Your immune system is a network made up of a series of cells and compounds, all of which takes responsibility for keeping you healthy as you constantly make contact with all sorts of fungi, bacteria, toxins, viruses and a host of others.
Your Immune system is responsible for identifying substances that are harmful and getting rid of them. If the system perceives that a substance is not harmful (stuff like food, pills or good bacteria), it lets the particles pass through.
As with all complicated things, there are a host of things you did not know about your immune system. These include :
1. The immune system’s first response to invasion is inflammation
When your immune system identifies an invader or a toxic substance, the first cells and compounds that respond are the inflammatory cells. This happens rapidly and in a messy way, almost harming everything in its path, that includes healthy tissues and cells. It does it to make sure it gets at the invader and gets rid of it.
Even though inflammation is an important immune response, you will agree that it can be a problem when it gets extreme and may cause damage to healthy tissues, leading to disease sometimes.
2. The Immune system’s major organ is the gut
The immune system basically resides in the lymphatic system, a network of glands and vessels found all around the body but mostly concentrated in your gut. You probably never knew and it may seem strange but for a second, imagine how much the gut receives everyday. These foods sometimes contain pathogens, toxins and potentially harmful substances. It, therefore, makes a lot of sense that the immune system is mostly concentrated in the gut.
The gut immune system is tasked with identifying particles that can’t enter the body so that nutrients can be absorbed and the good bacteria can reside. If you keep eating foods that your immune system identifies as harmful, or foods that end up feeding the harmful bacteria that are in your gut, your immune balance will eventually be thrown off balance and you will fall ill.
If, you also do nothing to support the good bacteria in your body, your immune system may end up reacting to substances that are not harmful, including foods or your own body.
3. If You Get a Fever, Your Immune System is Working
Whenever your immune system meets with a bacterial or viral infection that needs a tough immune response, it could sometimes increase the temperature of your body. This is to make it impossible for the microbe to survive in the body. Think about all the times you tried to reduce your fever and how it means you were working against your immune system. It’s always best to talk with a physician before taking such medications.
4. The Immune System will Often Course-Correct
The immune system is designed in a way that it always works to keep you healthy. In healthy individuals, the immune system can adapt and learn new ways of improving immunity as it keeps encountering more and more germs. However, in some cases, people may have immunity problems that may cause their immune system to be unable to course-correct. As a result, these people are prone to infections and may fall sick more often.
5. The Thymus Gland Has A Prime Time
Yes, same way our prime time is in our youth, the thymus has a prime time too. The thymus has its best days in its youth. It’s located behind your sternum, between your lungs and is in charge of producing important white blood cells known as the T-lymphocytes. Immature T-lymphocytes first find their way to the thymus, they mature there and become an important part of the immune system. However, when you get to puberty, it’s prime time fades and it slowly becomes just deposits of fatty tissues.
6. You Can Live Without Your Spleen
The spleen is one of the largest lymphatic organs. It helps keep the blood free from bacteria, virus and other pathogens. It is found beneath your diaphragm, behind your stomach. Apart from keeping the blood free from pathogens, it also specializes in storing white blood cells to produce antibodies and filtering red blood cells that are defective. When the body is combating an infection, the spleen may grow rapidly but when it ruptures, it would have to be removed.
Even though you can survive without your spleen, it is always best that your spleen is healthy.
7. Stress Can Affect the Immune System
Stress actually does break down your immune system. It renders it almost ineffective by inhibiting its function, as a result, you’re twice more likely to be infected. It creates inflammatory conditions and reduces the immunity of people who may have once had a healthy immune system.
8. Happy Relationships Boost Your Immune System
Before you doubt this, we should inform you that studies have already been carried out to prove this point. According to these studies, people who are in a healthy relation tend to have only a few health issues. Therefore, we suggest you try to improve your relationship by trying to refocus and pay attention to the present moment. Also try to express appreciation and even exercise together. That way, your immune system is boosted too.
9. Sunlight Affects the Immune System
The sun, we understand, can be harmful with its ultraviolet rays. However, sunlight also has rewarding benefits. As you’ve already learnt, sunlight provides you with vitamin D, a rather important vitamin. It helps stimulate the T-cells and the D Vitamin of your immune system. As a result of this stimulation, your immune system gets boosted. What this implies is that generally, your body and immune system depends on the rays from the sun to fight off diseases and infection.
There are a whole lot of other interesting facts about the Immune system that you also do not know about. The immune system is a wonderful system and keeps us protected. There are a whole lot of other immune responses like nasal congestions, coughs etc.