About our Immune System
Our immune system is quite complex and very amazing. It is made up of special organs, cells, and chemicals that fight infections. It has intelligence and we need to think of it as an army that protects us, and treat it accordingly.
The main parts of our Immune System are:
- White blood cells
- the Lymphatic system
- the Complement system
- Bone marrow
Our immune system is also divided into two parts:
Innate Immunity – This immunity is what we inherit. This is active as soon as we are born. It responds quickly, and it attacks broadly, as it does not recognize specific strains of bacteria or viruses.
Acquired or Adaptive Immunity – This type of immunity is gained when our immune system is exposed to a new germ for the first time and fights it off. Our amazing immune system keeps a record of every microbe it has defeated, so that it can recognize and destroy it quickly if it enters the body again.
Parts of the Immune System
White blood cells are the key players in our immune system. They are made in our bone marrow and are part of the lymphatic system. They move throughout your body, looking for foreign invaders: bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi, and attack them.
White blood cells include lymphocytes (such as B-cells, T-cells and natural killer cells), and other types of immune cells.
Antibodies Our body produces antibodies that help the body to fight microbes or the toxins they produce. They recognize substances called antigens on the surface of the microbe, or in the chemicals they produce, which mark the microbe or toxin as being foreign. The antibodies then mark these antigens for destruction.
The complement system is composed of proteins that complement the work done by antibodies.
The Lymphatic System is made up the following:
- Lymph nodes, which trap microbes,
- Lymph vessels – tubes that carry lymph fluid that contain infection fighting white blood cells.
- White blood cells – otherwise called lymphocytes.
The Spleen filters the blood and removes microbes and destroys old or damaged red blood cells. It also makes disease fighting components of the immune system.
Bone Marrow is inside our bones and produces the red blood cells our body uses to carry oxygen. It also makes the white blood cells used to fight infection, and the platelets to help our blood clot.
The Thymus filters and monitors our blood content, and produces the white blood cells called T-lymphocytes.
With such a complex built in Amazing immune system, we are fully capable of fighting off any infection and diseases that come our way, IF we do NOT weaken it. This we will cover in our next newsletter.
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Amy Willis, MH, CN
About the Author
Amy Willis M.H.