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Swati Talwar

Lymphatic System Study Guide

The lymphatic system is spread throughout the body like the circulatory system draining the tissues of excess fluid-carrying it back into the circulatory system.

Introduction:

The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory and immune systems and has recently gained a separate organ system status. The lymphatic system is a much bigger circulatory network of lymphatic tissues and organs than the circulatory system.

Lymphatic System Source

What is lymph?

Lymph is part of the plasma fluid. The tissues of the body are flushed with blood by the circulatory system. The tissues process the nutrients and gases in the blood, resulting in a fluid called lymph. Excess fluid from the blood plasma is drained into the tissues after use and is ready to be transported back to the system.

Lymph Source

Functions of the Lymphatic System

The function of lymph is to clear the tissues of toxins and maintain fluid homeostasis. The lymphatic system helps with:

  1. Fluid homeostasis: Blood that is drained into the circulatory system is not completely reabsorbed back into the system but remains in the tissues as excess fluids. This excess fluid is not blood plasma but reduced in its composition and consists of the toxins secreted by the tissues. This fluid is called lymph and is collected back to the lymphatic system to be drained into the circulatory system, thereby maintaining the fluid volume in the body.
  2. Carrying all the toxins of the tissues, which also includes pathogens to be filtered into the lymph nodes and killed by the lymph cells like lymphocytes. The lymph flows through the lymph vessels to the lymph nodes present throughout the body.
  3. The absorption of fats and fat-soluble nutrients in the small intestines of the digestive system by working along with the blood capillaries.

The lymphatic system also gets infected by the accumulation of the lymph leading to lymphedema, and other infections, cancer, or such diseases. The thymus, tonsils, and spleen are the organs associated with the lymphatic system.

Conclusion:

  • Thus, the lymphatic system is an important part of the body organ system and helps in keeping the body fit and healthy by cleaning up the toxins.
  • Still, it is often underrated or given importance, even medically. It serves as an indicator for infection much more precisely than any other part of the body.

FAQs:

1. What is the lymphatic system and its function?

The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and circulatory system. It collects the waste fluids from the tissues, which enter back again into the circulatory system. These waste fluids thus contain debris and foreign objects that invoke an immune response through the lymph nodes that trap pathogens by activating specific immune responses.

2. What are the three main functions of the lymphatic system?

The three main functions of the lymphatic system are:

  • Maintaining fluid homeostasis by balancing the fluid between blood and tissues
  • It participates in flushing bacteria and debris away from the tissue site to lymph nodes for efficient removal
  • Facilitates absorption of fats fat-soluble nutrients

3. How do I cleanse my lymphatic system?

Massage, a diet consisting of ginger, lemon, citrus fruits, garlic, water, and exercise, helps clean up the lymphatic system. Exercises like walking, running, swimming, bike riding, and yoga helps to stimulate the lymph system.

4. What are 5 facts about the lymphatic system?

The five facts about the lymphatic system are:

  • Lymph is a fluid formed from the plasma
  • Lymph vessels are different from the blood vessels
  • Lymph nodes are filters to fight the infection
  • Lymph system is unidirectional
  • Health of the lymphatic system is also equally important

5. What disease affects the lymphatic system?

Lymphedema is the most common disease because of the accumulation of lymph and fault in lymph drainage. Other diseases include infections, blockage, and cancer.

6. What organs are part of the lymphatic system?

Lymph, lymph vessels, and lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is important because it is not a closed-loop like the circulatory system and helps drain excess fluids from the tissues.

7. Why do doctors check for swollen lymph nodes?

Swollen lymph nodes indicate the presence of infection in the body that is being acted upon by the body’s defense system through lymphatic activity.

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Learn more about Heart Learn more about Excretory System Diseases Learn more about circulatory system

Sources:

  1. What does the lymphatic system do?. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303087#function. Accessed 24 Nov, 2021
  2. Lymphatic System. https://www.livescience.com/26983-lymphatic-system.html. Accessed 24 Nov, 2021.
  3. Lymphatic System: Facts, Functions & Diseases. https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/immunology/the-lymphatic-system-1-structure-function-and-oedema-21-09-2020/. Accessed 24 Nov, 2021.
  4. Lymphatic System. https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/13.47/primary/lesson/lymphatic-system-bio/. Accessed 24 Nov, 2021.
  5. Lymphatic system. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/lymphatic-system. Accessed 24 Nov, 2021.
  6. Lymphatic System. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21199-lymphatic-system. Accessed 24 Nov, 2021.