Understanding your immune system will help you take the needed steps to strengthen its ability to protect you from disease causing pathogens, like harmful viruses, bacteria, and mutated cells that can lead to cancer.
While your immune system is extremely complex, and involves multiple organ systems, it overall function is pretty simple. It’s designed to protect you from infection and “unhealthy cells.”
Unhealthy cells are cells that have been damaged in some way. They can be inflated by microbes such as viruses and bacteria. Or by DNA damage leading to precancerous and then cancer cells.
And while the mission of your immune system is to protect you from illness, the deployment of your immune system is like a military operation. This involves numerous cell types that either circulate throughout your body. Or reside in specific areas as an early warning defense system.
What is key to this whole operation is communication.
Like in a real war, the first places that are targeted for destruction are the communication operations. If these areas are destroyed or damaged, then the enemy (in this case the pathogen) increases its ability to cause cellular destruction.
To help you in understanding your immune system let’s first start with the various bases of operation.
Bone Marrow: Your immune system starts in the bone marrow from stem cells that then develop into mature immune cells. This conversation can take place in the bone marrow. As well as other key locations throughout the body.
These stem cells will go down one of two pathways.
Pathway One is the myeloid lineage which fuels the innate immune system. This branch of the immune system is for general protection against common pathogens. And through this branch or pathway we get the following immune cells:
These cells are considered “the first responders” to infection.
Pathway Two is the lymphoid lineage while fuels the adaptive immune system. This branch of the immune system develops throughout our lives. As we are exposed to specific harmful viruses and bacteria, your immune system will develop specific cells that are designed to destroy these invaders.
This branch of your immune system gives rise to: Read More →