The circulatory system consists of three main parts:
- Blood vessels
It also has three circuits that work together to circulate blood throughout the body:
- Pulmonary: Carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to lungs, then returns oxygen-filled blood to the heart.
- Systemic: Transports blood with oxygen, nutrients, and hormones from the heart to the rest of the body, then returns deoxygenated blood to the heart.
- Coronary: Supplies oxygenated blood to the heart muscle, then returns oxygen-lacking blood to the lungs for oxygen supply.
What does the circulatory system do?
The heart pumps blood throughout the body through a network of arteries and veins in a continuous cycle. The cardiovascular system is responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to muscles, tissues, and organs.
It also removes waste products, such as:
How does the circulatory system work?
Blood vessels along with the heart and lungs continuously circulate blood through your body:
- The right ventricles (lower chamber of the heart) sends deoxygenated blood to the lungs through the pulmonary artery.
- Blood cells absorb oxygen from the lungs.
- Pulmonary veins transport oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium (upper chamber of the heart).
- The left atrium transports oxygenated blood to the left ventricles, which pump blood to different muscles, tissues, and organs through the arteries.
- The blood carries oxygen, hormones, and nutrients and takes waste products from organs.
- The veins carry deoxygenated blood and carbon dioxide back to the heart and transport blood to the lungs.
- The lungs get rid of the carbon dioxide through exhaling.
What are diseases of the circulatory system?
- Aneurysm: Occurs when the artery wall weakens and enlarges; the most common aneurysms include:
- High blood pressure: Occurs when the force exerted by the blood against the blood vessel walls increases. High blood pressure can increase the risk of:
- Atherosclerosis: Occurs when fats and other substances form plaques on the artery walls, which can harden or narrow the arteries. Atherosclerosis increases the risk of the following:
- Venous disease: Affects the veins of the lower body, causing conditions such as varicose vein and deep vein thrombosis.
- Arteritis: Inflammation of the small- or large-caliber blood vessels due to autoimmune processes.
How can you prevent diseases of the circulatory system?
Lifestyle changes can help prevent diseases of the circulatory system:
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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million people in the US have hypertension (1 in 3 adults), and only half of them are able to manage it. Many people do not know that they have high blood pressure because it often has no has no warning signs or symptoms.
Systolic and diastolic are the two readings in which blood pressure is measured. The American College of Cardiology released new guidelines for high blood pressure in 2017. The guidelines now state that blood normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. If either one of those numbers is higher, you have high blood pressure.
The American Academy of Cardiology defines high blood pressure slightly differently. The AAC considers 130/80 mm Hg. or greater (either number) stage 1 hypertension. Stage 2 hypertension is considered 140/90 mm Hg. or greater.
If you have high blood pressure you are at risk of developing life threatening diseases like stroke and heart attack.
REFERENCE: CDC. High Blood Pressure. Updated: Nov 13, 2017.
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