Our lymphatic system is similar to the drains in the house, although they play a huge role in immune health as well.
The main roles of the lymphatic system include:
- managing the fluid levels in the body
- reacting to bacteria
- dealing with cancer cells
- dealing with cell products that otherwise would result in disease or disorders
- absorbing some of the fats in our diet from the intestine.
The lymph nodes and other lymphatic structures like the spleen and thymus hold special white blood cells called lymphocytes. These can rapidly multiply and release antibodies in response to bacteria, viruses, and a range of other stimuli from dead or dying cells and abnormally behaving cells. This why our glands become swollen and tender when we are fighting an infection such as Strep throat.
Autoimmune and lymphatics
We often see people with an overactive or depleted immune system caused by an existing autoimmune disorder, such as Hashimoto’s or IBS. These chronic inflammatory conditions rapidly deplete the body of essential nutrients needed to maintain a strong immune system. In many cases, patients with suboptimal thyroid conditions, or people on thyroid medication that still suffer symptomatically, will end up eating too little food to maintain their nutritional needs. This is because the metabolism slows down, and weight gain starts even when the thyroid is slightly out of range. This lack of nutrition eventually causes more deep set issues, as all other systems in the body that also rely on those nutrients start to malfunction.
Symptoms of an overburdened lymphatic system
The first sign is usually weight gain. As fluid builds up in the body due to lymph not moving around the body ideally, our weight also increases.
The next stage is visible puffiness, usually around the ankles first, but it can be other areas first. Puffy hands, eyes, face, and all over the body eventuate.
More chronic conditions involving the lymphatic system need to be evaluated under medical care. These include but are not limited to: lymphoedema, Crohn’s disease, Hodgkin’s disease.
How the thyroid affects the lymphatic system
If you have a suboptimal thyroid, or undiagnosed Hashimoto’s disease, then the metabolic rate changes this causes can be slowing down your lymphatic flow, leading to greater lethargy, sluggishness, and weight gain.
Secondly, Hashimoto’s and any other type of chronic health condition (even if it is controlled by drugs) is driving excess inflammation in the body. This greatly impacts the lymphatic systems ability to function.
Will dry skin brushing help ME?
Dry skin brushing does help move the lymph around the body extremely well, and most people feel invigorated from it! However, if you are hypothyroid and have a very sluggish system, dry skin brushing could make you feel worse.
If that is the case, book a consult with a Lucy Rose practitioner, because there will be other underlying factors causing this to occur, such as slow methylation, sluggish detoxification pathways, fatty liver, kidney issues, nutrient deficiencies, or even severe food intolerances.
These are all signs of imbalance, but simple interventions can prevent them turning into a medical concern! Book a call now 🙂