So, How does the Heart Work?

Hot Health
By Hot Health August 15, 2016 15:47
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So, How does the Heart Work?

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Fast Facts on the Heart – Our Tiny But Mighty Muscular Organ!

Have you wondered why the heart is so important and all doctors and health experts talk about the importance of maintaining your cardiovascular health? Here’s a fact- your body wouldn’t exist without the heart.

The American Heart Association states that over 2,000 Americans die of heart disease each day. All types of heart disease, not just coronary artery disease which is the most common, can lead to heart attack and can lead to fatal consequences. You don’t want the heart to stop beating, no matter what happens.

The moment it stops beating, the brain cells begin to die in 3 minutes and the other cells of the body die in 6 minutes. The heart is essentially a pump. It pumps blood and the blood supplies oxygen to the cells. So when the heart stops pumping blood, the blood circulation stops and the cells stop getting oxygen.

Like all pumps, the heart can get clogged too. It can break down or need urgent repair. That’s why it is so important to understand how the it functions. The more you know about the heart, the better you would be able to take care of it, so that the body keeps working and functioning as it should.

Now, there are some extremely complex mechanisms involved in this, but here’s what you should know – maintaining a healthy lifestyle lowers your chances of heart problems and complications as you get older.

Here’s the thing about the body – it works hard to repair itself naturally, as long as you give it the right tools. By the right tools, we mean, enough water, a good, healthy, wholesome and balanced diet, enough sleep and yes, at least some physical exercise.

How does the heart work?

Understanding the science behind how the heart functions

The heart is basically a pump fixed to an electrical system. It beats 60 to 80 times each minute, every hour, all day long, for as long as you are alive. This means you will have between 86,000 and 115,200 heart beats in a 24-hour period.

The heart isn’t really a large organ – it is only as big as your fist and of the shape too.

Where is the heart located? It is located between the breastbone and the lungs. The breastbone offers the protection it needs and ensures that the chest cavity is properly organized into the right structure, to allow both the heart and the lungs to function properly.

pixababy/Clker-Free-Vector-Images

pixababy/Clker-Free-Vector-Images

There are two large vessels in the heart called the superior vena cava and the inferior vena cava through which the blood enters. The superior vena cava draws the blood from the upper part of the body, the head and shoulders and the inferior vena cava drains blood from the lower part of the body, trunk and the lower extremities.

The blood then flows into the right atrium of the heart or the right upper chamber. Every time the right atrium contracts, the blood flows into the right ventricle through a valve. When the right ventricle contracts, the blood is sent into the lungs, where it picks up oxygen and flows back into the heart into the left atrium through the pulmonary artery. The next pump sends the blood into the left ventricle and finally it exits the heart through the aorta.

The heart must be fed oxygen constantly from the coronary arteries that surround it. It is very important to make sure that the coronary arteries stay clean and unclogged, which is why we need to exercise, have enough water, maintain a balanced diet, get 7 to 8 hours of regular sleep at night and find positive outlets to de-stress.

When arteries get clogged or develop a clot, part of the muscle dies and causes pain. For example, if the arteries that supply blood to the lower extremities get clogged, there is a strong possibility the person might experience pain while walking. As the coronary arteries become clogged, the heart pump finds it difficult to function like before, which causes damage to the heart muscle, and leads to a heart attack.

The coronary arteries usually get blocked by excessive unhealthy fat and triglyceride deposits, which is usually because of an adverse reaction to stress and poor nutrition. The blockage can cause great pain with every exertion, called angina. When this happens, the person experiences a severe chest pain and a heart attack is not too far away either.

In summary, for our heart to pump blood at a healthy rate, it requires three things – oxygen supply, muscle contraction and electrical stability. If any of these functions stop, so does the heart and that will be the end of it. That’s why it is so important to have a balanced diet, exercise, get enough rest and have at least 10 to 12 glasses of clean water a day.

References

 

Hot Health
By Hot Health August 15, 2016 15:47
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