This system attacks any foreign element that enters our body . It is possible that in this “combat” our body experiences some consequences, such as fever, tremors or other symptoms depending on the situation.
Parts of the immune system
- The skin. It is the largest organ in the body and the first that can protect us from the entry of harmful agents.
- Mucous membranes They are the very moist inner linings that are present in certain organs and cavities. This watery and sticky characteristic can prevent foreign elements from entering.
- White blood cells The part of the blood that fights germs that enter the stream.
- Organs and tissues of the lymphatic system. The thymus, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels, and bone marrow. They produce, store and transport white blood cells, so that they are the first facilitators of the blood cells so that they can work in the destruction of foreign agents.
How does the immune system work?
- An infectious agent enters the body
- The immune system, through cells called macrophages, recognizes it as a foreign body (antigens) and works to eliminate it.
- The first thing the macrophage does to remove the antigen is to capture it within itself and turn it into pieces (antigenic peptides). If this alone does not work to eliminate it, these cells should go to “plan b”.
- The peptides bind to HLA molecules and the macrophage releases it.
- When lymphocytes detect the presence of this binding outside of macrophage cells, they signal other cells to generate the necessary antibodies to stop the spread of the HLA-bound antigen.
- Finally, the cell called phagocyte is responsible for discarding the antigen from the body.
There are diseases that are caused by problems in the immune system itself, that is, due to a failure in the elements that make up said system, some of them are: lupus, myositis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Examples of what can damage the immune system
There are bad habits that can damage our natural defense system.
- The consumption of a diet rich in: red meat, coffee, soda, salt and dairy. It can lead to obesity, a risk factor for disease.
- Sugar : decreases the capacity of white blood cells.
- Bad sleep or lack of sleep: produces stress hormones.
- Medications : Some drugs prevent cells from communicating with each other, so it will be difficult to send signals that alert them to intruders.
- Alcohol : prevents the large production of white blood cells and weakens the system itself.
- Chronic stress: produces a lot of cortisol, which is responsible for diseases such as diabetes or heart conditions.
- Dehydration: it can cause from decay to cancer.