Antibodies in Blood
Antibodies (also referred to as immunoglobulin and gamma globulins) in your blood are just one of the main components of your immune system. Antibodies work to keep your body healthy. They work along with all the parts of the immune system, listed below.
- Lymph system
- Bone marrow
- White blood cells
- Complement system
Simply put, antibodies, produced by white blood cells, are special proteins that identify antigens in your bloodstream. Antigens are toxins, bacteria, foreign blood cells, and the cells of transplanted organs. They start being produced as soon as the body senses any antigen in your body. Once the antigens are detected, antibodies work to neutralize the dangers or diseases it might cause. They do this by attaching to the antigen, and blocking it from cells, or they signal the body to make more white blood cells to destroy it.
There are many antibodies in our blood, each created for a special purpose. The humeral section of the immune system produces these antibodies. There are also naturally occurring antibodies. There is an antibody for pretty much any foreign body that might enter our body. Scientists have identified millions of antibodies.
If you have a cut on your finger, bacteria will enter your blood stream through the cut. The antibodies will go to the site of your cut and work to destroy the bacteria, so your cut does not get infected. It’s up to us to cut down on the amount of bacteria entering the bloodstream by keeping the cut clean and covered by a bandage until it is healed.
Have you ever had a urinary tract infection? It is detected by your doctor from a urine sample. They can see an increase in white blood cells in your sample, which signals that white blood cells are fighting some sort of infection.
If you have any kind of organ transplant, you are required to take anti rejection drugs. Once your body senses the foreign organ, antibodies work to destroy it. Sometimes the anti rejection drugs work and sometimes they do not. Titanium is one of the few things our body will not reject. That is why it can be used for plates and screws to repair broken bones.
When you get influenza, your body has picked up a virus. The antibodies for that specific virus work to destroy the virus that has entered your body. Once it is destroyed, your immune system “remembers” that you had that virus and you are protected from it.
During ragweed season there are antigens floating in the air, and we breathe them in. Your skin and other parts of your body, for example our nasal passages, will work to block them from entering your body. If you are hyper sensitive to ragweed, when it enters your system, your antibodies immediately start to neutralize the ragweed spores. If there is an excess of antibodies, it can release histamines, which cause the allergic reaction.
Vaccinations and immunological shots are given to build up a resistance to keep from contracting a disease or an allergic reaction. Let’s use chicken pox as an example. When a child contracts chicken pox, antibodies develop immunity and they will not get chicken pox again.
If you have severe environmental allergies, a doctor sets up a series of shots, made up of the antigens that will build up immunity to the antigens.
There are antibodies in our bloodstream when we are born that will help us become sensitized to the food and drink we are ingesting. Without these antibodies, food would not stay in our system. When you eat food that is spoiled, antibodies bind to the food and work to get it out of your system.
When we are born our blood is a certain type, inherited from our parents. Basic blood cell types are A, B, AB, or O. There are approximately 30 sub types. Each type has its own set of antibodies. For example, a person with one blood type might be more susceptible to malaria than someone with a different blood type. Some blood types are associated with inheritance of a disease.
Not all antibodies are good. Auto antibodies are proteins that are overactive and result in damaging specific organs or tissues. These are known as autoimmune disorders. Rheumatoid Arthritis, AIDS, Graves Disease, Crohn’s Disease, and Fibromyalgia are examples of these disorders.