Do you always seem to be sick with the sniffles, sneezing, runny nose, or cough? Ever had a virus when nobody else around you is sick? Being sick can be miserable. It’s important to get to the bottom of what makes you sick to avoid it in the future.
Chances are, you think your illnesses are related to allergies, viruses, or bacteria. While you might be right, the actual root of getting sick could be due to something often overlooked. You might actually have poor lymphatic health.
The Connection Between Poor Lymphatic Health and Getting Sick
The body’s lymphatic system is made up of tissues and organs that help eliminate toxins and waste. This system helps to transport lymph, a white blood cell filled fluid, through the body. In addition, lymph nodes produce extra white blood cells to fight off infections. Lymph nodes are located in the armpits, groin, and near the lungs and heart. In addition, your body’s spleen, tonsils, adenoids, appendix, and bone marrow produce white blood cells.
The lymphatic system, like any other biological system, can become overwhelmed and overworked due to an overabundance of toxins. When this happens, the whole system is backed up. This makes it hard for the lymph fluid to make its way around the body. When lymph cannot reach all of the body’s cells, the cells are unable to eliminate waste. This buildup of waste can lead to inflammation, fatigue, infection, and disease.
Lifestyle Choices that Result in a Poor Lymphatic System
So, now you know what the lymphatic system does and how its poor health can lead to your poor health. But how does the lymphatic system become congested? Lifestyle choices can have a drastic effect on the health of the lymphatic system.
Here is a list of some lifestyle choices that result in a congested lymphatic system and poor health:
1. A Sedentary Lifestyle
Leading a sedentary lifestyle, one with little to no movement, creates obstacles for lymph movement. During exercise, the lymphatic system regulates tissue volume and pressure by returning fluids to the cardiovascular system. Lymphocyte production also increases when exercising.
Make sure to get as much exercise as often. Even something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help keep your lymphatic system flowing.
Being dehydrated is another factor that can reduce the effectiveness of the lymphatic system and stagnate the lymph flow. A commonly accepted recommendation for daily water intake is 64 ounces. Without this, the body is unable to flush out waste and toxins.
Try increasing your water intake to stay hydrated. You can do this by drinking water, unsweetened herbal teas, or by eating fruits (especially watermelon).
3. An Unhealthy Diet
Do you grab a bag of chips instead of an apple when you’re hungry? Exposing your body to processed, high fat foods can result in decreased lymphatic function. This decreased function causes increased infections. Try eating healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to encourage lymphatic activity.
4. Stress or Depression
Stress and depression produce the stress hormone, cortisol in the body. An excess of this hormone can cause sluggish activity in the lymphatic system. Additionally, stress and depression have been linked to some types of cancer. This link is thought to occur because repetitive stress response impairs the lymphatic response.
5. Digestive Problems
Constant problems with upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation can interfere with the lymphatic system as well. Diarrhea, for example, may cause the body to lose fluids and become dehydrated, leading to a loss of lymphocytes.
To avoid this problem, try to regulate your digestive track. You can achieve this by eating a healthy, balanced diet and increasing your intake of probiotics. Probiotics can be found in yogurt.
6. Processed Chemicals
Being exposed to man-made chemicals can be particularly dangerous for lymphatic system health. Products like plastics, cans, pesticides, and scented hygiene products may introduce chemicals like BPA and parabens into the body. These chemicals may be difficult for the lymphatic system to expel. The extra work needed to eliminate these toxins may slow down lymph flow and lead to other illnesses or infections.
Now that you have an idea of the lifestyle choices that can negatively influence your lymphatic system health, you can start making some changes. Focus on living a healthier lifestyle and keeping your lymph flowing freely. Changing some very small things in your life can make a big difference in your health.
Featured photo credit: Mizianitka via pixabay.com