The immune system is a collection of structures and processes within the body that protects against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies. This system identifies viruses, bacteria and parasites when functioning properly.
- Lymph nodes: small, bean-shaped structures that produce and store cells that fight infection and disease and are part of the lymphatic system. Also contain lymph, the clear fluid that carries those cells to different parts of the body. Lymph nodes can become enlarged and feel sore when the body is fighting infection.
- Spleen: Largest lymphatic organ; contains white blood cells that fight infection or disease. Also helps control the amount of blood in the body and disposes of old or damaged blood cells.
- Bone marrow: The yellow tissue in the center of the bones produces white blood cells. This spongy tissue inside some bones, such as hip and thigh bones, contains immature cells, called stem cells. These cells, especially embryonic stem cells, are prized for their flexibility in being able to morph into any human cell.
- Lymphocytes: Small white blood cells that play a large role in defending the body against disease. Two types are B-cells (make antibodies that attack bacteria and toxins) and T-cells (help destroy infected or cancerous cells).
- Thymus: This small organ is where T-cells mature. Situated beneath the breastbone, can trigger or maintain the production of antibodies that can result in muscle weakness.
- Leukocytes: These disease-fighting white blood cells identify and eliminate pathogens and are the second arm of the innate immune system. A high white blood cell count is referred to as leukocytosis.
Diseases of the Immune System:
- Asthma and allergies involve the immune system: eczema, allergic rhinitis, asthma all represent a hyper-response to external allergens.
- Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis: autoimmune diseases – dysregulation of the immune system. Immunodeficiency occurs when the immune system is not as strong as normal, resulting in recurring and life-threatening infections. Can either be the result of a genetic disease, acquired conditions such as HIV/AIDS, or through the use of immunosuppressive medication.
- Autoimmunity results from a hyperactive immune system attacking normal tissues as if they were foreign bodies: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus type 1 and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Symptoms of immune diseases: fever, fatigue, allergic reactions.
Symptoms and their Emotions
- Allergies: Denying your own power.
- Lupus: A giving up. Better to die than stand up for one’s self. Anger and punishment.
- Parasites: Giving powers to others, letting them take over and life off of you.
- Thymus gland: Feeling attacked by life. They are out to get me.
Holistic ways to Heal: