In this blog, the lymphatic system is discussed in detail with the diseases associated with it. It also gives an overview of the steps that should be taken to ensure its proper functioning.
What is the Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help our body to get rid of metabolic wastes, toxins and unwanted matter. It can also be called the drainage system of the body which facilitates the removal of waste matter from our body. The lymphatic system transports the lymph, a fluid containing white blood cells, which deal with all infections etc in the body. The lymphatic system looks very similar to the circulatory system with similar veins and capillaries. the difference is the circulatory system feeds the cells and the lymphatic system removes waste from the cells. The lymph vessels are connected to lymph nodes, which act like refineries and they collect all waste along with any bacterias or foreign matter and send back cleaned lymph vessels. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all a part of the lymphatic system.
Functions of the lymphatic System
There are hundreds of lymph nodes in the body located near the lungs, heart, or under the arm or the groin, they are found from our head to the knee area. The plasma that delivers nutrients to the cells removes waste matter from there and takes them to the lymph nodes for filtration. Here the lymph fluids are filtered and returned to the bloodstream. When the blood is laden heavily with toxins and waste matter the lymph nodes work overtime to bring them back to balance.
With the lifestyle and food habits that most people follow these days the number of toxins getting into our system is way too high than the body is able to cleanse and remove. So with time the drainage system starts getting clogged and heavily loaded with toxins. This can lead to various diseases in the body.
For example, when the level of toxins are high and if they are not able to be recycled or removed the toxins start getting stagnated. And in turn, produce more toxins. Slowly the toxins start staying back in the bloodstream as there’s not enough space for more toxins in the lymphatic system. Cellular waste can not be carried out any more. The body does constantly work towards removing the waste matter. but when the input is happening from all directions and the output is limited, the body slowly starts getting low on vitality and starts facing some diseased conditions.
Diseases of the Lymphatic System
The diseases and the disorders of the lymphatic system are seen as an enlargement of the lymph nodes, swelling due to lymph node blockage and cancers. A lymphatic system which is laden with toxins will also influence the functioning of the endocrine system. Frequent enlargement of the lymph nodes often prompts the medical fraternity to suggest removal of those parts to avoid recurrence as in removing the infected or enlarged tonsils or the spleen, or the adenoids, etc, but that isn’t the end of the issue. only the parts that are dealing full time with the toxins and infections have been removed thinking the issue is solved. But the toxins are still there and the influx is still going on, irrespective of the tonsils, spleen or adenoids and other parts having been removed or not. When we start removing the parts which are there to help us regulate and remove the toxins gradually step by step the body will see worsening of its overall condition (which could take years or decades to manifest as a disease) ultimately resulting in cancers or any other such degenerative diseases. So the overall well being of a human being is very much dependent on how well he is able to support his body in elimination of toxins.
Caring for the Lymphatic System
The best way to keep your lymphatic system clean and moving is by just following a clean and healthy lifestyle and food habits.
1) Eat whole plant-based food
Reduce or completely stop consuming foods that are not suitable for human consumption, like highly processed and packaged food-like stuff, refined oils or flours, animal-based foods like milk, meat, etc. The most suitable food would be locally grown, seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating only when hungry is very important so as to not burden your digestive system with the extra workload and extra material to dispose of. This way vitality is saved and can be used for better work.
2) Movement is important
Moving the body is very very vital. Body movements, be it through yoga or walking or any sport, helps move the lymph and supports in the cleansing activity.
3) Massages help
Massages are helpful too. Being well hydrated too goes a long way in keeping the lymphatic system in good moving condition. Another form of self-massage is the dry brushing system, where we can use a wooden brush or a dry Turkish hand towel to brush the body from the feet upwards, every stroke moving towards the heart, to activate the lymphatic system. There are people who practice it very religiously and who swear by it, saying the results are great.
If the pores of the skin are open and active that too serves a lot in keeping the lymphatic system healthy. sweating is a great way to help remove toxins.
Deep breathing serves as a pump for the lymphatic system and helps the lymph move at an ideal pace and help remove the toxins.
6) Comfortable Clothes
Wear comfortable clothes. Wearing clothes that are not very tight anywhere on the body will not restrict the lymph movement. For example, underwire bras, synthetic tight-fitting bras, or tight-fitting yoga costumes or any such clothing that can cause tightened in the skin is not good for the lymphatic health and ultimately impacts negatively on the overall health.
For the health of the entire body to be maintained, it is very important that the system that takes care of the draining and removing of toxins be functioning normally and smoothly. Understanding how the lymphatic system functions can help us understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. So ultimately the functioning of the body and the state of health of the whole body depends on a healthy lifestyle and food habits that are species-specific.
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