What is the Human Immune System?
The immune system has many different parts for it to work properly in keeping your body healthy. A few parts of the immune system include the spleen, your gut, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. Your immune system supports your body in fighting against pathogens and infections that have invaded the body.
The immune system fights against bacteria, viruses, infectious diseases, and parasites to name a few. Different aspects of the human immune system are found throughout the body, working together to prevent harmful damage to the body and threats to an individual’s overall health.
The immune system is in charge of identifying threats within the body and removing the body's foreign bodies, neutralizing the threat that has found its way into the body, and destroying dead or mutated cells within the body, such as cancerous cells. There are multiple stages, and various responses from the immune system initiated within the body.
How Does the Immune System Work?
The human immune system is the first system to accurately identify threats within the body and begin combating the threat. A healthy immune system knows the difference between “non-self” and “self” substances and knows not to attack “self” substances. This allows the immune system to identify what to attack, kill, and discard.
Your immune system will begin to learn what is a threat to the body and what is not. It will also learn how to defend against pathogens that have not been introduced to the body thus far. The immune system can actively learn new ways to combat viruses and bacteria for future use when infected again.
Types of Human Immunities
Innate Immunity is a general protection that every person is born with. The skin and immune system are defenses against infection and disease that everyone has. Of course, some people are born with complications to their immune systems; however, the vast majority of the population has an innate immunity that will be their first defense line when it comes to immunity in early life.
Adaptive Immunity is the ability to develop the immune system throughout your life when exposed to different viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens that can threaten your body's health. The body can learn how to defend against the pathogens and increase their reliability as time goes on and future attacks against the body.
Passive Immunity is borrowed immunity that is provided from another source and is temporary. An excellent example of passive immunity is the antibodies that are provided to babies through their mother’s breastmilk. These antibodies provide the baby with a temporary immunity to viruses and diseases that the mother has been exposed to earlier in life.
Immune System Self-Improvement
There are a few ways in which you can improve your personal immune system. By getting adequate sleep each night, exercising daily, and eating healthy, you will strengthen your immune system to be better equipped to fight against foreign agents. These few easy steps will allow you to provide your body’s first line of defense when it comes to your health and your immune system's health.
Reducing stress is another factor for not only your immune system but for your overall health as well. Reducing stress will allow you to be in a better state of mind and allow you to fight infection much easier.
Drinking water regularly and adequate amounts will also significantly improve your immune system. Your cells are made up of water, among other components, and the better hydrated they are, the better your cells will perform and work as they should.
5 Things You Didn't Know About Your Immunity
Your immune system is an incredibly important part of the body. It keeps you healthy and fighting infection to ensure you are feeling well and healthy as much as possible. The average person does not know many things about their immune system. Here are five things that you did not know about your immunity.
- Adapts to Change
Your immune system is constantly working in the background to keep you and your body healthy and running as it should. For most people, your immune system can adapt to changes such as fighting new bacteria, viruses, and parasites on a daily basis.
The constant exposure to new germs, viruses, and bacteria allows for your immune system to learn how to build antibodies and combat these foreign bodies. In rare cases, those with chronic immune conditions have a defective immune system that cannot learn how to combat new threats to the body, which leaves these individuals prone to infection.
- The Gut is Part of the Immune System
According to WebMD, Most people are not aware that the gut is part of the immune system, but the gastrointestinal tract is the largest part of your immune system. Your gut is constantly working to regulate what is going on within the body. Your gut works to differentiate good bacteria from bad, and it is key for overall immune health.
Taking care of your gut will allow you to take care of your immune health's biggest part. Gut checking starts when in utero and should continue throughout your life. This is an easy way to assist your immune health and promote overall body health.
- Thymus Gland
The Huffington Post reports that the Thymus Gland is located between your lungs and behind your sternum. This gland produces white blood cells called T-lymphocytes or T-cells. The Thymus is at its prime during your youth. Immature T-cells are sent to the Thymus to mature and become an essential part of your immune system. These cells become adaptive to bacteria and viruses; these cells are the defenders against harmful bacteria and viruses. Once an individual reaches puberty, the Thymus begins to shrink and slowly becomes fatty tissue deposits.
- You Can Live without Your Spleen
First off, according to the Huffington Post, “the spleen is one of the largest lymphatic organs within the body, and it works to clean your blood of viruses, bacteria, and other threatening foreign bodies that your body may be fighting. The spleen is located behind the stomach and under the diaphragm. This multi-purpose organ filters red blood cells while also storing white blood cells that produce antibodies.”
When fighting an infection, your spleen grows temporarily; however, it must be removed if it ruptures. You can live without your spleen if it is needed to be removed. It is easier to stay healthy with your spleen; however, you can remain healthy without it.
- Antibodies are Your Army
The Mayo Clinic says, when your body identifies germs, bacteria, and viruses, it triggers an immune response. This trigger creates antibodies that remember the foreign bodies and know how to defend against them. The antibodies remember the threats to ensure they do not make repeated attacks against the body. Even though you have a little army within your body, it is still important to provide those little guys with a helping hand.
Washing your hands frequently and getting certain vaccinations can greatly increase the power of your immune system. Lifestyle changes can also aid in increasing the effectiveness of your immune system as well. Getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and eating healthy can leave you feeling healthier and keeping your immune system working at peak performance.
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