Our immune system is a network of organs, proteins and cells that works to defend our bodies against bad bacteria, viruses, and toxins each day. Simple as that may sound, our immune system is actually an extraordinarily complex network with features and functions that are not common knowledge!
Read on for six interesting facts about the immune system that may surprise you.
- Our immune system remembers every microbe it has ever fought and defeated. This means that if a microbe enters the body for a second time, the immune system has a stored record that enables it to quickly recognize and fend off the microbe before it has the chance to infect you.
- The immune system is made up of two different systems: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system is a component that every person is born with and the adaptive immune system is a component that the body develops after being exposed to microbes and the chemicals released by microbes.
- Getting a fever means that your immune system is working. A rise in body temperature is a common response that your immune system may deploy to kill certain microbes and trigger your body’s repair process.
- The immune system doesn’t have one centralized location in the body like the heart or the brain. Instead, the cells that make up the immune system are produced in organs throughout the body including the tonsils, lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow and adenoids.
- Are you cursed with a runny nose and itchy eyes every spring? This next fun fact about the immune system might be to blame! Food allergies, allergic reactions to medications and stinging insects, anaphylaxis, hay fever, asthma, hives, dermatitis and eczema are all symptoms of immune system overactivity.
- Our immune system also becomes weaker as we age, as immune system tissues begin to shrink and our white blood cell count and activity starts to decline.
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