To Protect Your Body, the Immune System Works Hard
Sometimes Too Hard
by Virginia Quach, age 12
immune system plays an important role in your body. It is made of
tissues, cells and organs, which work together to protect your body
blood cells, known as leukocytes, are the immune system’s first
line of defense. There are two types of germ-fighting white blood
cells, phagocytes and lymphocytes. Phagocytes help protect the body
by “eating” germs that try to invade it. Lymphocytes allow the
body to recognize and remember germ invaders. This helps the immune
system know how to fight the problem if the same invader returns.
lymphatic system also fights germs. An example of this system at work
is when you have swollen “glands” on the side of your neck. The
glands are actually lymph nodes, which are filters that get rid of
germs. Lymph nodes contain immune system cells and white blood cells.
Whenever your lymph nodes are swollen, it means your immune system is
working to fight germs.
also help to prevent illness. Most vaccines expose your immune system
to a harmless form of a virus. The memory cells of the immune system
will file the virus away. If you are exposed to this virus again,
your immune system knows to kick into high gear and block the virus
from entering the body.
a person’s immune system functions incorrectly. An allergy is an
example. Allergies make the immune system overreact to things that
aren’t harmful and make them dangerous for the body. Other problems
like lupus and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis cause the immune system
to fight good cells instead of germs that invade the body. Some
immune system problems might develop because of an illness like
HIV/AIDS or cancer. Most immune system problems aren’t preventable,
but medicine and special care can make a person healthy again.
your immune system, your body wouldn’t be able to get better from a
cold, or cure infections. The immune system is what protects, helps
and restores your body.