What is Lymphatic System?

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Blood vessels are always leaking fluids into body tissues around them. The lymphatic system is responsible for draining these fluids to prevent body tissues from swelling up. It is made up of numerous vessels that run all over the body with exception of the central nervous system. Some vessels in the lymphatic system are fitted with valves that help prevent lymphatic fluid from flowing in the wrong direction.

How the Lymphatic System Works

The lymphatic fluid collects microbes such as bacteria and deposits them in lymph nodes. The white blood cells attack and terminate all collected microbes. The major work of a lymphatic system is to control the levels of fluid inside the body and help filter disease causing bacteria. It also creates space for certain types of white blood cells necessary for destruction of microbes. The lymphatic system also performs the important function of generating antibodies, special proteins that the body uses to respond to foreign elements.

Major Organs in the Lymphatic System

The thymus, spleen and lymph nodes are important organs in the lymphatic system that help sieve the lymphatic fluid before it flows back to the blood again.

a. Spleen

Located in the abdomen, below the diaphragm, the spleen filters blood of any microbes.  It also helps in destroying worn out or old red blood cells.

b. Lymph Nodes

These are located neat arteries in various body points such as armpits, throat, chest, groin and abdomen. Lymph nodes trap bacteria collected by the lymphatic fluid from body tissues.  Lymph nodes contain lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells that destroys the trapped bacteria.  Lymph nodes also trap cancer cells and viruses. When infected, lymph nodes swell.

c. Thymus

This is an organ that sieves blood. It is located within the ribcage, after the breastbone and contains numerous lymphocytes.

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