Anatomy And Physiology

Anatomy Physiology

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Believed to store love and symbol of noble emotions, the heart has a long history of being portrayed as an organ uniting couples, families and other important figures of our lives. In reality, this life sustaining organ has little to do with love but lots to do with health. Its restless pumping action delivers oxygen and blood to our whole bodies, every few seconds for all all our life 24/7, 365 days a year. But the heart is capable of doing much more than beating restlessly, let's take a closer look into how the human heart works.

Shaped almost as the size of your closed fist, this vital organ is basically a muscle. Composed by four basic sections, known as the heart's chambers, each exhibits their own name depending on their location as follows: the right atrium, the left atrium, the right ventricle and the left ventricle. Each of these chambers is further equipped with a valve, an instrument that ensures that blood does not flow backwards. Respectively, the right atrium is assigned the triscupid valve, the left atrium has the mitral valve, while the right ventricle is assigned the pulmonary valve whereas, the left ventricle has the aortic valve. The opening and closing of these valves is elicited by the heart's contractions, the famous lub-dub, lub-dub sounds.

With each contraction prescious blood is delivered. The right side of the heart collects oxygen deprived blood and delivers it to the lungs which work on enriching them with oxygen again, while the rights side of the heart collects oxygen rich blood from the lungs which is delivered to the human cells which thrive on oxygen in order to properly function.

As a busy intersection, where the contractions act as a traffic light, blood is delivered through avenues, the veins. The veins enter the heart on the right side through the superior vena cava which contains blood from the upper part of the body and the inferior vena cava which contains blood from the lower side. From the superior and inferior vena cava the blood enters the right atrium, then it enters the tricuspid, valve, it is pushed through the pulmonary valve and then it is delivered to the lungs via the pulmonary artery. Once in the lungs, the blood is enriched with oxygen.

From the lungs then, the oxygen rich blood is delivered through the pulmonary veins into the left atrium, then it is pushed through the mitral valve into the left ventricle, pushed through the aortic valve, through the aorta and finally to the body in order to effectively feed oxygen hungry cells.

It is fascinating understanding how the heart is elicited to pump by a group of cells which generate electrical activity that makes it all happen. Diligently these cells work to produce the average 72 beats a minute that makes us live.

The heart does not feed on the blood it delivers through the veins, rather it has its own set of arteries which deliver it with oxygen. This oxygen is delivered by the coronary arteries. You want to take good care of these arteries by watching your diet and leading a healthy lifestyle with a good exercise regimen. It is when these coronary arteries are clogged by fatty deposits that the heart will suffer an infarction. Deprived of life sustaining oxygen, the heart muscle will ultimately die causing a heart attack.

The heart is an amazing muscle that works non stop for all our lives. Because it sustains life, it is vital to keep good care of this organ.

While the heart may not have much to do with love, other than causing those typical accelerated heart beats when a significant other is nearby, in your little try to love your heart as much as you can: lead a healthy lifestyle, eat well and last but not least ''follow your heart''by enjoying and living your life to the fullest.

More about this author: Janet Farricelli CPDT-KA

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