Written by Angela Pidgeon

What is the Lymphatic System?

The term “lymphatic” is originally derived from “lymphaticus,” a word meaning “connected to water” from the Latin language.  The main function of our lymph system is to transport clear fluid throughout the body that aids in a variety of important detox mechanisms.  As a subset of our circulatory system the lymphatic system regulates fluid retention, digestion, blood purification, and various responses to infection and inflammation throughout the body. Overall, the lymph system is truly the foundation behind health from the inside out.

Lymph fluid, which is a clear fluid highly resembling blood plasma, is made up of 90% water, and 10% protein, cellular waste products, dissolved gases, hormones, minerals, lipids (fats), vitamins, bacterial and white blood cells.  The lymph fluid is transported throughout the body in a system similar in structure to that of veins, it only flows upward. Unlike the blood, lymph fluid does not have its own motor.  Rather, it moves around the body through muscle contraction, nerve impulses, and fluid pressure in the system itself.  It takes an entire day for lymph fluid to simply travel through the whole body once, which is quite slow compared to blood.  However, there is actually twice as much lymph fluid than blood in the body.

The differing  vessels and nodes that comprise the lymphatic system, are all ultimately carried back to two main draining ducts to return lymph back to the blood.  The thoracic duct is the main lymph drainer, and is located in both of the legs, as well as the abdomen, left arm and left side of the head, neck, and thorax.  The right lymphatic duct is then responsible for draining the right arm, side of head, neck, and thorax.

Symptoms & Signs of a Sluggish Lymp System

Fatigue Headaches Hypertension
Overweight Snoring/Sleep apnea Autoimmune disease
Swelling Food allergies Nasal/Throat congestion
Arthritic joints Poor mood Anemia
Fibromyalgia Swollen glands Constipation
Muscle stiffness Head colds Feeling overall worn out
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