The Immune System
By Brady, Elizabeth, and Ali
The immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism
that protects against disease.
To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide
variety of agents,
from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism's
Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
The immune system is the body's natural defense system that helps fight infections. The immune system is made up of antibodies, white blood cells, and other chemicals and proteins that attack and destroy substances such as bacteria and viruses that they recognize as foreign and different from the body's normal healthy tissues. The immune system also includes:
- The tonsils and thymus, which make antibodies.
- The lymph nodes and vessels (the lymphatic system). This network of lymph nodes and vessels throughout the body carries lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is an important part of the immune system. The lymph nodes filter lymph fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances, which are then destroyed by special white blood cells called lymphocytes.
- Bone marrow. This is soft tissue found mainly inside the long bones, vertebrae, and pelvic bones of the body. It is made up of red marrow, which produces red and white blood cells and platelets, and yellow marrow, which contains fat and connective tissue and produces some white blood cells.
- The spleen, which filters the blood by removing old or damaged blood cells and platelets and helps the immune system by destroying bacteria and other foreign substances.
- White blood cells. These blood cells are made in the bone marrow and protect the body against infection. If an infection develops, white blood cells attack and destroy the bacteria, virus, or other organism causing it.
How the immune system is important in daily life!
Here are some issues that can happen?
Immune System Problems
Sometimes a person has a problem with his or her immune system.Allergies are one kind of problem — the immune system overreacts and treats something harmless, like peanuts, as something really dangerous to the body.
With certain medical conditions, such as lupus or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, instead of fighting germs, the immune system fights the good cells and this can cause problems. Other immune system problems may develop due to an illness like HIV/AIDS orcancer.
You can't prevent most immune system disorders. But if they happen, they can be treated with medicine and in other ways to help the person feel good and be healthy again. If you have an immune system problem, your doctor can help teach you ways to take care of yourself so you stay strong and are able to fight off illness. Immunologists (say: ih-myoon-ALL-oh-jists) are doctors who specialize in immune system problems.
Healthy kids can help their immune systems by washing their handsregularly to prevent infections, eating nutritious foods, getting plenty of exercise, getting enough sleep, and getting regular medical checkups. And if you feel great today, thank your immune system!
How can I keep my immune system healthy?
A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process
and make your immune system stronger? What if you improve your diet? Take certain
vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a
near-perfect immune response?
Yes all of this is possible !