Your lymphatic system & (chronic) diseases: the consequences of a poorly flowing ‘river of life’

Your lymphatic system & (chronic) diseases: the consequences of a poorly flowing 'river of life'

Despite the fact that the lymphatic system is called the river of life, many people do not know that this is a very important system in the body. It is in contact with all other systems in the body. If the lymphatic system does not flow properly, this can cause all kinds of (chronic) diseases. Gerard Lemole, lymphatic system expert and author of Lymph, explains why.

The lymphatic system can have a major influence on the development and outcome of chronic degenerative diseases.

The lymphatic system in brief

Your lymphatic system is a mystery. Because while we know it’s there and what role it plays, we have a very limited ability to really understand exactly what goes on inside the human body. And that’s all the more reason to start seeing this secret river as an anatomical attraction. Thinking about it, paying attention to it, respecting it, and focusing on it can affect your general health.

Your lymphatic system & (chronic) diseases: the consequences of a poorly flowing 'river of life'

Plus, the lymphatic system is related to all the other systems in the body—the immune system, the circulatory system, your hormones, the nervous system, and so on—so we can’t talk about general health and well-being without thinking about the common ground that the lymphatic system has everywhere.

It’s important to understand why good lymph flow is necessary: ​​it removes toxins and harmful substances from other parts of your body (all tissues contain lymphatic channels) and allows immune cells to travel to damaged or inflamed areas. Good lymph flow quickly signals that help is needed and ensures that those helping cells can get there quickly.

In other words, because the lymphatic system functions as a conduit for immune cells, and is responsible for cells that can create and simultaneously remove inflammatory tissue, the lymphatic system can have a major impact on the development and outcome of chronic degenerative diseases.

When lymph is working properly, it traps the threats to your body (such as toxins and viruses) and carries them to the lymph nodes, where they are rendered harmless so that they can be removed by your body.

The lymphatic system and (chronic) diseases

This applies not only to diseases related to immunity (such as arthritis/rheumatism), but also, for example, to arteriosclerosis and some neurological disorders. New technologies and techniques have shown that immunity, the lymphatic system, and chronic diseases are related; especially in inflammatory processes and disturbances in the lymph flow.

Disruption in the lymph flow: 3 important spots

The first sign that something is wrong with your lymph is if the organ associated with it is malfunctioning. The three main places where this occurs are:

1. Cardiovascular System

Your lymphatic system & (chronic) diseases: the consequences of a poorly flowing 'river of life'

Your blood supplies your tissues with oxygen and nutrients. Due to poor cleaning due to inflammation and decreased lymphatic transport, the cholesterol accumulates and eventually blocks the walls of the arteries. To avoid this, it is important to quickly limit tissue damage and remove the toxins, cytokines, and metabolites from the affected area. These kinds of essential cleaning actions are performed by your lymphatic vessels.

In my years of heart surgery, it became clear to me that the lymphatic vessels on the surface of the heart can harden or scar. This can occur with stress, smoking, too little exercise or a poor diet. Biopsies of the lymphatic vessels in patients with those risk factors showed that the scar tissue made it impossible to clear the inflammatory products from the affected artery.

2. Neurological System

Only recently has it become clear that the brain also needs lymphatic cleansing, just like other organs in the body. We never thought that the closed space in the skull, which houses the brain tissue, could withstand the flow of fluid. Researchers at the University of Rochester discovered what they called the glymphatic system because the lymphatic system was involved. They also found that the brain’s glial cells (cells that support and cleanse brain cells) had to decrease in size to allow for the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid. Much of this happens during sleep. This is a form of ‘brainwashing’ that is good for you!

The connection between the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid and the lymphatic vessels was subsequently demonstrated by researchers at the University of Virginia, who demonstrated a connection between the glymphatic system and the lymphatic channels of the dura mater of the skull that are connected to the deep lymphatic system in the neck. . This research explains how toxins and inflammatory substances are removed from the depths of the brain.

Improved lymph flow increases the likelihood of cleansing brain tissue and lowers the risk of developing conditions related to toxins and the inflammatory response in the brain. Several studies show that a poorly flowing lymphatic system can contribute to all kinds of brain diseases. Because this is nuanced and needs an extensive explanation, we cannot include it in this article. You can investigate these and find the connection between the lymphatic system and the brain in Gerard Lemole’s Lymph.

3. Gastrointestinal System

Your lymphatic system & (chronic) diseases: the consequences of a poorly flowing 'river of life'The lymphatics of the gastrointestinal tract play a dual role: Not only do they remove toxins from tissues, but they also transport the fats, larger amino acids and proteins from your food and carry them from your gut to your liver, which can convert these substances.

Leaky lymphatics and poor communication of the lymphatic vessels with the immune, nervous and endocrine systems can create a situation where the fats exit the lymphatic system and move to the peripheral tissues, creating pressure in the vascular system. This causes an increase in abdominal size and prevents good messengers from the intestines from doing their job.

Increased waist circumference can be a precursor to metabolic syndrome and a predictor of high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases. In general, a bigger belly size blocks toxins from leaving your body, and healthy nutrients from getting in and circulating. This prevents your secret river of healthy lymph from doing its miraculous work.


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