Immune System

Immune System

Immune and lymphatic system health is necessary for protecting your body from germs and diseases. Known as the bodys first line of defense, your immune system and lymphatic system help protect you from bacteria, viruses and fungi that cause disease. Your lymphatic system produces and carries white blood cells containing antibodies that fight off infection. Your lymphatic system transports and destroys dead or damaged cells and cancer cells, removing these substances from the blood stream. Problems with your immune and lymphatic system can result in various diseases. A weakened immune system can lead to diseases including cancer, the flu and chronic fatigue syndrome. An overactive immune system can lead to diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), Huntingdons disease and lupus. Allergies occur when your immune system mistakes harmless substances for threats and attacks these harmless substances.

Recently Answered

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    AHealthyWomen answered
    Practicing these good health habits will help keep your immune system strong throughout the year:
    • Prepare low-fat, balanced meals packed with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein like fish, soy and beans.
    • Choose natural, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
    • Don't smoke.
    • Exercise regularly.
    • Get active as a family and plan fun activities.
    • Manage stress.
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    AAlan Greene, MD, Administrator, answered
    Is my baby’s immune system less developed than an adult’s?
    New research shows that the immune system of an infant is actually as developed as an adult's - but there is an interesting twist to this discovery! Watch as pediatrician Alan Greene, MD, discusses this exciting development in children's health.
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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    There are many simple day to day things that can help keep your immune system strong. These include maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and minimizing the amount of stress your body experiences. In addition to these daily routines you can also take a natural immune support supplement such as larch arabinogalactan. 

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    The development of lymphedema can be detected using a testing method called bioimpedance spectroscopy, which measures extracellular fluid in the limbs by passing low-dose electric current through the limb, to detect the way the body responds to fluid changes. The test is painless, fast (five minutes), noninvasive and portable.
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    AUCLA Health answered

    Dendritic cells are found in the blood. They are essential for the start of any immune response, be it against a bacterial infection, a viral infection or tumor cells. Moreover, these dendritic cells are also responsible for telling the body what type of immune response to initiate, so that the invader can be attacked with the most effective tools.

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    APenn Medicine answered

    Anyone who has had an axillary lymph node dissection as part of breast cancer surgery is at increased risk for upper extremity lymphedema (swelling due to a blockage of the lymph passages). Sentinel node biopsies also carry a risk of lymphedema, but to a much lesser extent. Lymphedema can occur immediately postoperatively or within a few months, a couple of years, or as late as 20 years after treatment. With proper education and care, the incidence of lymphedema can be minimized or, if it develops, kept well under control.

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    AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered

    Many foods and beverages have been connected with improving your immune system, such as oranges, yogurt and tea to name a few. One lesser known ingredient found to improve your immune system is larch arabinogalactan, which is found in various fruits and vegetables. Larch arabinogalactan is a plant-based carbohydrate shown to have immune-enhancing properties when consumed in the diet. It is found in small amounts in common fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, radishes, wheat and pears. Alternatively, supplements provide a convenient way to get your daily dose of larch arabinogalactan.

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    ASusan Blum, MD, MPH, Integrative Medicine, answered
    What are ways to boost the immune system?

    To boost the immune system, you need to improve gut health, improve liver function, eat an anti-inflammatory diet, avoid stress and get enough sleep. Watch functional medicine expert Susan Blum, MD, share these important steps to building immunity.

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    ARealAge answered

    The stealth virus is the name one researcher has given a virus that he believes resides in the body without detection by the immune system. He reports that the stealth virus has been obtained from tissues of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and other chronic conditions and believes that this virus could be the cause. However, the existence of the virus has not been confirmed by other investigators. Also, the same researcher found similar rates of viral detection in both sick subjects (chronic fatigue syndrome) and healthy subjects. If a stealth virus were a cause of these illnesses, one would expect more infection among the ill than the healthy.

    The researcher says to be suspicious of the polio vaccine because the source of the stealth virus is the African green monkey, and kidney cells from the African green monkey are used in the production of live oral polio vaccine. To date, the researcher's results have not been confirmed in independent laboratories. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found no evidence that polio vaccine, or any other vaccine, has been contaminated with a stealth virus.

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    AJoel Fuhrman, MD, Family Medicine, answered
    Dendritic cells are tree-shaped immune cells that are scattered throughout the body in their immature or deactivated form. When activated they trap and process what they recognize as enemy material to present it to other immune cells to remove or kill the threat. That is, they capture microbial pathogens and abnormal cells so the other immune cells can destroy them.

    Dendritic cells are present in tissues in contact with the external environment, such as the skin and the inner lining of the nose, lungs, stomach, and intestines. They can also be found in an immature state in the blood. Once activated, and engaged they migrate to the lymph nodes where they interact with T cells and B cells to initiate an immune attack. Dendritic cell functions can decrease with aging leading to loss of immune function. This gradual loss in dendritic function exposes us to infection and a higher risk of developing cancer as we get older.
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