Our body is capable of self-healing, but it doesn’t always heal itself. Why is that? When the lymphatic system, the system which cleans your body, neglects its duty, waste doesn’t get carried out, and the body enters an inflammatory state. At ICCLI, our functional medicine doctor on Long Island can help improve your quality of life while tackling factors that affect inflammation.
The lymphatic system
Your lymphatic system is made up of three components: lymphatic fluid, lymphatic vessels, and lymphatic nodes and organs. Unlike blood, which flows through the body in a continuous loop, lymph flows in only one direction — upward toward the neck. Lymphatic vessels connect near the collarbones to two subclavian veins, located on each side of the neck. This is where fluid re-enters the circulatory system. The circulatory system can depend on the “powerhouse” of the heart to move blood, whereas, lymphangions, “rhythmic contractions of teeny muscular units,” control the lymph fluid which goes through the lymph vessels. You actually have twice the amount of the lymph fluid in your body than you do blood. It bathes the cells individually, as well as drains any waste found in the circulatory system, which in fact, is solely powered by your breathing and movement. If for any reason the lymph’s movement were to stop entirely, you would only have a matter of hours left to live. Speak with our functional medicine doctor on Long Island to learn more about the lymphatic system.
How does inflammation occur?
Inflammation is the body’s response to foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria, and is a vital part of our immune system. During inflammation, chemicals in the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissue in order to protect the body — this action may result in redness and warmth. Swelling is the result of a fluid leak in some of the chemicals. This process, although vital, may cause pain and result in nerve stimulation. An increased amount of cells and inflammatory substances may also cause pain and nerve stimulation.
How does it affect the lymphatic system?
Chronic inflammation occurs when the lymph system becomes compromised. Simply put, an inflammatory diet causes slowed elimination leading to a shift in pH to an acidic environment of waste — the waste being inflammation. Stress can also be a contributing factor which forces the body to produce an excessive amount of stress-fighting hormones in order to boost energy. Stress-fighting hormones waste products are highly acidic which only adds to the pH imbalance. In the case of chronic stress, it completely alters the body’s chemistry to an acidic state, contributing to lymph congestion.
Speak with our functional medicine doctor on Long Island if you believe your lymphatic system is compromised.