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Body Fluids, Pt. 1

And so begins the slow leak....

A 3 part series investigating our many wonderous body fluids.


Yes, pals, I've compiled a list of all of our seeping, juicy, gushing bits, a few fun fact on each and given them a creative spin using my . Listed in no particular order, I'm dripping them out as inspired (though I'm easing you in with a few of the biggies here in part 1). Some of it is cool, some of it is gross and some of it is just plain strange. Go with the flow, embrace the ooze and prepare to get a little wet. Here we go...



BLOOD

(...well, plasma technically)

Blood makes up about 8% of your body weight, and 55% of that is plasma (the fluid portion of blood)

Plasma is mostly water( 90%), some electrolytes(more on those here) and a few special proteins, that maintain fluid balance, regulate pH, transport fats and fat soluble vitamins and play a role in blood clotting.


Those special proteins in plasma are used to make lots of different pharmaceuticals, which is why plasma donation is compensated (paid for by the almighty medical-industrial complex). You might not be surprised to learn that the US has some of the most relaxed regulations for plasma donations.

Some plasma cells make antibodies called “immunoglobulins”

 

LYMPH

Lymph is essentially plasma but in different vessels. The lymph system transports and cleans out fluid then redistributes it.

Our current word “lymph” has a few interesting etymological derivatives. "Lympha" is an ancient roman goddess of water, "Limpidus" means clear, fresh water and "Lymphaticus" means stricken with nymph-like anger.

Some lymphatic vessels are very superficial (like between the epidermis and dermis, the two top layers of your skin, lying 4-5 cell layers deep!)

Flow is always directed toward the heart and driven mainly by muscular contraction but also functions on the siphon effect. Differing pressures between the blood vessels and lymph vessels cause lymphatic cells to open up and suck fluid in, which continues to draw fluid in on a pressure-based system. There are valves in the lymphatic vessels that prevent backflow.

Lymph filters through lymph nodes--catchments of T and B cells (adaptive immune cells, read more about them here).  

 

AMNIOTIC FLUID

Fluid that the fetus floats around in

Generated from the mother’s plasma

Swallowing the fluid helps with the development of the baby’s G.I. Tract.

After about week 16, the baby’s kidneys are developed and the amniotic fluid gets mixed with the baby’s urine. Tasty.


 

SEMEN

From the latin for “seed”

Mixture of sperm and seminal fluid (aka penis gland secretions). It’s slightly alkaline.

A typical ejaculation ranges from half a teaspoon to a full teaspoon (2.5-5 mL) and there could be a range of 125-750 little spermies swimming in there depending on the sperm count of a particular man

Coagulates within 3 minutes of ejaculation due to the presence of certain proteins, then reliquiefies after 10-20 minutes because enzymes break down the clotting proteins. The function of this is not known.

 

RHEUM (Face Juice)

This is what gives you those crusty morning eyes, though it can actually come out of several of your facial orifices.


It’s a combination of mucus, blood cells, skin cells and dust.


According to wikipedia, rheum is also called “sleep”, “sleepy seeds”, “sleepy buds”, “sleepy sand”, “eye goop”, “sleep dust” “sleepy dirt”. Tres scientifique! I'm sure we all have our own adorable nickname for it

When we are awake, rheum is present but clears when we blink. Our sleeping eyes create a permanent blink that makes the rheum collect and, ultimately, cake up and crust.

 

FEMALE EJACULATE

“Squirting” or “gushing” occurs when a woman approaches or reaches sexual climax


The nature of female ejaculate has seemed to be a bit of a scientific mystery, but a 2014 study showed that female ejaculate was either all urine or urine mixed with some fluid from the “skene’s gland”, the female analogue prostate gland.Granted, this study only had 7 participants but I imagine it would be difficult to find volunteers that both squirt regularly and are willing to squirt in front of a group of scientists ultrasounding them as they orgasmed.

It has been hypothesized that this could serve some kind of antimicrobial function but jury is still out on that one

 

Bile

Bile is created by the liver and stored in concentrated form in the gall bladder.


It squirts into the first part of our small intestine and neutralizes the acidic contents of the stomach (chyme) as it empties

Helps with the absorbtion of fats, as well as fat soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K)

Hippocrates is credited for the theory of the four humors which attempted to explain anatomical balance through 4 substances in the body, two of which are black bile and yellow bile. Yellow bile is what we would consider bile today (caustic, hot, drying) and is associated with the element fire. Black bile refers more to the clotting agents in blood and has an association with the element earth.

 

Tears

Scientifically called “lacrimal fluid”, It flows from the “lacrimal apparatus”. I think it should be called the eye-paratus but there seems to be little room in science for wit.

Tears have lots of salt, mucus, and lysozomes, an anti-bacterial enzyme

When you’re overproducing lacrimal fluid (aka crying…) some of it spills into your nasal cavity, which is why you get a runny nose when you cry

 


If you don't see your favorite fluid, check back for parts 2 and 3

(we have A LOT of fluids flowing, folks!)


Stay saucy,

D


References:

"Structure, Function and Molecular Control of the Skin Lymphatic System". Skobe, M., Detmar, M. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15528534


"The World of Shakespear's Humors" https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/shakespeare/fourhumors.html


"Different Body Fluids: An Overview". Guattnam, N., Singh, S.P., Khinchi, M.P., Nama, N., Jain, S. https://ajprd.com/index.php/journal/article/view/322/282


"Nature and Origin of "Squirting" in Female Sexuality". Salama, S., Boitrelle, F., Guaquelin, A., Malagrida, L., Thiounn, N., Desvaux, P. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jsm.12799


“Principles of Human Anatomy” Tortora, G.J., Nielsen, M.T.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheum


"The Twisted Business of Donating Plasma" Wellington, D.L. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/05/blood-money-the-twisted-business-of-donating-plasma/362012/


"On the Adjective Lymphaticus". Simon, F., Danko, J. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/729f/1f9c7238f211bbdec01ababd4b414627a077.pdf







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