A word that is popping up frequently in conversations almost as much as the coronavirus is Immunity. High, low, boost immunity and after so much discussion around it, it was only natural we decided to put some more thought in it. My first response to what is immunity generally tends to be immunity what else. And I know you can resonate with my basic prompt reply after all we are all aware of what it is. But we thought why to stay at the entrance, let’s enter the cave of immunity and find what treasures or disasters await us.
Immunity is the security of the body. It is similar to what is armed forces are to a nation. It is our defense against bacteria, germs, infection any foreign elements (antigens) trying to invade our body and do us harm. Just like armed forces secure the perimeter and ward off any advances sometimes in its initial phases and sometimes when it penetrates deep within and the fight continues longer then other elements (medicines, treatments) are included to fight it off and once again be healthy.
Now it may interest you that immunity is of three types:
Innate or Natural: one that you are born with. We all are born with some inbuilt resistance and that is your natural immunity. And this is the one that later gets developed into active Immunity.
Passive Immunity: when immunity is taken from outside sources that provide temporary respite it becomes passive immunity. Like a newborn gets from their mother, or if you take a shot of immunoglobulin.
Active Immunity: When we talk about immunity this is the one we are referring to. This is the one that we develop and can improve upon. Also, vaccines help us enhance active immunity by exposing us to the weakened pathogens that trigger our immunity into action without harming our body.
Our immune system is made of White blood cells, thymus, Bone marrow, Spleen, Lymphocytes (B-cells and T-cells), lymph nodes, lymph vessels. Now for the big question how does immunity work, how does it beat infections, fungi, etc, etc. the job of our immune system is to recognize disease-causing pathogens, and fight them. They also identify any cell changes within our body and then fight them like when a person starts getting cancer cells. Also, any toxins or pollutants are warded off by the immune system too. So bone marrow is where the immune system cells are made. Now when the body recognizes antigens, it releases B-cells that attach itself to the antigens and generate antibodies. Antibodies remain in our system so the next time it’s attacked by the same antigen it can defend itself. Also, T-cells are released that help destroy the infected cells. The thymus is the place where b cells mature into t-cells. Lymph nodes and spleen are the places where the body stores its cells that fight diseases. The way our immune system works is a thing of great sophistication, but sometimes when it falters we end up with autoimmune diseases wherein the body attacks its healthy cells.
Having a brief idea of how it works can help you appreciate it better, and hopefully push you to make the right choices like a healthy lifestyle, healthy diet and exercise regime to keep your security services ranked high.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” – survival of the fittest.