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Q: what is the role the immune system plays in prevention or recovery from diabetes?
A: The immune system?s ability to protect your body is both instinctive and learned?in other words, it fights invasions with both innate and acquired responses. [ Each individual is born with innate immunity?the ability of the immune system to generally recognize foreign invaders. Along with passive defenses like skin, stomach acid and mucus, the innate immune system also contains active immune
response mechanisms that include Natural Killer, or NK cells, and macrophages. Like all innate front line defense agents, NK cells do not need prior exposure to an infectious microbe in order to act. They simply recognize foreign cells and go to work. Any substance that triggers an immune response is called an antigen. Sometimes a germ makes it past your immune system and you catch a cold, the flu or worse. An illness is a visible sign that your immune system failed to stop the germ. But you do get better; and that?s proof that your immune system is doing its job. It gathered knowledge about the invader, mounted a defense and eliminated it properly. If your immune system didn?t do anything, the infection would eventually overrun your body. Unfortunately, even the strongest innate immune system can?t handle all the various microbes we encounter daily. That?s where acquired immunity comes in. Immune cells learn new skills and build new tools to deal with ever-increasing microbial invaders. But for this system to adapt for attack, it first must recognize a threat before it can build the tools to fight, which is why you sometimes feel like you?re ?coming down with something? for several days. The good news is that after the acquired immune system builds the tools for a specific infection, it remembers it and is ready for the next attack. Inflammation is an immediate response by the immune system to an infection or injury, such as when you get a cut on your arm. In most cases, as the immune system deals with the problem, the immune cells then retreat from the area and inflammation and swelling go down. But occasionally, the immune cells do not withdraw and the inflammation continues, creating a chronic problem within the body. ]
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Asked 2/4/2012 9:02:17 PM
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