Articles: I know what my Immune System is… I think…

The Immune System is the overall structure that coordinates health in the body; it involves multiple components, each with various functions. By now, the general public refers to it as often as medical professionals. Many diseases and conditions– everything from the common cold to rare disorders– are affected by how well it functions. However, it’s much easier to offhandedly mention than to define. A general understanding can help to differentiate between superstition and home remedies that might actually be practical despite any scientific explanation.

Though the The Immune System is typically associated with antibodies, whether or not someone can articulate what those are, it should be synonymous with blood. There are four main components, which will likely be at least somewhat familiar.

Platelets (a.k.a. thrombocytes) are fragments of cells (cytoplasm) produced in your bone marrow. Plasma clumps together to clot blood; this is good to close an external wound but not good if it occurs internally because blood needs to continue flowing throughout your body.

Plasma is a mixture of water, sugar, fat, protein and salts. It transports cells, which have nutrients, waste products, antibodies, clotting proteins, chemical messengers, such as hormones.

Red Blood cells (a.k.a. erythrocytes) are controlled by a hormone produced by your kidneys; they’re produced and released by your bone marrow. They contain hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. They only last 120 days.

White blood cells (a.k.a. leukocytes) last less than a day; obviously, internal clotting is problematic because your body needs constant replenishment of these. The 2 most common are neutrophil, which immediately respond to infections and lymphocytes.

There are 2 types of Lymphocytes: T Cells, which attack infection and tumors and B Cells, which produce antibodies, which are proteins that attach themselves to targeted bacteria, viruses and various foreign substances, etc.

Regardless of how many bouts, hypotheses, tests, diagnoses and flareups you experience, it’s overwhelming to try piecing together all the various disjointed definitions and explanations cobbled together from each doctor appointment and whatever pamphlet they give you. Hopefully, this basic overview provides a template into which to plug in your particular knowledge and make sense of it in a larger context.

Paramedics World: Difference Between White and Red Blood Cells

Encyclopedia Britannica: Lymphocyte Counts

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