Immune System Disorders Can Be Controlled 

Immune system disorders can and do affect people of every age, however, as we all get older, we are at a greater risk than when we were in our 30’s and 40’s.

Once we pass the magic age of 55 plus, our bodies are beginning to slow down just a touch, and this marvelous system is no different.

Any of our systems can go wrong at times, but most of them recover very quickly including this one.

However, very few of them can have the same impact on our overall health like this system does.

Our Immune System and Disorders

Immune system disorders must begin with some information about this very powerful and complex system, and the ways it helps to protect us.

There are several key parts of the system, but the major part and the one that aging may have the most impact on, is the Lymphatic system.

It includes the following:

  • Lymph nodes
  • Lymph vessels
  • Cells—the most critical part

The lymphatic system in our body is a huge network made up by both lymph nodes as well as vessels.

The vessels are very similar to the branch of a tree, and they are very thin tubes that carry the fluid that bears its name, “lymph fluid”.

Lymph fluid carries three critical components and they include our tissue fluids, waste products made by our body, and critical cells.

Our Bone Marrow

Our lymph nodes are connected what is referred to as “lymphatic vessels” and they are small kidney bean shapes or clumps of the cells of this system.

Our bone marrow makes perhaps the most important part of the lymphatic system, and that is our white blood cells.

They are critical to us throughout our lifetimes, but as we begin to age, they become even more important to immune system disorders.

We have several different types of white blood cells, but perhaps the three most important include monocytes, lymphocytes, and eosinophils.

They are commonly referred to as our “immunity cells” for one simple reason’; they are constantly at war with invaders.

However, what is not well known is that as powerful and important as they are, they only make up about 1% of our total blood.

The Different Forms of Immune System Disorders

What is also not well known is that while they are stored in these tissues, a lot of them only survive the attacks by invaders for two to three days.

If our bone marrow is not constantly making them and their overall count begins to drop, several things can happen, and most of them are not good.

However, if something like chronic stress keeps triggering them; too many of them is also just as bad for us.

Immune system disorders also involve what can go wrong, and some are related to the aging process, and some are not.

They include the following.

  • A primary deficiency that we are born with
  • An acquired or temporary deficiency  that is the result of a disease
  • It becomes too active by stress or an allergic reaction
  • It turns on us and attacks itself

There are several diseases that can and do lead to these disorders as well as some medications.

If your system has been attacked and lost the battle with cancer, chemotherapy as well as other drugs used to fight it, can and often do weaken it even further.

An organ transplant also threatens it, as does the flu and mononucleosis. However, at our age, smoking and poor nutrition can also damage it.

Chronic stress is also one of the biggest challenges to this system, and can easily cause it to over-react,

However, a lot of us can and do begin to experience immune system disorders, because we may have inherited genes that make us more prone to allergens.

Allergic reactions are one of the, if not the single biggest cause, triggering over-reaction.

Here are some of the most common allergic reactions.

  • Asthma, Hives and Shingles
  • Food allergies
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Rhinitis

Asthma is not related to the aging process, but Hives and Shingles may be.

Hives and Sulfa

As we age, this system may not be able to hold off Hives like it used to, as some medications that we never had issues with, can turn against us.

Sulfa and Sulfate allergies have attacked my wife several times in the last couple of years, and before she passed the 50 year old mark, they never bothered her.

Once we eliminated all medications with Sulfa and Sulfite, her Hives went away.  

Shingles just sets and waits for us as we age, and it can attack at any time.

Atopic dermatitis is better known as Eczema, and also attacks us as we begin to age. Rhinitis is caused by indoor allergens like mold and dust, but pollen can also trigger it.

There are also some foods that never used to bother us, but as we age, can also begin to affect us.  

However, perhaps the biggest threats with immune system disorders as we age, is from autoimmune disease, which is where our body literally attacks itself.

Here are the most common types of autoimmune disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis-by far and away the most common as we get older

  • Systemic Lupus—which can affect our lungs and nerves
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Gillian-Barre syndrome
  • Psoriasis and the scaly skin it produces
  • Graves’ Disease

Although this list does not cover all of them, these are the most common.

The Connection With Aging

These immune system disorders and aging can be connected for the following reasons.

  • This system is responding to attacks like it used to
  • Our body is not healing quite as quickly as it once was
  • It is not producing white blood cells like it used to.

The best way that all of us can protect against these disorders is to quit smoking if you smoke, eat as healthy diet, and exercise.

Exercise can and does stimulate this system, and at our age, it needs all the help it can get.

References

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=134&ContentID=123

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