Did you know that your body contains a colorless fluid called lymph? Transporting this colorless fluid is what the primary function of the lymphatic system happens to be. Lymph fluid contains white blood cells which help to rid the body of the toxins, waste, and other materials that are needed for proper health. It is a part of the circulatory system, acting as a highway to make sure foreign invaders aren’t able to cause ill health. Here are some interesting facts you may not have known about the lymphatic system.
1. It’s Really Big
There may be as many as 700 nodes in the human body that work on filtering the lymph fluid before it returns back to the circulatory system. The largest organ within the lymphatic system is the spleen, which is located on the left side of the body most people, right above the kidney. It is possible for someone to live without a spleen, although people who have ended up losing their spleen because of an injury or disease are more prone to infection.
2. It’s a Fighter
When the body recognizes that there is bacteria within the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes are told to begin creating more white blood cells. Because there is a higher level of production going on, the lymph nodes can swell up and sometimes become painful. And you feel sick and have a painful lump in the neck, under your arm, or along your leg, there is a good chance that the lymphatic system is trying to fight off what is making you sick.
3. A One Way Street
Unlike blood, which the circulatory system allows the flow through the body in a continuous loop, the lymph fluid superhighway will only flow in one direction. It flows upwards towards the neck within its own system.
4. Those Are What?
Tonsils are actually a large cluster of lymphatic cells. This is why your tonsils will tend to swell up when you are feeling sick. It’s also why people can live without having their tonsils in place.
5. That’s Important
The thymus may be the most important part of the lymphatic system. Although the lymph nodes are able to produce and store the cells that fight and other infections, the thymus is where the T-cells that are generated will mature. These T-cells help to destroy cells of the human body does not want. This may be due to infection, or it may be due to cancer.
6. It’s Like a Sewer
The reason why the lymphatic system is so important is because it drains all of the waste materials that are produced by every cell within the body. Think about it like this: what would happen never flushed the toilet in your home? It would eventually build up in waste, spill out onto the floor, and create a large method would need to be cleaned up. By flushing the toilet, you prevent this from happening. The lymphatic system is like an automatic flushing toilet. Without it, there would be too much waste within the body for it is a process.