Lymphology Education

Providing All The Information You Need On The Bodys Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System has...

  • Lymphatic capillaries, lymph vessels, and ducts

  • Lymph nodes (they are not glands as they do not secrete)

  • Lymphocytes T and B cells, white blood cells for immune purposes

  • Palatine tonsils and tonsils

  • Peyer`s patches in the ileum of the small intestine

  • The spleen and thymus gland

Body UKLC.png

We are 70% water

When unwanted waste fluid is collected from between the cells and enters the lymphatic system, it is then known as lymph fluid. From all over the body this fluid has been collected by capillaries, carried along through vessels via the lymph nodes for cleaning and filtration, similar to your household waste pipes traveling through a wastewater treatment plant.

 

The clean lymph mixes back into our blood and enters the blood circulation via a large vein, just above the heart called the Subclavian vein. Our body can collect, clean, and filter up to 2.5 litres per day. However, if there is a blockage, disruption, or lack of muscle movement the body will show signs of fluid retention seen as swelling called oedema.

Enjoying Clean Water

Stress is toxic to our bodies

Stressed Woman

Stress directly affects the spleen and protein levels within the lymphatic system which affects your heart rate and blood pressure. During stress, the spleen releases extra blood into the circulation and an extra protein called p34, which is a distinct Lactate Dehydrogenase (or LDH or LD).

 

LD is of medical significance because it is found extensively in body tissues, such as blood cells and heart muscle, as with other proteins it is used as a tissue-function marker as it is released during tissue damage and is a marker of common injuries and disease. This protein has been found in high levels in many human cancers and has been demonstrated to be an effective serum cancer marker. 

Functions of the Spleen...

  • Produces lymphocytes (WBC) in its lymph nodules and acts with the immune response.

  • Destroys worn-out erythrocytes (RBC) and unwanted micro-organisms.

  • Controls the quality and quantity of the blood in circulation.

  • It acts as a reservoir for blood cells of all kinds.

  • It produces erythrocytes and granulocytes during foetal life and on certain occasions in adult life i.e. after severe haemorrhaging.

SPLEEN.png

Functions of a Lymph Node

  • Filters and cleans lymph fluid by removing unwanted metabolic waste, toxins, bacteria, viruses, micro-organisms, infected cells, and other foreign particles from the body

  • Produces new lymphocytes helping the lymphatic system fight infection, often preventing infection from passing into the blood.

  • Regulates the concentration of protein in the lymph fluid

  • There are between 700 – 1,000 nodes in the human body 3-500 can be found in the abdomen. Excessive swelling of the abdomen means these lymph nodes are struggling to remove waste fluid

lymph labelled.png

  • A large lobed structure behind the upper part of the sternum/chest.

  • Largest in early life it shrinks in adulthood to a fraction of its original size.

  • It secretes a hormone called Thymosin that causes pre-T-cells to mature in the Thymus into T-cells, these are also called T Lymphocytes.

  • Many lymphocytes are formed here but most never leave the gland.

 

In the foetus and infant, the thymus seems to control the development of the lymph nodes and lymphoid tissue. If it is absent, death will result because of the failure of the immune processes. In adults, it is a source of fresh lymphocytes for immunity.

The Thymus...

thymus.png

Lymph capillaries, vessels, and lymph movement... 

  • Lymph capillaries underneath the skin are tiny compared to lymphatic vessels throughout the body

  • Lymph vessels resemble veins in structure 

  • Valves are non-moving but determine the direction of lymph flow.

  • Vessel contractions move the fluid by muscle and joint pump.

  • They can also be influenced by external pressure i.e. lymphatic massage

lymphatic system.png
Working Out

Muscle movement is essential to pump lymph fluid around the body, therefore it is vitally important to get 
moving post-operatively as soon as possible.

Lymph fluid moves naturally by

  • muscle tissue and bicuspid valves

  • autonomic nervous system

  • intrinsic contraction

 

Additional factors

  • contraction of muscles

  • breathing (diaphragm)

  • pulsation of arteries

  • external compression