The Auto-Immune System & The Lymphatic System

What are lymph nodes?
Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands throughout the body. They are part of the lymphatic system, which carries fluid (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 body's defense system against disease. 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.

Lymph nodes may be found singly or in groups. And they may be as small as the head of a pin or as large as an olive. Groups of lymph nodes can be felt in the neck, groin, and underarms. Lymph nodes generally are not tender or painful. Most lymph nodes in the body cannot be felt.

What causes swollen lymph nodes?
  • The glands on either side of the neck, under the jaw, or behind the ears commonly swell when you have a cold or sore throat. Glands can also swell following an injury, such as a cut or bite, near the gland or when a tumor or infection occurs in the mouth, head, or neck.
  • Glands in the armpit (axillary lymph nodes) may swell from an injury or infection to the arm or hand. A rare cause of axillary swelling may be breast cancer or lymphoma.
  • The lymph nodes in the groin (femoral or inguinal lymph nodes) may swell from an injury or infection in the foot, leg, groin, or genitals. In rare cases, testicular cancer, lymphoma, or melanoma may cause a lump in this area.
  • Glands above the collarbone (supraclavicular lymph nodes) may swell from an infection or tumor in the areas of the lungs, breasts, neck, or abdomen  .More info 
Lymph nodes often swell in one location when a problem such as an injury, infection, or tumor develops in or near the lymph node. Which lymph nodes are swollen can help identify the problem.

What is the treatment for swollen lymph glands?

The lymphatic system is a major part of the body's defence against infection. Lymph nodes are one of the components of this system. These are specialised structures which are found in lymph vessels. Lymph nodes are a filter for the lymph flowing through the vessels. They contain B and T cells which recognise bacteria and pathogens which have entered the lymph via the bloodstream. When foreign material is detected, other dedicated immune cells are recruited to the node to deal with the infection. This helps to prevent the infection from spreading throughout the body. The Lymphatic System is a major part of the immune system. It is through the Lymphatic System that toxic substances move out of the body through the bloodstream .

Why is it important for your health to maintain your Lymphatic System?
When your Lymphatic System is blocked or clogged, this creates a condition of stagnation which promotes fatigue and ill health.Some of the common symptoms include lumps, bumps, pain and swelling.

NOTES. Some women with pips have had to have some lymph nodes removed due to silicone leaking , from under there armpits . It is best to leave them alone if they aren`t causing any problems for you as the lymph system is a very important part of the body .

Immune System                                  
Normally the immune system's army of white blood cells helps protect the body from harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include bacteria,viruses ,toxinscancer cells, and blood or tissues from another person or species. The immune system produces antibodies that destroy these harmful substances. But in patients with an autoimmune disorder, the immune system can't tell the difference between healthy body tissue and antigens. The result is an immune response that destroys normal body tissues. This response is a hypersensitivity reaction similar to the response in allergies.

  • Auto-Immune Checklist to fill in and take to your GP, It`s a detailed list of many of the most common autoimmune disease symptoms and the conditions they may indicate. Download it and fill it in and take your Autoimmune Checklist to your doctor and use it to open a dialogue that will help you get the proper tests and diagnosis you need. Auto-Immune Checklist 
  • Record any symptoms you have, even if they seem unrelated, and share it with your doctor.
  • See a specialist who has experience dealing with your most major symptom.For instance, if you have symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, start with a gastroenterologist. Ask your regular doctor, friends, and others for suggestions 

A disease in which the body mounts an “attack” response to its own tissues or cell types. Normally, the body’s immune mechanism is able to distinguish clearly between what is a normal “self” substance and what is foreign. In autoimmune disease, this system becomes defective and mounts an attack against normal parts of the body, causing tissue injury. Certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma are considered to be autoimmune diseases.  An autoimmune disorder may affect one or more organ or tissue types. Organs and tissues commonly affected by autoimmune disorders include: ** Red blood cells ** Connective tissues ** Endocrine glands such as the thyroid or pancreas ** muscles ** joints ** skin **
A person may have more than one autoimmune disorder at the same time.There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders.This makes it hard for your health care provider to know if you really have one of these diseases, and if so, which one. Getting a diagnosis can be frustrating and stressful.  We strongly believe that the symptoms of any autoimmune disease affect the whole body, and consequently the body needs to be treated as a whole.

Symptoms of an autoimmune disease vary widely and depend on the specific disease. A group of symptoms that occur with autoimmune diseases may include:

Extreme Fatigue -  Or, the kind of fatigue that is not alleviated by rest. This is experienced almost universally by autoimmune disease sufferers.
Muscle and Joint Pain -  Whether it be general pain, burning, aching and soreness in the muscles or joint pain or aches, this symptom can also be found in almost every autoimmune disease.
Muscle Weakness -  Feeling weak, particularly in the muscles, and loss of hand or arm or leg /thigh strength is a common symptom.
Swollen Glands -  These can be all over the body, but especially in the throat area, under the arms, and at the top of the legs in the groin area.
Inflammation - Inflammation is a part of every autoimmune disorder. The warning sign of pain, especially when chronic, is a sign that something needs immediate attention.
Memory Problems -  Often known as "brain fog", is a common autoimmune disease symptom that appears in most conditions.
Thyroid Problems -  Many people have hypothyroidism, though some are hyperthyroid. Often this does not show up on a typical thyroid test.Can manifest as low body temperature and excessive hair loss.
Re-Current Headaches -  Can manifest as migraines or severe headaches in some people
Pre-menstrual Syndrome -  Autoimmune disease symptoms often increase around the menstrual cycle. Extreme bloating, painful cramps, heavy bleeding and irregular cycle are common.
Re-Current Miscarriage -  This is a very common symptom in many autoimmune diseases

How do I find out if I have an Autoimmune Disease ?      
Getting a diagnosis can be a long and stressful process. Although each autoimmune disease is unique, many share some of the same symptoms.And many symptoms of autoimmune diseases are the same for other types of health problems too. This makes it hard for doctors to find out if you really have an autoimmune disease, and which one it might be. But if you are having symptoms that bother you, it's important to find the cause. Don't give up if you're not getting any answers.You can take these steps to help find out the cause of your symptoms
You can also request the following blood tests these may be done to diagnose an autoimmune disorder .

CBC  complete blood count

C-reactive protein (CRP)   
Thyroid Test If you have an enlarged thyroid gland  and/or if your other thyroid tests (such as Free T3, Free T4, and TSH) indicate thyroid dysfunction; if there are clinical features to suggest thyroid disease; in some patients with related autoimmune diseases

" If your doctor doesn't take your symptoms seriously or tells you they are stress-related or in your head, see another doctor.!!! Download the Pdf for  " How to get a second opinion "

    animated gifs                     **PLEASE DOWNLOAD AND READ***    

    Auto-Immune Diseases (Overview)
    How to Get a Second Opinion
    Auto-Immune Checklist