Learn How To Prevent & Control Heart Disease By Understanding Your Heart.
Since the heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout your body, there is no argument that blood flow is essential to all the natural physiological processes that keep us alive, from digestion and breathing to the brain's electrical activity. Without sufficient blood flow, your body would suffer organ failure within minutes. To be absolutely clear, without the heart your body would shut down.
Anything that interferes with proper circulation – heart disease included – can have severe ramifications for all levels of human physiology. Anatomy class may not be as glamorous as other subjects but knowing how this vital muscle works will help you understand previously foreign processes at a deeper level. In addition, learning a few simple steps can assist in maintaining a healthy lifestyle while avoiding the risk of life-threatening disease.
Heart Disease: function and facts about the heart
With the heart beating regularly, each day, the average heart beats about 100,000 times; and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood to your organs and body.
That's about how much water some fire department tanker trucks can hold. So throughout a 70-year lifetime, an average human heart will have beaten more than 2.5 billion times.
Your heart is responsible for pumping blood to all parts of your body, which in turn carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells so that everything runs smoothly.
When your heart isn't functioning correctly, it will be nearly impossible for any other body parts to work effectively. In addition, heart disease can drastically shorten your lifespan because cell death would occur quickly without oxygen delivered regularly.
Oxygenate Blood To Treat Heart Disease.
Oxygen is a nutrient that your cells cannot function without. So your body ensures oxygen delivery to your cells through oxygenation; this is how oxygen becomes attached to the hemoglobin (red blood cells) that carry it around with them.
The heart doesn't supply oxygen itself, but it does facilitate an adequate amount of oxygen being carried by blood as it specifically pumps deoxygenated blood from the body into the lungs every time you breathe out before it comes back into the body once again upon breathing in.
What Is Circulating Blood?
Once oxygen enters your bloodstream, it travels to your heart. Here the oxygen is pumped through your arteries and into different organs throughout your body. Through these caused pulses, i.e., heartbeats, blood is pushed through each part of your body in a cyclical motion with messages traveling both ways.
As the blood moves on its journey back towards your heart, the remaining deoxygenated hemoglobin picks up more fresh oxygen molecules that are ready to be used again by the cells of specific organs and tissues throughout your body.
How The Beating Heart Works
Your heart is a complex organ of various chambers, valves, and tissues that work together to circulate your blood around the body and serve as the center of blood circulation.
Each section needs to be in working order for you to have a healthy heart and circulatory system.
An issue with any of the heart chambers can affect how your whole body functions. If there's an injury in any of these areas, you can jeopardize your health and could be at risk for cardiac arrest.
Your heart consists of four chambers. The upper two chambers are the atria, and the lower are ventricles. Special muscle fibers called the septum separate them.
The upper chambers (the atria) receive blood enriched with oxygen in your lungs. The blood then passes to the ventricles to pump it out of your heart through the arteries directing your blood supply to your organs and tissues.
The heart has four chambers: the left atrium, the right atrium, and their corresponding ventricles. The left and right atria receive blood from your veins, respectively. The left and right ventricles pump blood out to your arteries, as shown in the illustration below.
Oxygenated blood is thinner, passing quickly through the left atrium and its corresponding ventricle with much less force. Deoxygenated blood passes through the thicker walls of the other two chambers via the pulmonary artery (on its way to your lungs) and one of many coronary arteries (on its way to your body).
Heart valves control blood flow through your heart, ensuring everything stays moving in the right direction.
Atrioventricular or cuspid valves are located between the atrium and ventricle walls and open and close when the ventricle contracts. Your heart valves stop the blood pumped away from your heart from rebounding back into your heart while it tries to force more fresh, oxygen-rich blood out.
The semilunar valves are at the base of your heart's atria and the ventricles. When the ventricles are relaxed and filled with blood, these valves close, preventing any flow back in.
Your heart connects to many veins and arteries, which serve different functions in your body. These include pathways for deoxygenated blood and oxygenated blood. While veins (like the vena cavae going back to the heart) carry deoxygenated blood, arteries are responsible for transporting oxygenated blood out of the heart and through the rest of the body.
A person's most significant artery, the aorta, takes blood through smaller arteries and veins to different areas in their body, like their head or lower extremities.
An excellent example of this could be how your heart transfers oxygen-depleted blood from your arms and legs back to its chambers.
Furthermore, your pulmonary artery and vein system do the same for your upper torso, lungs, and heart by closing the loop, often called the "pump-handle pump," ensuring you stay alive and well.
Like other parts of the human body, your heart needs oxygenated blood to function at its best. The coronary arteries supply this vital function.
Learn How Heart Disease Interferes With Critical Body Function
Some people still get heart disease even if they haven't been overweight or led unhealthy lifestyles. More and more studies are showing that genetics may play a role.
In any case, the narrowing and stiffening of arteries associated with heart disease can slow blood flow to your organs and tissues. This hardening of arteries can damage your eyes, kidneys, brain, and other vital body parts.
Stenosis is a disease in which your heart's blood vessels become swollen, constricted, and stiff over time. It causes the muscles surrounding them to thicken as well, impairing the ability of your heart muscle to contract properly.
Without proper oxygenation, the body and mind are likely less able to function correctly.
In addition, without the energy from a healthy, high-quality source of oxygen, your cells won't have what they need to work normally, which could lead to significant complications in other areas of your body, including problems with your heart or a heart attack.
Effectively Fight Heart Disease By Making Affordable Lifestyle Changes.
By being more health conscious and taking better care of yourself, you can dramatically reduce your risk of heart-related illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
One highly recommended thing is to increase your activity level. Something as simple as walking about an hour every other day, or maybe try yoga as that's also great for your heart!
Fortunately, you can make many lifestyle changes to improve your health and help prevent heart disease. Some examples include quitting smoking, following a heart-healthy diet, and increasing your activity level.
Because your heart is a muscle, it goes through wear and tear like any other. It's generally agreed that you can damage the heart if you work out too much or abuse substances.
Make sure you're living healthily by eating well and exercising moderately every day.
Thankfully, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure. Properly caring for your heart allows it to function efficiently.
The more heart-healthy choices you make, the easier it will be for your heart to continue oxygenating and circulating blood precisely as it should.