Immune System and Immunity

What is an Immune System? How does your Immune System Function?

Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:57 am

Knowing your body can help you fight a long way against diseases and infections. One such key aspect of your body is your immune system that keeps you shielded against any diseases. Here’s a brief on what comprises your immune system and how you can boost it further.

What exactly is meant by an Immune System?

Your body has an incredible mechanism that has been curated to support itself in the time of adversities. Apart from normal functioning, to evade the pathogens and unwanted guests inhabiting your body, it has a great defense mechanism to protect itself against illnesses and infections. That defense system is essentially referred to as your Immune System.

Composed of various cellular and acellular elements like WBCs, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, macrophages, etc., it also includes various organs like spleen, thymus, bone marrow along with lymphatic system and various antibodies.

What is an Immunity?

Immunity is the ability of the body to resist disease, either through the activities of specialized blood cells in the body or antibodies produced by them in response to natural exposure or inoculation. Our immune system is made of a network of white blood cells (leucocytes), tissues, and organs (skin) that work together to protect the body. The lymph node, a small oval-shaped organ of the immune system, is distributed throughout the body and linked by lymphatic vessels. The Lymph nodes are tightly packed with leukocytes, and act as filters or traps for foreign particles.

What are the Types of Immunity?

Essentially classified into three major divisions, the concept of immunity is studied under the basis of response and origin in the human body. Let’s discuss them in brief.

  1. Innate immunity: Primarily referred to as the natural immunity that has been present in the body since birth, innate immunity serves as the first layer of protection. It works on the principle of distinguishing between self and foreign bodies. In the latter’s case, it releases an immune response to fight off the pathogens. IgA in colostrum, i.e. mother’s milk, is a great example of innate immunity.
  2. Adaptive Immunity: Often gained with exposure to various pathogens and diseases, it is developed by the body with the use of vaccines and immunizations over the course of a lifetime. This is often categorised into primary and secondary responses based on the interaction with a pathogen. Primary response is often referred to as the first time of interaction between the body and the pathogen and is often a light battle between the same.
    • The secondary response, however, is based on the memory of primary response, also called as anamnestic response that is much more intensive. This is also the principle that is used for vaccination and immunizations by developing the memory cells against a particular disease as a primary response.
  3. Passive immunity: Often given as the immediate response to any major crisis is the passive immunity. Here, the body is directly infused with pre-formed antibodies, as there’s a little time to form one within itself. It is often used for cases like snakebites and urgent battles of immunity.

How does your Immune System Function?

When your body comes in contact with a pathogen, i.e. bacteria, viruses, or even allergens that can hurt your health, your body immediately fights it off with retaliation. It is often characterised with certain signs that help you recognise that your body is healing.

For instance, fever or rise in normal body temperature is a sign that your body is preparing itself to fight off an infection. Even redness along a certain infection is also a sign that your body is working towards healing itself with increased blood circulation in that area with a high oxygen supply. It is important to highlight that our body can heal itself from nearly all kinds of infections and disorders when it is boosted. It is important that we help it with conscious choices in our lifestyle to protect our health better.

Can we Boost Our Immunity Naturally?

For good health, it is important that we must have a great immune system that can be aided with natural methods. Some of these include use of Ayurvedic herbs like Tulsi, Giloy, Neem, Turmeric, etc. to help the body naturally. A few Ayurvedic formulations like Chyawanprash, thoughtful blends of natural juices like Aloe Vera and Amla i.e. Indian Gooseberry that can help amplify the immune system by helping with the production of various immune elements.

Along with the above discussed ways, leading a conscious lifestyle with an ample of physical exercise including Yoga and Pranayama also keeps many diseases at bay. Having concluded so, it is important that we help our body with the development and boost of immunity for a prosperous health. After all, this is going to protect us in the longer run.

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