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The lymphatic system is very complex and it is made up lymphoid organs, lymph nodes, lymph ducts, lymph capillaries, and lymph vessels that make and transport lymph fluid from tissues to the circulatory system. It is a major part of the immune system. The three main functions of the immune system are to:
1) remove excess fluid from bodily tissues
2) absorb fatty acids and subsequently transport fat as chyle to the circulatory system
3) produce immune cells such as lymphocytes and monocytes
The lymphatic system is not a close system and the movement of the lymph fluid moves with low pressure due to functions such as peristalsis, valves, and the milking action of skeletal muscles. Lymph fluid only ever travels in one direction.
As the lymph fluid moves through the body, it collects waste products and toxins and disposes of them through the bladder, bowel, lungs, and skin. The lymphatic system is vital for both detoxification and the immune system, and if it is not working properly, then a wide range of illnesses can develop.
Signs that the lymphatic system is not functioning properly include swelling or edema, swollen glands, a tendency for infections or viruses, recurring tonsillitis or sore throats, and a tendency for constipation.
A network of lymphatic vessels, lymphoid tissue, and organs scattered throughout the body.
Two major functions:
1. Returns interstitial fluid and plasma proteins to the blood at venule end of capillary.
2. Produces, maintains, and distributes WBC's called lymphocytes, which are responsible for maintaining the immune system.