T cells or lymphocytes are born and mature. Without these cells the body would not adapt to each bacterium or threat to be able to fight it and they would always do it in the same way, although the pathology will change.
  • Peyer’s patches: it seems that each organ was assigned the care of a specific area, following on that concept, Peyer’s patches are mucosal protectors. They are found in the small intestine and together with other associated tissues they form the immune system of these white tissues.
The immune system has organs spread throughout the human body.

Types of immune system

Although we always talk about a single immune system, the truth is that it can be divided into two types, one that works from the moment of conception and develops called (innate) and another that evolves throughout life according to the diseases that attack the body, this is called (adaptive).

  • Innate system: It refers to the immediate or basic response that the body throws before any threat, these are fever, inflammation and the complement system that is the most important because it attacks each pathogen with more than 20 proteins to destroy it.
  • Adaptive system: It is a more effective response against the attack of antibodies and its efficiency comes from all the learning that both the carrier and its predecessors have gone through. Immunological memory exists and is applied in this case, the antigens detect the infection or virus and fight it as they know how to do it, until it is eradicated. Lymphocytes are the ones that lead the fight of the adaptive system.

Superficial barriers prior to the immune system

The word immune means ‘to defend from within’ this means that the main objective of the immune system is to prevent the entry of bacteria or diseases . The body has two levels of defense, or even more, but in this case chemical barriers form the first line of defense.

This chemical and biological protection can be easily exemplified with actions as spontaneous as sneezing, crying, coughing, expelling mucus, among others. With these initial processes, the body prevents bacteria or possible infectious agents from entering the place where they can spread and cause further damage . In that second defensive line are the organs that make up the immune system starting with the Bone Marrow or the Thymus and continuing with the Spleen and the ganglia.

How the immune system works

Lymphocytes , which are the most important part of the entire system, are needed for the job of fighting infections to take place . These globules are initially formed in the bone marrow, as it happens with the rest of the cells of the body, however their maturity and location will determine their work.

B and T lymphocytes are the most important , the first of which is formed directly in the bone marrow, they mature enough to protect the body from there. The second group matures directly in the thymus, behind the sternum. From their respective locations they travel through the vessels and are directed to the lymphoid organs or remain with a movement throughout the body until a threat requires to be neutralized.

The other cells that form to protect the body and that belong to the immune system are called phagocytes .

How do lymphocytes work in the face of a threat?

Depending on the type of infection or bacteria that has approached the body, the lymphocytes and cytotoxic cells will take sides. The former, that is, the B and T lymphocytes are responsible for attacking the threat or the tissue that is being damaged. In the process, sensations such as fever or pain may manifest depending on the area and type of threat it is.

Cytotoxic drugs destroy microorganisms, kill them before they develop and evolve to do more damage.

Manifestations of the immune system

Most diseases that attack the body are associated with a series of high- or low-impact symptoms , that is, some are more noticeable than others. There are also asymptomatic diseases that do not show any physical symptoms for which the person should be alarmed.

The immune system has the task of preventing but also of alerting , that is why one of the most common manifestations that it can show when faced with a threat is inflammation.

The inflammation results in a huge number of white blood cells trying to fight the threat, which can be an infection, trauma, tumor, injury, etc. When the infection has been successfully neutralized, the low inflammation, that is, the lymphocytes continue their usual movement.

Immune system failures or autoimmunity

The basic principle of this system is the immediate recognition of a threat when it wants to harm the body , but there is also a mismatch in this identification capacity that turns the system against its bearer.

Cells cannot differentiate bacteria and infections from healthy and common cells that coexist within the body and therefore proceed to attack them. Autoimmune diseases are derived from this phenomenon, which are degenerative and attack certain parts of the body until they wear, damage or die.

The other type of disorder that the immune system is subject to is immunodeficiency, which consists of the inability of the body to defend itself.

Immune system diseases

There are two large groups, autoimmunity and immunodeficiency , within them there are and develop these very diverse diseases that can attack the body:

Lupus: is part of autoimmune diseases and progressively attacks soft tissues, it can also attack bones. The most affected organs are the kidneys and in general all the others.

Arthritis : a degenerative and painful disease where the system attacks the bones and joints causing an irreversible deformity.

Celiac disease : the body cannot process gluten and other factors such as insulin and sugar are involved, it is also part of autoimmune pathologies.

Multiple Sclerosis: the nerves suffer the most as well as the person who suffers it. Cells attack the covering of the nervous system causing severe atrophies.

Diabetes : in this case, the pancreas is attacked, which stops producing insulin and the body requires external doses to keep it functioning. It results in loss of blood flow to the extremities or loss of vision.

HIV / AIDS : the only disease on the list that is called immunosuppressive. Those who suffer from it lack protection in the body, they cannot defend themselves against bacteria, viruses or infections and require perpetual medication as well as constant check-ups to avoid the development of any fatal pathology.

Hypersensitivity

This type of condition suffered by the immune system is composed of four stages according to its severity, its number one stage may mean a simple allergy but in reality it means that the tissues are being marked to be destroyed. It is part of the process carried out by autoimmune diseases and as the level increases it can massively destroy large areas of tissue. An example of this is dermatitis or eczema on the skin . They are diseases that seem harmless but that penetrate the tissues until they are rendered useless.

Cancer in the immune system

It is important to note that although the immune system is responsible for protecting the body against any disease, it alone can suffer from quite serious diseases . System-associated cancer is dangerous because it can spread rapidly because of the blood supply, white tissues, and nodes. It is not a single type of cancer that can appear, they are: lymphatic cancer, it appears in cells and is the most common in children and adolescents. Also the leukemia that attacks the work of the marrow producing in excess the cells that defend the body. The procedures that can attack this type of cancer have already been established, however, it continues to depend on the early detection and reaction of the organism.

Can the immune system be manipulated?

The answer is yes, and it is because its own deficiencies have led to the study and suppression of certain factors of the immune system. In the presence of cells that in their mismatch tend to attack the human body or medical procedures such as transplants, immunosuppressants are usually prescribed that pause the work of lymphocytes so as not to cause further damage .

These procedures have consequences on the body, especially if it is attacked by a disease. However, they are done under medical supervision to avoid side effects. In the case of people suffering from autoimmune diseases, there are permanent drugs that maintain balance and prevent further degeneration from the disease .

How to maintain a healthy immune system

This system is not foolproof and not timeless, therefore it will need assistance throughout development to function properly. There are a number of vitamins that have been marked as beneficial for the immune system and that can keep the body’s defenses at a considerably high level.

The Vitamin C is a favorite of the group that helps fight pathogens and also increases efficiency in the immediate response of the body to threats. Then vitamin B, E and vitamin A can complement the work by caring for the skin, the largest and most protective organ of the body.

Finally some domestic recommendations to condition the immune system and prepare it for any task:

  • Establish daily exercise routines.
  • Drink plenty of water or vegetable juices.
  • Alternate hot and cold water during bathing to stimulate circulation.
  • Eat citrus fruits with high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A.
  • Consume iron either naturally or in drugs.
  • Perform regular medical examinations.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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