Your Body’s Guardian: Immune System
You have “guts” family and friends tell you that when you courageously take risks.
You have physical “guts” too. Your guts participate in a network of cells, tissues and organs that compose your body’s immune system. Guts refer to your gastro-intestinal tract. It contains lymphoid tissue with immune cells to protect from invasive agents termed pathogens. Guts are important to biologic medical practitioners. When the immune system becomes damaged, we repair, re-balance and strengthen your guts to enable you to restore your health.
Become familiar with the immune system. When you understand your immune system’s significance as your guardian, you’ll realize why we choose therapies to take care of it. And sure enough, by knowing your body’s inner environment (milieu) and the invisible health aides communicating with others in your body, you’ll consciously want to care for your immune system and eat the correct nutrients that nourish you.
The immune system works on your behalf when functioning well. The network is held within your body’s biochemical environment (the mesenchymal milieu). This environment is composed of water molecules, (60% of our body weight is water), a fluid which flows throughout the body connecting organs to one other. This fluid carries information between and among them, interweaving tissues, and influencing the well-being of the immune system.
It discovers invasive agents such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Viruses too are invasive and a cause of infections. The immune system recognizes and remembers millions of these different agents. In response to an invasive infection, cells of the immune system create substances to guide cells in regulating their behavior and in involving other immune cells. These other cells help in clearing out invasive agents and cleansing infected cells and tumors while not touching healthy tissues.
INNATE and ADAPTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEMS
The immune system is really two systems: an innate immune system, and an adaptive system. First, the innate immune system responds to piercing invasive agents like a red alert early warning signal. Take skin as an example. Your skin serves as a barrier tissue that initially stops organisms from entering your body. Sometimes these organisms penetrate the barrier (epithelial) layers. Dendritic cells called macrophages and neutrophils engulf the invasive agents (bacteria, parasites or toxins) in the tissues and then they migrate to lymph nodes. While migrating, these macrophages and neutrophils both lose ability to engulf the invasive agents and gain ability to communicate with T-cells, members of the adaptive immune system. They have enzymes which close around and chop the agent into pieces. The pieces are antigens.
The second, the adaptive immune system is composed of specialized systemic cells. They have to build an ability to counteract so they take a few days to respond. They then eliminate or prevent invasive agent growth. For example. Our body becomes infected by an organism unseen before. This immune system considers the organism to be unacceptable and provokes the system to create antibodies which identify and eliminate these undesired invasive antigens.
The innate and adaptive systems work together. The cells of the immune system respond, interact and coordinate with one another by a variety of signal molecules. The innate system stimulates the adaptive system of B and T cells. B and T cells are types of lymphocytes. Antigen-presenting cells activate T cells. T cells activate B cells. The innate system counts on the B cells of the adaptive immune response to mobilize against the invasive agents. Both can develop memory and respond more quickly when infection sets in a second time.
The system contains lymphocytes, white blood cells. The human body has about 2 trillion lymphocytes, constituting 20-40% of white blood cells. Lymphocytes travel in either the bloodstream or the lymphatic vessels to monitor for invasive agents. A clear fluid, lymph, bathes the body’s tissues. Approximately 1-2% of the lymphocyte pool re-circulates each hour so that lymphocytes can find their specific antigen within the secondary lymphoid tissues which they need to disperse.
THE TISSUES, CELLS AND ORGANS
The organs, tissues and cells of the immune system are located in different places throughout the body within a milieu. The milieu influences both the invasive agents, called pathogens, and the immune system as a whole. Bone marrow, tissue in the hollow of bones, is the source of all blood cells, including lymphocytes. Stem cells in the bone marrow produce B cells and T cells. T progenitors migrate from the bone marrow to the thymus where they develop into T cells.
The thymus, an organ behind your breastbone, generates T lymphocytes or T cells which then migrate to other tissues. B lymphocytes, also known as B cells, become activated and mature into plasma cells, which make and release antibodies.
Bean-shaped lymph nodes stationed in clusters in the neck, armpits, abdomen, and groin along the lymphatic vessels each contain specialized compartments where immune cells congregate, and where they can encounter antigens. These nodes are tissues containing specialized structures. T cells settle in the paracortex. B cells develop in germinal centers. Plasma cells show up in the medulla within the brain. All lymphocytes exit lymph nodes in outgoing lymphatic vessels and travel to tissues searching for invasive agents.
Tissues of the immune system are called lymphoid tissue and include tonsils, adenoids and appendix. Other tissues are in the linings of the digestive tract, airways, and lungs–considered gateways to the body.
The spleen, at the upper left of the abdomen, is an organ of the immune system which contains specialized compartments where immune cells collect and guard against invasive antigens.
Invasive agents, or pathogens, can adapt so they avoid discovery and neutralization by your immune system. Yet your body also can evolve and has many ways to recognize and neutralize pathogens. Immune system disorders include autoimmune diseases, cancer and inflammatory diseases. Life-threatening infections develop when the immune system is less active than normal; this condition is called immunodeficiency. The contrasting condition is called autoimmunity. This develops when a hyperactive immune system attacks normal tissues as if they were invasive agents. Common autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and lupus.
Diseases or disorders develop when the immune system gives an inadequate response, attacks its own host’s body (ie. lupus, rheumatoid arthritis) or responds inappropriately to compounds.
Yet imbalances in the milieu also can be a source of infectious diseases according to findings of Professor Enderlein. He views that changes in the milieu influence how well or poorly the immune system deals with bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is in the milieu that any exchange of information flows via water molecules from cells to channels, systems and organs in the body. Here is where our professional expertise can help you. We can diagnose and identify the needed therapies to restore your immune system’s strength and health.