How does the immune system work?

Immunity is, so to speak, the guardian of our body, ensuring its protection against pathogens. In fact, there is a whole system of biological structures and processes. And it is very important that this system works correctly and distinguishes all sorts of toxins, infections and malignant cells from the body's own tissues. Immunity has two subsystems: natural and acquired.

When foreign microorganisms overcome the first level of defense (eyelashes, hair, skin), they meet with the counteraction of the natural immune system - it is nonspecific and resists most pathogens, regardless of their internals.

How does the "rebuff" work and what are leukocytes?

Leukocytes (white blood cells) are blood cells formed in the bone marrow, whose main function is to fight infections and tissue damages. They repel pathogen cells by absorbing them. And then, the pathogen dies inside under the influence of enzymes and free radicals. There are several different types of leukocytes.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the very first response of the immune system to infection. Inflammation symptoms:

  • high temperature,
  • edema,
  • redness,
  • soreness of the inflamed area.

This is a result of increased bloodstream in the area of inflammation - so infected cells attract attention and signalize immune cells that help is needed.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccination is exactly about the acquired immunity. Vaccines contain weakened particles of a specific antigen and cause an immune response within the body. This triggers the mechanism of immunological memory, when the body acquires the ability to quickly recognize this particular antigen in the future and immediately begins to fight it.

There is no acquired immunity from birth, it is acquired throughout life. It is distinguished from the natural by its ability to learn, adapt and remember. The acquisition process begins when a person's immune system encounters alien cells and recognizes various antigens. Then the acquired immunity begins to think how to attack these antigens in a most fast and effective way, and finally develops immunological memory for them. This is where lymphocytes come into play.

What are lymphocytes?

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells that are responsible for acquired immunity.

What malfunctions can occur in the immune system work:

  • autoimmune diseases (we talk about them in detail here);
  • hypersensitivity reactions;
  • immunodeficiencies.

Hypersensitivity is an unwanted reaction of the immune system, characterized by an increased sensitivity of the body to any substance.

Immunodeficiency is the result of insufficiently effective immunity. Various factors can lead to this: alcohol and drug addiction, diabetes, obesity, or vice versa, malnutrition and lack of important micronutrients, HIV infection, cancer. Immunodeficiency is dangerous because it reduces the body's resistance to dangerous diseases.

What benefits immunity and what harms?

✖️ Stress and lack of sleep.

✖️ Sedentary lifestyle.

✖️ Overeating, diabetes, obesity.

✖️ Malnutrition and a lack of important micronutrients.

✔️ Enough rest.

✔️ Regular 7-9 hour sleep.

✔️ A healthy balanced diet.

✔️ Active lifestyle, regular exercise.

However, immunity should not be increased all the time. You just need to keep an eye on it and control that everything works okay. So, for example, if you often suffer from colds, you should probably consult an immunologist, as this is a kind of signal.

The immune system closely interacts with the nervous and endocrine systems of the body, so that a malfunction in its work can cause titanic damage to the entire body. That is why it is so important to monitor your health and strengthen immunity from early childhood.