The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system helps to protect us from infection and disease. It is part of the body’s immune system.
Lymph fluid flows through the network of lymph vessels that connect to a group of lymph nodes. The nodes act as a filter, destroying or trapping anything harmful that the body doesn’t need. The lymph nodes contain white blood cell (lymphocytes), which attack and break down bacteria, viruses, damaged cells or cancer cells. This is then transported via the bloodstream and removed with the other body waste.
This is a colourless fluid that forms in our body and surrounds all our body’s tissues. Extra fluid that comes from the body’s tissues drains into small lymph vessels. It is a constant flow through the lymph vessels and filtered by the lymph nodes; eventually draining back into the bloodstream.
Lymph nodes are mainly found in the neck, armpits, groin, and abdomen. They filter and break down bacteria or other harmful cells from the lymph fluid.
The number and size of lymph nodes can vary on an individual basis; however they tend to be the size of a baked bean.
Lymph vessels are a network of tubes that connect to groups of lymph nodes throughout the body. Some vessels are just under the skin and can easily be damaged if the skin is broken. The fluid travels through the lymph vessels and drains into the bloodstream.
More in-depth information on the lymphatic system