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Circulatory System Function: Why Your Heart And Veins Need Each Other

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center – August 19, 2015

You remember how Dorothy, Toto, and the rest of the gang were trying to make their way to see the Wizard of Oz? That’s kind of how veins work in relation to your heart.

Your heart is the wizard, and your veins are like the yellow brick road, or roads, that lead to it. Dorothy and friends behave like your blood and its nutrients, traveling along the yellow brick road.

And where it all happens”the Land of Oz”is your circulatory system.

Here is why your circulatory system function relies on your heart and veins working together for you to stay healthy.

The Heart And Veins Keep Blood Flowing In The Right Direction

Lots of important things happen in Oz, just like in your circulation. Your circulatory system is how your oxygen-rich blood flows from your heart through your body, washing over all your vital organs, then returning oxygen-poor blood to your heart.

This system ensures that your body’s tissues and organs receive a healthy blood supply, explains the National Cancer Institute.

It also carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell of your body while also picking up carbon dioxide and other waste products.

At the center of this circulatory system is the heart and veins, which work together to ensure that the cycle of blood flow is continuous.

Your Heart Pumps Oxygenated Blood To Your Body

Your body thrives on oxygen, which is carried through your blood. In order to ensure each cell of the body receives oxygen, the heart takes a lead role.

Much like the wizard, the heart has a tremendous job. It’s a fist-sized pump made of muscle tissue, responsible for pushing oxygen-rich blood to your body, explains the American Heart Association (AHA).

Also read: Love Your Heart

Blood flows in a specific pattern throughout the body when the heart is healthy, says the AHA.

Source: American Heart Association

In order for the heart to push oxygen-rich blood out to your body, it must first receive oxygen-poor blood courtesy of your veins.

Veins Do Double Duty

Your body is made of an intricate blood carrier system called blood vessels, which are key players in your circulatory system function. These flexible tubes stretch and shrink when necessary to allow blood to flow through based on the body’s need, says the AHA.

There are three main categories of blood vessels, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI):

Arteries, which carry blood away from the heart Veins, which carry blood to the heart Capillaries, tiny vessels that connect arteries and veins

Much like the roads that lead to the wizard, veins are major blood vessels that connect to your heart, the NHLBI explains.

Although veins always carry blood to the heart, certain types transport either oxygen-rich blood or oxygen-poor blood.

Teamwork is very important in the Land of Oz”and also in your circulatory system. Without the heart and veins working together, your body simply cannot function at its best.

For more information about the cardiac services offered at EIRMC, visit our website.

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