Anatomy And Physiology

Circulatory System



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The human body's circulatory system is similar to a heavily traveled highway. Transporting oxygen, food and water to various areas throughout the body it delivers these needed materials to billions of cells. The circulatory system also gets rid of wastes which would be harmful to the body if they were not expelled. This amazing system is made up of three parts. The heart, blood and blood vessels.

The heart is a muscle that is approximately the size of your closed fist. The heart's job is to pump blood and keep it moving throughout the rest of the body so that oxygen and nutrients reach cells. Located slightly off center in the chest, the heart is estimated to beat somewhere around three billion times throughout a normal life span.

Blood is made up of solids, liquids, oxygen and a small amount of carbon dioxide. Blood is pumped by the heart muscle and sent throughout the body. Traveling thousands of miles of blood vessels located in the human body, it carries needed nutrients, oxygen and water to sustain life. Adults have close to 5 quarts of blood, while children are more near one gallon of capacity..

Blood contains three different types of cells. White and red. White blood cells fight infection and germs. Red blood cells are what carries the oxygen and distributes it. Platelets are the cells that stop bleeding. When we start to bleed, platelets begin attaching themselves to the open wound and continue to collect until it is blocked off.

The liquid part of blood is called plasma. It is made by the liver and responsible for carrying the blood cells to locations they are needed. Blood is approximately fifty percent plasma.

Blood vessels consist of three different types. Arteries, capillaries and veins. Arteries carry oxygen saturated blood from the heart and distributes it to other areas. Capillaries are tiny vessels that connect the arteries to the veins. Veins are what carries the blood back to your heart.

The human body is a magnificent creation. Various, intricate systems work together to make movement and simple survival possible! There are several health issues which could hinder the circulatory system from functioning properly. Diabetes is one of the more commonly known. It is essential to get treatment for illnesses that affect the circulatory system in order to live a productive and full life.

More information on the circulatory system can be found at the Mayo Clinic link, as well as a video demonstrating how it works.


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