What is the lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is delicate meshwork of tissues and organs that consist of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and lymph fluid. Its function is to transport lymph: a clear fluid containing white blood cells that help the body fight infections.

Lymphatics rid the body of toxins such as dead cells, viruses, fats, inorganic substances, bacteria and other unwanted materials. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all part of the lymphatic system, which is also responsible for maintaining proper fluid balance within the body.

Small lymph vessels lead into others like branches of a tree, forming lymph trunks that lead to nodes. The lymph nodes filter and purify the lymphatic fluid. There are between 400-700 lymph nodes in the body, half of which are located in the abdomen. 170-200, in the neck. They range in size from as small as the head of a pin to as large as an olive.

The lymph vessels help to carry and remove proteins that are too large for the tiny capillaries of the circulatory system to process. When these proteins and other metabolic wastes build up it can cause swelling and edema, along with a host of other symptoms associated with a sluggish lymphatic system, such as:

• Swollen glands
• Low immunity
• Brain fog
• Sore or stiff joints upon waking
• Dry itchy skin, rashes, acne
• Frequent colds and infections
• Swollen fingers
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Increased environmental allergies
• Breast swelling/soreness
• Nasal/throat congestion
• Chronic sinus congestion
• Puffy eyes
• Cellulite
• Constipation/GI disturbances
• Poor mood
• Menstrual cramps
• and over all sluggishness, to name a few.

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