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What is the role of lymph in my body?

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Lymph helps to destroy potentially dangerous bacteria and cancer cells and filter waste and toxins. It is also responsible for working with the circulatory system to help deliver hormones and nutrients to the tissues of the body.

The lymphatic system, which is responsible for lymph flow is a series of vessels and nodes, distributed throughout the body. When this system is disrupted by the destruction of lymph nodes or vessels, swelling can occur. This is called lymphedema and is a common problem for women who have had mastectomy with lymph node removal for breast cancer.
 
Master Stephen Co
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

A critical part of your immune system, lymph is a straw-colored fluid component of the blood that resembles plasma. It contains white cells but typically no red cells. As blood circulates throughout the body, lymph separates from the blood, seeping out through blood vessels to bathe the body’s tissues, where it picks up bacteria, waste products, toxins, and even random tumor cells. It then brings this cellular debris back to the lymph nodes, which are small round masses of lymphatic tissue located throughout the body. The lymph nodes break down this waste material and dispose of it. (The most commonly known lymph nodes are those in your neck along your jawline. If you have an upper respiratory infection, they may be inflamed, and the doctor may say you have “swollen glands.”)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.