These days we live in anxiety because of the increasing cases of corona virus pandemic spreading in our country. We are encouraged to maintain cleanliness and health by frequently washing our hands, resting adequately, staying at home, avoiding public or crowded places, keeping a distance from others and eating balanced nutritious foods and multivitamins so that our body’s immune system is in good condition.
This is very important, considering that patients who successfully recover from the coronavirus have a good immune system. Why is maintaining our immune system so important in times of pandemic cases like today? That’s because the body’s immune system is the bulwark of our body in the face of a wide variety of pathogens or parasitic microorganisms that can cause disease in our body.
Immune System Definition
The immune system is a biological protection system that exists in the human body with the aim of warding off free radicals that attack so that an individual will not be easily susceptible to disease. If this system can work properly, then a person will avoid attacks of viruses and bacteria, can even prevent from attacking the cancer.
But if the system does not work properly or is in a weakened condition, then the individual’s immunity will be easily susceptible to the disease. It is feared that when the system weakens, it can increase the risk of developing cancer.
Immune System Types
Immunity can be divided into two types, namely innate immunity commonly and acquired immunity or also known as adaptive immunity.
Innate immunity is also referred to as unspecified immunity. This immunity is the first major line of the body that will fight all foreign objects (sources of disease) that enter the body. The body’s defense against the attack (infection) of microorganisms is carried out from the outer surface of the body, namely the skin to the surface of internal organs.
This immunity is also called specific immunity. When the first line of defense of the immune system is attacked, the cells, molecules and organs of the immune system produce a specific immune system (specifically) to fight the source of the disease tailored to the type of disease. Thus, this immune system will work again when the source of the disease attacks again.
Immune System Function
The immune system has a variety of functions, including:
- Protects the body from disease-causing viruses
- Antidote to foreign objects that enter the body
- Destroy foreign microorganisms (bacteria, parasites, and fungi)
- Maintain the balance of old body components
- Eliminate dead cells for tissue repair
- Detect the presence of abnormal, mutated, or malignant cells, and destroy them
- As the name implies, the immune system of course serves to keep the body from disease and to prevent the onset of cancer.
Immune System Diseases
Disorders or diseases of the immune system occur when:
- The body produces an immune reaction against itself (autoimmune disorders).
- The body cannot produce an appropriate immune reaction to fight the attack of microorganisms (immunodeficiency disorders).
- Excessive immune reactions, even against harmless foreign antigens to damage normal tissues (allergic reactions).
Here are some diseases of the human immune system:
- Myasthenia Gravis. Myasthenia Gravis is an antibody that attacks the striated muscles and causes reduced muscle’s ability to move.
- Lupus erythematosus. Lupus is an antibody attacking body cells that are considered foreign cells.
- Addison’s disease, which is an antibody attacks the adrenaline glands. The disease can be caused by an infection of the adrenaline glands. But there is also another reason, which is that antibodies attack cells that produce the hormone adrenaline.
- Multiple sclerosis, which is an antibody attacks nerve tissue in the brain and spine.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), is a disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes the weakening of the immune system..
How immune system works
Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system will attack various antigens (foreign objects that enter the body) to protect the body from various diseases.
These antigens can be microbes such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. Even other people’s body tissues that enter the body – such as when performing organ transplants – may be considered foreign objects by your immune system causing a reaction of rejection of the body.
Well, the main key to a healthy immune system is when the system is able to distinguish between yourself and foreign objects that enter the body. So, if an unidentified foreign object enters the body, then this system will perform a process of self-defense.