Many people are aware of what your immune system does, because it’s essentially in the name. It provides the rest of your body with immunity to things like diseases and illnesses. However, a crucial part of understanding things is not just knowing what they do, but also how they do it. Many people don’t have a clear idea of how exactly their immune systems are helping you stave off viruses, but it’s an important part of understanding your own reactions to illness and what your body needs to keep protecting itself.
One of the most common things that you’ll find your immune system doing to protect you is giving you a fever. While most people associate fevers with being a bad thing, minor fevers can actually help you. Your body will raise its temperature in order to kill off the virus in your body, which can’t survive well under higher temperatures. Higher fevers can be quite dangerous still, so keep track of your temperature in case it gets too high.
Another response your body has to foreign bodies is the use of white blood cells. White blood cells are sort of the enforcers of your body, taking out any kinds of harmful microorganisms that it finds. When you get sick, some white blood cells will attach themselves to the organisms to weaken them, while others will attack them directly to try to kill them off. These cells will then learn about the type of organisms they fought off, and that’s how you build up an immunity in the future.
You might find that one uncomfortable symptom of getting sick is that you might have certain parts of your body get inflamed. Inflammation is uncomfortable and annoying, and might be a sign of an infection, but it’s also a part of your body’s immune system. When bacteria enters your body, it will travel through your blood vessels in order to spread. By inflaming portions of your body, you’re able to constrict the blood vessels in that area, making it more difficult for the infection to spread.
Additionally, the inflammation alerts your white blood cells that there is an infection, making the response much quicker to try to get rid of it. While many of your body’s reactions to illnesses might be annoying, uncomfortable, and gross, it can certainly benefit you in the long run. It’s important to keep your immune system well maintained so that it can continue to keep up these functions to prevent a serious illness.