Lymphatic and Immune System of the Human Body

The Lymphatic and Immune system of the human body work closely together to protect the body from external germs as well as internal threats such as cancer. This system is also known as the lymph system and consists of lymph nodes, vessels, organs and ducts which work together firstly to filter the waste product better known as toxins.

The lymphatic system also carries lymph from the cells and tissues to the bloodstream, finally taking this waste to be disposed by the kidneys and the colon. It is also known as the body’s drainage system.

Lymphatic and Immune System

Lymphatic and Immune System

The Lymphatic and Immune Components Comprise of the Following:

  • Lymph Nodes – also known as “glands” and are a vital form of defence. Although concentrated in groups such as under the armpits, they can be found scattered throughout the body.
  • Lymph Vessels – Also known as lymphatics, this is where the lymph fluid is transported to and from the lymph nodes.
  • Lymph Organs –  – (Sinew) connects muscles to the bones
  • Lymph Ducts – Filter waste product known as toxins
  • White Blood Cells – There are various types produced in the bone marrow and are also known as leucocytes. They help in fighting infections.
  • The Lymph Fluid is very important as it is transported throughout this system from cells and tissues into the bloodstream. In turn this fluid is processed in the kidney and colon organs, ensuring that waste products and toxins are flushed out of the body.

There are 3 Types of Immunity:

1. Passive: A type of immunity which is usually a temporary form of borrowing from the mother through her milk, and does not last long. It gives protection against the types of diseases the mother has been exposed to, allowing immunity through early stages of life.

2. Adaptive: This type of immunity as the name suggests is adaptive thus allowing the immunity to develop over a lifetime, for example building up against a disease or immunization.

3. Innate: As the name suggests this is the immunity we are born with. On a general level it is a protection for a specific species. The outer barriers of immunity include: skin, mucous membranes of nose and throat etc.

Immune System Disorders:

  1. Cancers
  2. Autoimmune Disorders
  3. Allergic Disorders
  4. Immune Deficiency Disorders

The Lymphatic system plays a vital role in the defence of the body’s immune system and as such serves to protect the body from alien germs and diseases. This system particularly has to deal with the waste produced by the cells as the body processes the food.

As a clear liquid type of substance, the lymph fluid is an active part of the lymph system. In severe cases where it does not function properly, illnesses such as a cold, flu and infection arise. Sometimes worse illnesses can arise as result of a poor immune system. These poor health issues are an indication of a weak lymphatic system which has become congested.

When waste does not flush out of the system properly, it may build up and cause some type of disease so to avoid this clogging up of waste, it is imperative that the lymph system works effectively and remains healthy.

The lymphatic system can often become clogged thus causing blockages. This happens when there is a build-up of waste material being retained within the body over a period of time. The clogging becomes physically apparent when the lymph nodes are felt under the armpits as lumps under the skin. This is one of the signs that the system needs to be cleared. It is this system which helps to cleanse the rest of the body in its entirety.

The lymph nodes process the lymph fluid, cleaning it thoroughly. Swollen nodes indicate that a fight against an infection. Upon being cleaned by the nodes the lymph fluid is ready to enter the blood stream again.

Healthy Immune System:

To keep the Lymph system healthy, it is important to maintain a balanced diet which includes on a basic level the following which also serves as methods of detoxing the Lymphatic System:

Drink plenty of water, eliminate caffeine drinks and tobacco as well as other harmful type of substances, exercising regularly on a weekly basis, carrying out stress free activities, intake of high fibre foods instead of processed foods and indulging in enough sleep to keep you rejuvenated.


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Part of the Human Body Series: | Skeletal System of the Human Body | Nervous System of the Human Body | Muscular System of the Human Body |

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Nervous System of the Human Body

Nervous system of the body is so called because it refers to the nerves of the human body. The actual nerves consist of cylinder bundles of fibre stretching from the brain right through the central cord and creating a network system inside the entire body. The nervous system is primarily used to transmit signals between different parts of the body and in effect to coordinate voluntary and involuntary actions made.

Image of the Nervous System

Image of the Nervous System

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Components of the Nervous System:

  1. Brain
  2. Spinal Cord
  3. Peripheral Nerves
  4. Sense Organs

The nervous system is also perhaps one of the most complex systems of the body functions. The three main areas to be considered in this particular system are:

1. CNS – Central Nervous System

The CNS is made up of the chief nerve better known as the spinal cord and the brain. The main role it plays is to get information from the body and then to distribute this information by sending out the right instructions to the rest of the body. It is in fact the decision maker and co-ordinator. There are 43 pairs of nerves which branch from the CNS – 31 from the spinal cord and 12 from the brain.

2. PNS – Peripheral Nervous System

The PNS consists of all the nerves and the wiring system altogether except the brain and spinal cord. Furthermore PNS can be subdivided into two more components known as the Somatic Nervous System and the Autonomic Nervous System. The brain uses the PNS system to communicate with the rest of the body.

The CNS and PNS share some nerves.

3. ANS – Autonomic Nervous System

This system shares with the previous two mentioned. It works automatically, dealing with the heart rate and the blood pressure. Much of the time it keeps us regulated in these areas allowing us to not even be aware of the important work carried out.

