Lymphedema

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Lymph Glands

Written by Amy Hall
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What the Lymph Glands Do

The lymph glands are responsible for keeping the body fluids, blood fluid and cerebrospinal fluid in balance. The total amount of body weight is 60% fluids. The lymphs fluids in the body combat and destroy all invading organisms (bacteria, etc.) that enter and endanger the body tissues.

Lymph fluid is slightly yellow and somewhat opalescent. It carries white blood cells (lymphlytes), a few red blood cells, and is collected from the tissues throughout the body; it then flows in the lymphatic vessels through the lymph nodes, upon which it is added to the venous blood circulation. The lymph glands become swollen and inflamed when an infection or inflammation is present in the body. Another job of the lymph is to absorb emulsified fat and pass in on in small, tolerable quantities to the blood stream.

The Lymphatic System and Your Immunity

All antibodies, which ensure immunity against infectious diseases, are formed in the lymphatic system. Therefore, when lymph nodes are removed due to cancer surgery, patients often lose their ability to fight off illness and disease efficiently, and succumb to complications more readily. Other complications include lymphedema, which is the gross swelling of an extremity due to lymph accumulating in a specific area of the body.

Symptoms of infection include sore and swollen lymph nodes that are tender to the touch. This usually accompanies another condition of the body, such as an systemic infection, or a cold or flu bug. Some lymph glands are located much deeper and can not be felt manually, so you may have to check with your doctor if you are not feeling right, even if you do not feel swollen lymph nodes yourself.


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