Lymphatic Systems

Written by Diane Sievert
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Lymphatic systems have a lot of responsibility when it comes to maintaining your body's health. In addition to filtering out any unwanted or unwelcome substances, lymphatic systems are also in charge of alerting your immune system to act when necessary. Because lymphatic systems are so important, it helps to know what kinds of problems could occur.

Common Conditions Affecting Lymphatic Systems

As everyone encounters bacteria from time to time, infections are quite common and the body's immune system can generally fight these kinds of problems off without medical attention. Sometimes, however, an infection of the lymphatic system, commonly referred to as lymphangitis or lymphadenitis, can be more serious. In these cases, antibiotics will generally fight off the infection caused by the bacteria so that all will soon return to normal.

Other problems associated with lymphatic systems include blockages or obstructions. If something obstructs the passage of lymph through the lymph nodes or lymph vessels, serious swelling can occur. This condition is commonly referred to as lymphedema and generally results when some sort of physical trauma has affected the lymphatic system.

More serious conditions affecting lymphatic systems include the development of lymphomas or lymphatic cancer. Lymphomas are malignant tumors that are formed from lymphoid tissue and these can spread quite quickly, inhibiting the basic functions of the lymphatic system. Also quite serious is Hodgkin's disease, a subset of lymphatic cancer that generally affects males between the ages of 15 and 34, and males over 55.


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