Lymphatic System-Staying Healthy


Circulatory System

When we review the Lymphatic System, we first need to look at the Circulatory System and how it relates to the Lymphatic system. The body’s circulatory system is made of an intricate weave of blood vessels that transport blood throughout the body which is pumped through this system by the heart. The circulatory system delivers the blood throughout the body.

So that we don’t leave out the red blood cells, they pick up oxygen and drop off carbon dioxide at the lungs. Blood is made up of plasma and formed elements. The plasma moves out of the capillaries and into the tissues. The circulatory system works in both directions, up and down.

Interstitial Fluid

Once out of the capillaries, this fluid surrounding the tissues is called interstitial fluid. The flow of plasma in and out of the vessels provides a means for delivering cell nutrients, and takes away cell wastes. However, not all the plasma that flows out of the capillaries flow back into the capillaries and this is where the Lymphatic system comes into play.

The excess is drained out of the tissues and into the lymphatic system. When the interstitial fluid moves into the lymphatic system, it is now referred to as lymphatic fluid.

Defense System

Along with providing drainage for interstitial fluid, the lymphatic system plays a key role in the body’s defense system. Similar to the circulatory system, the lymphatic system consists of a series of vessels for transporting lymphatic fluid and lymphatic cells. However, unlike the circulatory system that flows both up and down throughout the body, the lymphatic system flows one direction, up. The Lymph vessels are located next to the blood vessels. There is no pump like the heart to move the lymphatic fluid around. The lymphatic system relies on the movement of the whole organism, powered by muscle contractions, to keep the lymph flowing. The lymphatic system carries its fluid in one direction, towards the heart.

The lymphatic system ties into the immune