The lymphatic system. What is and what do?


The lymphatic system. What is and what do?

In: Biology

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and organs that (among other things) help maintain your body’s fluid levels and serves as part of our immune system.

As our blood circulates through our bodies, most of the plasma and other fluids it contains remains in the blood vessels but some of it seeps into our tissues. The lymphatic system collects this fluid, now called lymph, and ultimately gets it back into our bloodstream.

The lymphatic system is also responsible for creating and transporting lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, and other immune cells. When bacteria, viruses or other foreign bodies pass through the lymphatic system, they get sort of filtered out and collected at the lymph nodes; when we have an infection, more of those germs are collected in the nodes and more blood goes to the area to try to eliminate the infection, causing the nodes to swell up.

Your lymphatic system is part of your circulatory system along with your heart, veins, arteries and capillaries. It returns the fluid that leaks out of your blood vessels and baths all your cells in nutrients. It is a one way system of vessels with valves at most of your joints like knees, hips, elbows and armpits and neck called nodes that collect the lymph fluid and returns it to your blood stream near your heart. Your lymph system also plays a very important part in fighting off diseases. It supplies disease fighting cells and gives them a way to move through out your body. When you have infections these lymph nodes often swell and become hot and tender to the touch. Often when your have a sore throat you can feel the swelling in your neck. Doctors will often check for swelling to see if you have an infection or not.