Living water is! This is not a fairy tale, not a fiction, and you don’t need to go beyond the distant lands in the thirtieth kingdom. Living water inside each of us has always been. Even the ancient Greeks knew this, only they called it in their own way - lymph. Yes, this is living pure water. It flows through the system of blood vessels, which permeates our entire body and is called lymphatic. In addition to vessels, it also includes filtering elements that ensure the cleansing of the lymph before it enters the blood. These filters are called nodes. Today we will tell you what the lymph nodes on the human body are.
Lymph nodes: medical sketch
For a common understanding, let's take a quick look at how this works. Small vessels of the lymphatic system collect lymph from all peripheral parts of the body and flow into larger vessels, and this happens until they reach the two main, from where they are mixed with blood through the veins at the base of the neck.
Every day, 60% of the plasma and 50% of the protein present in the blood are filtered through the capillaries into the lymphatic system, from where they are pumped back into the blood. In various places of the lymphatic system, tissue glands are located, they are also lymph nodes into which the vessels flow. It is from these nodes that the lymphocytes, white blood cells, which are the first on the path of infection, spread through the blood and lymphatic system.
What is the structure of the lymph nodes?
Lymph nodes - oval-shaped tissue formations, the size of which can reach five or more centimeters. The photo shows the organ in the section where we can see its structure. The upper part of the capsule and the internal structure are formed from connective tissues. The structure of the site can be divided into two areas: closer to the surface - the cortical substance and the area inside - the brain substance.
The inner space of the node is a labyrinth, which is called the lymphatic sinuses. The lymph slowly seeps through them, and the foreign particles or bacteria that come with it from the vessels are destroyed. Leaving the node, the lymph is saturated with antibodies and lymphocytes.
With various infections, swelling of the lymph nodes is possible. It speaks of the struggle that takes place in them with alien bodies, as well as the destruction of lymphocytes killed in this battle.
The layout of the lymph nodes
There are several groups of lymph nodes. They are located rationally in those areas where it is most effectively possible to block the spread of infectious diseases and cancer metastasis. There are such main places of accumulation of groups of lymph nodes, such as:
- neck, head;
- elbow bends;
- in the groin area;
- popliteal hollows.
In the human body there are more than one hundred and fifty groups of clusters of lymph nodes, and the nodes themselves - from 500 to 1000, each in different ways. The penetrating network of capillaries of the lymphatic system covers all internal organs and superficial tissues of the human body.
What is the role of lymph nodes in the human body?
So, the main role of the lymph nodes is to perform such functions:
- immunogenic, protective;
- in the formation of lymphocytes, phagocytes, macrophages, antibodies;
- in maintaining a constant volume of blood and interstitial fluid;
- in participation in the process of metabolism - fats, proteins, carbohydrates.
The work of the lymphatic system is regulated by the so-called humoral factors - hormones and nervous activity. Transfer of lymph through the vessels occurs due to muscle contractions. Sometimes there may be swelling of the lymph node due to prolonged inactivity. Do not worry, as soon as you begin to move actively, muscle contractions will accelerate the movement of the lymph through the vessels and swelling will disappear.
Inflammation of the lymph nodes is usually caused by conditions such as:
- acute viral infections accompanied by inflammatory processes (purulent tonsillitis, mastitis);
- infection with immunodeficiency virus at an early stage;
- hemoblastosis, blood cancer;
- systemic connective tissue diseases;
- cancer with metastases in the lymph nodes;
- brucellosis and other infectious diseases.
Where are the lymph nodes in humans: photo
Consider in detail the location of the lymph nodes in humans in pictures:
- Lymph nodes of the cervical region - some of them are deep in the tissues, others - under the surface of the skin. The nodes on the back of the head and neck are arranged in chains.
- The elbow lymph nodes are located inside the cavity of the biceps muscle, near the elbow joint.
- Armpit lymph nodes are located in the depression at the very base of the arm. They are internal as well as superficial.
- Lymph nodes in the groin are located next to the internal organs of the pelvic region, near the arteries. One group of nodes is under the skin at the edges of the pubic bone. Inflammation of the nodes in these areas may indicate diseases of the internal organs of the pelvic region or genital organs.
- Knee nodes most often adjoin to the side of the popliteal vessels. Rarely may be behind or in front of them.
How to properly assess the condition of the lymph nodes?
As you already understood, an increase in the shape of the lymph nodes is the first and possibly the only sign of an incipient disease. Therefore, examination in this case of all groups of lymph nodes is very important and necessary. The main method of assessing the condition of the nodes is palpation. It is carried out with the tips of your fingers, gently groping symmetrical areas of the body, for example, the head or lateral surfaces of the neck.
The main things that pay attention to when evaluating nodes:
- painful sensations;
- the number of inflamed lymph nodes;
- their shape and size;
- the presence of adhesions between the nodes and the tissues around it;
In addition to palpation, to clarify the causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes, morphological studies of the biopsy material are performed. In case of suppuration of the lymph node, surgical opening of the inflamed area and drainage are done.
In all non-standard situations, first of all, you need to eliminate panic and remain calm. This also applies to cases of swollen lymph nodes. First of all, this phenomenon is evidence of the protective reaction of your body, the work of immunity. Consult a doctor, because only he is able to professionally assess how dangerous your condition is.