Other important parts of the Nervous System:


There are basically 2 types of nerves known as Spinal Nerves and the Cranial Nerves:

  1. Spinal Nerves: There are 31 pairs of spinal nerves and they are connected to the spinal cord.
  2. Cranial Nerves: There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves and they are connected to the brain.

Nervous Tissue:

The 2 types of cells which the nervous system mainly consists of are the Neurons and Neuroglia:

1. Neurons:

A communication system using the transmission of electrochemical signals exists between the nerve cells. The 3 basic types of neurons as classified by the direction they send messages are as follows and known as:

  1. Afferent Neurons: Also known as sensory neurons, so called as they transmit sensory signals from sensory receptors such as the skin, eyes, ears, nose and tongue TOWARDS the central nervous system
  2. Efferent Neurons: Also known as motor neurons and they are responsible for transmitting messages AWAY from the central nervous system to places in the body such as the glands and muscles.
  3. Interneurons: These form a complex network system within the main nervous system and are useful when it comes to combining the work of the afferent and efferent neurons. Specifically they receive information from the afferent neurons as well as directing body function via the efferent neurons.

Another way to classify Neurons is by identifying the number of extensions from the body of the neuron’s cell. There are three types:

  1. Bipolar Neurons
  2. Pseudounipolar Cells
  3. Multipolar Neurons

2. Neuroglia:

Another name for these is glial cells which are also helper cells. Their main task is to surround the neurons and protect them by insulating and feeding them.

Furthermore, the specialised parts of the Neuron are known as Dendrites and Axons. The main differences between the two are as follows:

Axons: Have a smooth surface and specialise in taking information AWAY from the cell body.

Dendrites: Have a rough surface and specialise in bringing information BACK to the cell body.

Some facts about the nervous system:

  • Three main properties of the nervous system are Sensitivity, Conductivity and Responsiveness
  • The nervous tissue is very delicate. It needs a regular supply of blood and physical protection.
  • Repair to this part of the body system can be rather slow as well as being the least understood in medical terms and in fact the least understood of all the body systems.
  • This complex system is so vast that if each nerve of a body were to be laid side by side it would stretch around the world two and half times!

Part of the Human Body Series:Skeletal System of the Human Body |  Muscular System of the Human Body |

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Muscular System of the Human Body

Muscles work together with the skeleton in various ways to keep it well structured and help with the ease of movement. The movement is particular for pulling as well as there being more intricate variations of the human body movement.

Muscles heavily rely on and so are dependent on the nervous system to control them as well as blood circulation which provides them with the necessary aspects of energy and oxygen. In fact the actions of the muscles are controlled almost entirely by the nervous system.

Human Body Muscles

Human Body Muscles

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Muscle components are made up of the following:

  • Skeletal Muscles – these are attached to the bones
  • Smooth muscles – within the organs such as stomach
  • Tendons – (Sinew) connects muscles to the bones
  • Cardiac muscle of the heart

There are about 642 muscles in the human body with various sources suggesting even 700. Muscles comprise about two fifths of the body weight in total, becoming heavier in people who work out, thus making their muscles stronger, bigger and heavier. Invariable almost each muscle is part of a pairing meaning that there are 320 pairs of muscles altogether in the entire body. This area or research is however debatable with various interpretations questioning if certain muscles are classed as “single” or in “groups”. The muscles can be further broken down into specific categories relating to head and neck, torso, upper limbs and lower limbs.

Stable muscles (origin) are attached securely nearer the centre of the body and have little movement. The muscles which are known as insertion are placed around the peripheral part of the body, allowing more contraction i.e. movement.  Some muscles divide which allows them to attach themselves to different bones.

The three main types of muscles:

The first type of muscles we often refer to are in actual fact skeletal muscles, meaning that these particular sets of muscles join onto the skeleton and cause voluntary movement at our will so that these muscles are controlled by us. They move according to how we want them to.

The second type of muscle is known as smooth muscles, the name reflecting the appearance of the muscle which is smooth looking.  They exist in places such as airways, the stomach and the blood vessels. These muscles are involuntary as they work automatically compared to the skeletal muscles which are voluntary.

The third and final type of muscle is known as the cardiac muscle. This is because this muscle makes up the walls of the heart. As such the importance of this muscle is central to the main function of the heartbeat as it never tires because it continuously beats throughout our lifetime. This particular muscle is therefore automatic and constant. In appearance it is short and branching.

The names of muscles correspond to the type of move the muscle makes. For example: Erector Spinae is found in the backbone and the Flexor muscles, as the name flex suggests – bend a limb.

Furthermore the names of muscles are also classified by shape and size. For example the rhomboid major muscle is diamond shaped and the triangular shaped muscles are known as the deltoids.

Size is further used to distinguish between certain regions of a muscle. For example Gluteus minimus – small, Gluteus medius – medium and Gluteus maximus – large.

For healthy muscles consider the chart below:

Food for Muscles

Food for Muscles

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For more information on muscles:

Part of the Human Body Series: | Skeletal System of the Human Body | Nervous System of the Human Body |

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