Lymphatic system is a network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to move a colorless fluid through the vessels called lymph. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid that contains infection-fighting white blood cells. Lymphatic system consists of veins and capillaries of the circulatory system. Lymph vessels are connected to lymph nodes where lymph is filtered.
Your lymphatic system performs many functions, such as maintaining fluid levels in the body by draining the excess fluid from the cells and return it to the bloodstream. It also produces and releases lymphocytes and other immune cells that monitor and destroy foreign invaders. It also transports and removes waste products and abnormal cells from the lymph. Lymphatic system includes lymph, lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels and collecting ducts.
Key organs of the lymphatic system include:
Spleen: This is located on the left side under the ribs and above the stomach. It filters and stores blood, and produces white blood cells.
Thymus: It is located in the upper chest, beneath the breast bone. It produces specific type of white blood cells that fight off foreign organisms.
Bone marrow: This is soft, spongy tissue in certain bones such as breastbone and hip bone. Bone marrow produces white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Appendix: It contains lymphoid tissue that can destroy bacteria before it breaches the intestine wall during absorption.
Your lymphatic system protects your body from illness-causing invaders, maintains body fluid levels, and absorbs digestive tract fats. Diseases, blockages and infection in the lymphatic system and blood vessels can also affect the functioning of the lymphatic system.
Common diseases of the lymphatic system include:
Swollen lymph nodes: This condition is caused by infection, inflammation or cancer. Common infections that can cause enlarged lymph nodes include strep throat, infected wound skin, and mononucleosis.
Accumulation of fluid: This can cause blockage in the lymphatic system due to scar tissue from damaged lymph vessels or nodes. The buildup of lymphatic fluid most commonly is seen in the arms and legs.
Cancer of the lymphatic system: Cancerous tumors in the lymphatic systems can block lymphatic nodes, and interfere with the flow of lymph through the node.
Lymphangioma: This birth condition results due to malformation in the lymphatic system. When multiple malformations are present, the condition is known as lymphangiomatosis.
The signs and symptoms of lymphatic disorders
Common signs and symptoms of lymphatic disorders include:
- Skin changes
- Leakage of fluid from the skin
- Skin discoloration
In the head and neck, lymphatic disorders can affect vision, cause nasal congestion, and ear pain. It can also cause problems with breathing, swallowing, talking and drooling in some individuals.
Who are more likely to get lymphatic diseases?
The people with elevated pressure in the central nervous system, or clots in the large veins in the chest are susceptible to lymphatic disorders. Traumatic injury of the lymphatic channels can also cause disease in some people.
How are lymphatic disorders diagnosed?
Lymphatic disorders are diagnosed with the help of ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, computer tomography (CT). Lymph disorders are treated with medical therapy such as dietary modifications, or through minimally invasive interventional procedures embolization, the opening of blocked vessels, and injecting medications to shrink abnormal lymphatic channels.
Getting the health insurance plan for your employees
The treatment for lymphatic system disorders and other diseases can prove to be expensive for your employees. However, you can help them bear the costs of their diseases by providing them with health insurance so that part or the full cost of the treatment is borne by the provider. However, you may find it difficult to find the best health insurance plan for your employees. Experts of PrudentRx program can help you with finding the best and customized health insurance plan that can provide them with the maximum coverage from PrudentRx drug list, and optimize their copayments, including CVS copy optimization. If you want to know more about PrudentRx program, you can refer PrudentRx FAQs.