Our Immune System

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by woofmom, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. woofmom

    woofmom New Member

    www.mnwelldir.org/docs/immune/immune1.htm---- They sell stuff. But there's also some good info.
  2. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    This is really a wonderful article with alot of easy to read info. Here's the beginning of it:

    It has only been in the last two to three decades that research into the workings of the immune system has really taken off. Before this, the immune system was not completely ignored by the established medical community; it was used as an indicator of one’s health status. Remember your "white count" tests? A high white blood cell count told the physician that your body was fighting an infection. Beyond that, it pretty much was not only ignored, but abused, especially considering the innumerable medical procedures and drug therapies that suppress the immune system—some procedures actually decimating it.

    In the fifties, tonsillectomies (removals of tonsils) were standard procedure. The tonsils happen to be one of the first line of defenses against disease, and are your only defense against the poliomyelitis virus. The medical community is beginning to admit, though not too loudly, that the polio epidemic of the fifties was iatrogenic (caused by physician intervention). Another medical procedure responsible for suppressing the immune system is the appendectomy (removal of the appendix). Did you know that the appendix is part of your immune system? Did you know there are natural ways of reversing an appendicitis attack? Did you know that an appendicitis attack is actually a warning of something even bigger amiss? Removing inflamed tonsils or an inflamed appendix is equivalent to tossing out your smoke detector because it’s making too much noise. Immunologists tell us that the tonsils are not to be removed under any circumstance, yet this year there will be over a million tonsillectomies performed in America, and in some states, removing the appendix is required by law if the lower abdomen is opened. Fortunately our bodies know more than doctors and 20% of the time we actually grow back tonsils and appendices (the plural of appendix) after they’ve been removed.

    All surgeries depresses the immune system. The greatest cause of death following a successful surgery is a secondary, or nosocomial infection (one picked up as a result of the hospital stay). With a depressed immune system, secondary infections are deadly. Antibiotics depress the immune system by taking over its job. Antibiotics also deplete the "good" bacteria (probiotics) needed for cleansing toxins from your system. Corticosteroids, hormones that are naturally created in the body, have been (are still) administered abundantly because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Over the counter strengths are now available and their use is wide spread. As with most hormonal therapies, the use of corticosteroids are a double edged sword: they suppress the initial inflammatory response to injury or illness, and they suppress the immune system.

    Our purpose here is to let you in on the workings of your immune system, its suppressors, triggers, boosters, and modulators. We are not going to turn you into immunologists, but rather teach you some of the basics.

    One of the reasons it has taken science so long to get a grip on the immune system is that its parts and interconnectedness are not readily perceivable. We have the digestive system, the circulatory system, the nervous system, and the respiratory system to name a few systems. These systems are easily described because they are physically connected. The immune system, on the other hand, consists of, ostensibly, unrelated parts and pieces, and much of what connects it together is molecular.

    The immune system is action and reaction. It has an intelligence of its own, though primitive, working like a mouse in a Skinner Box: the product of stimulus and response. For example, if a microscopic piece of an organ gets into the blood stream either through disease or by injury, the immune system will respond to it as if it were a foreign body, and having done so, the immune system is now trained to attack the original organ. The suppressor T-cells have to stop this attack or we have the beginning of an autoimmune response (lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system actually attacks the person’s own body).

    When referring to the immune system’s physical parts, we also call it the lymphatic system, though the entire immune system, on a molecular level, goes much farther, for even the tiniest cell in our bodies can create chemicals to aid in the defense of the entire system. The lymphatic system consists of two parts, the primary and secondary organs. Top

    Primary Organs: thymus gland (located beneath the breast bone and functioning at its peak during adolescence) and the bone marrow (producing specialized lymphocytes—T-cells and B-cells and dispatching them through the lymph vessels to the secondary organs.

    Secondary Organs: the lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, Peyer’s patches in the small intestines, liver, and appendix to name a few. These are the locations where the molecular parts of the immune system gather in readiness to do battle with germs, viruses, and allergens (those things causing allergic responses). Top

    The thymus gland is the central organ in the development of immune power. Within its cortex, the bone marrow lymphocytes mature into T-cells helped by thymosin, a hormone secreted by the thymus gland.

    The main job of bone marrow is to produce blood cells, both red and white (leukocytes and lymphocytes). It is the soft tissue located in the cavities of the bones. It is the source of stem cells which differentiate (change into) leukocytes and lymphocytes.

    To sum up things so far: the bone marrow creates the stem cells which become the cells of the immune system. From the bone marrow lymphocytes are sent to the thymus gland to mature and are then stored in the secondary organs of the lymph system and in the blood stream. The bone marrow also sends leukocytes into the blood stream on sentry duty. Everything stands in a "combat ready" state.

    Now let’s look at the cellular components of the system. There are two major cell type of immune system cells: phagocytes and lymphocytes. As you can guess, lymphocytes have something to do with the lymph system. They are small white cells found in lymphoid tissues (the secondary organs of the lymph system) and present also in the blood. They get to the blood stream from the lymph nodes which are small pea sized organs distributed throughout the body. The lymph nodes trap antigens (substances that trigger an immune response) and filter them out of the lymph fluid. The lymph fluid is actually tissue fluids that have been collected from throughout the body for cleaning, and then are returned to the blood stream via lymphatic vessels. Top
  3. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    This is a GREAT site. Thanks.
  4. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    This is an excellent explanation of the immune system. Thanks for posting it.

    I've always found it interesting how much our knowledge of how the immune system works progressed in the past two decades.

    I think we owe a lot of that to basic HIV/AIDS research.
  5. lookingoutthewindow

    lookingoutthewindow New Member

    I have read some of the article and many others. That is what led me to believe chemicals can have lasting, cumulative and devastating effects on our bodies. Do you know anyone closer to Lancaster with FM? Sometimes I feel so alone.

    Thanks

    Johnna
  6. woofmom

    woofmom New Member

    Sorry, I don't know anyone there. I don't have FM, at least I don't think I do. I have MCS which has and can cause me to have CFS. I had aspartame poisoning two years ago. The formaldehyde in it got me.