Anatomy and Physiology of the Immune System and Respiratory System and Their Associated Disorders
The human body is comprised of multiple important systems that keep people alive, including the immune and respiratory systems. These two systems in particular have received a great deal of attention in recent years due to their vulnerability to infections by the Covid-19 virus (Iwasaki & Wong, 2021), but there are a host of other disorders that adversely affect these systems as well. The purpose of this paper is to provide a description of the immune and respiratory systems and the respective physiologies of these two systems. In addition, the paper presents a description of the physiology of these two systems and some of the most common disorders that are associated with them, is followed by an integrative discussion concerning how these systems interact with each other and how they are dependent on each other for proper functioning of the body. Finally, the paper summarizes the research and presents key findings concerning the immune and respiratory systems in the conclusion.
The human immune system is comprised of complete organs as well as organ systems including the mucous membranes and skin (the largest organ in the human body) together with various individual cells and proteins. According to the National Institute of Health, Organs and tissues of the immune system include the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, tonsils, mucous membranes, and skin (Immune system, 2022, para. 2). In addition, the immune system also includes the organs that make up the lymphatic system (Organs of the immune system, 2022).
The human respiratory system is comprised of the lungs, which are the primary organ of this system, as well as the other organs such as the mouth and nose (Hawkins, 2018). In addition, the respiratory system also includes the muscles that are used for breathing including intercoastal muscles and the diaphragm (The Respiratory System, 1997).
The environment in which humans exist is replete with viruses of all ilk, particulates and other invasive pathogens that are relentless in their attacks on the immune system. The various organs and systems that make up the immune system serve as a physical barrier to these threats (Organs of the immune system, 2022). The physiology of the immune system relates to its ability to prevent infection against these physical threats through general and specialized responses that are based on any previous exposure. In this regard, Valliant et al. (2021) report that, These natural mechanisms include the skin barrier, saliva, tears, various cytokines, complement proteins, lysozyme, bacterial flora, and numerous cells including neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, macrophages, reticuloendothelial system, natural killer cells, epithelial cells, endothelial cells, red blood cells, and platelets (p. 37).
An interesting and timely study by Robles (2021) examined the effects of the quality of social relationships, including parenting, on the human immune system, an issue that has assumed new relevance during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. To assess this connection, Robles (2021) evaluated six dimensions of parenting (i.e., warmth, hostility/rejection, structure/contingency, chaos/insensitivity, autonomy support and coercion) and found…an increased risk of respiratory infections and appears to be related to poorer outcomes among those with Covid?19 (p. 2559).
Besides nipples on males, the appendix and coccyx, the human body contains few unnecessary parts, meaning that the immune and respiratory systems interact with each other in vitally important ways to sustain health and survival. For example, if the immune system is compromised by food allergies may trigger a severe asthmatic response which can have life-threatening implications. Likewise, a diminished respiratory function may deprive vital immune system organs of much-needed oxygen, thereby adversely affecting their ability to function properly.
The research showed that like all of the other systems in the human body, the immune and respiratory systems are integral to the maintenance of health and life itself. The organs of the immune system were shown to include the spleen, skin, bone marrow and mucous membranes, among others. Likewise, the organs of the respiratory system were shown to include the lungs as well as the intercoastal muscles and the diaphragm which facilitate breathing. In addition, the research also showed that various food allergies and autoimmune disorders such as lupus and eczema can compromise the immune system, while some of the more common disorders that affect the respiratory system include lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. acute respiratory distress syndrome and cystic fibrosis. Finally, it was shown that these two systems function in a collaborative fashion to promote homeostasis and protect individual health and wellbeing, and compromises to one system can have severe…
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