Part 1 The HEART is the ENGINE of the human body!

Let us first understand how the heart functions. For starters think of a car, without the engine the car won’t move unless pushed in neutral but the engine is still not working at all. Well, the body can’t work at all if the heart isn’t working=dead. Right? We can’t live without the heart but more importantly you can’t function actively and productively with a one that is diseased not cared for or just severely diseased. We need to take good care of our bodies especially if diseased already, that includes your heart.

Looking at the anatomy and physiology of the heart it will help us understand in how it functions. For starters the heart is like an engine in having chambers (2 on the top called atriums and 2 on the bottom called ventricles), 4 chambers to be exact (sort of like a 4 cylinder car). It also has valves, in allowing our blood to go in and out of the heart. They are located before the entrance of the blood entering the heart on the left and right upper chamber, between the upper and lower chambers (atriums & ventricles), at the beginning of arteries and veins involved in moving blood throughout the heart and to or from the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood, in allowing the blood to leave the heart with oxygenated blood to now go throughout the body (like oil/gas entering and leaving the engine which allows it to work).

Now getting down in how the heart works. First take our blood, in particular our red blood cells are the cells that carry oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout our body; the body without enough oxygen in the body tissues=cellular starvation. We can’t survive without oxygen sent to our tissues=food to our tissues (Ex. poor circulation to any tissue of the body = pain and if not resolved it will go into necrosis = death of the tissue, like in a diabetic that has poor circulation to the toes/foot that has pain/numbness and unresolved = necrosis to amputation). So your blood, in particular the red blood cells, need to transport oxygen (O2) to and take carbon dioxide (CO2) from our tissues in the body and refill up with more 02 and release C02 (O2 used up by our tissues) that takes place at the lungs. This process is done constantly in the body to feed our tissues O2 (by RBC’s picking up 02 upon inhalation), with tissues releasing CO2 picked up by the RBC’s that take the CO2 to the lungs in release it from our body completely via breathing=exhaling but only done due to the heart beating allowing the blood to circulate and recirculate throughout the body and get more 02 from our lungs (just like the engine how the engine works to allow fuels, oils to circulate throughout the engine and other areas of the car to allow the car overall to function).                                                                                                                                                                        In review, our bodies oxygen is the food to our tissues in keeping them alive through our red blood cells (RBC’s) that carry the O2 to the tissues but there through a working heart and lungs only (one organ cannot live without the other). There has to be a systemic way we allow this to work and this is through the heart, lungs, and RBC’s (3 systems that connect with each other). The heart = right side deals with more C02 blood which is blood returning to the heart to get more 02 going first via the Rt. side of the heart to the Rt. and Lt. pulmonary artery, each of which carries blood to the lungs for 02 and C02 exchange to occur. This is for getting more 02 in our RBC’s with allowing them to release C02 at the lungs and then return them to the left side of the heart to be sent through both Lt. chambers of the heart to our blood stream to utilize the new 02 in our RBC’s to our body tissues. This is a 24hr/7days a week job for our red blood cells, lungs and heart in functioning to keep the human body alive.

In simpler terms this is how it works: The blood that needs to be refreshed with more 02 when it enters the right (Rt.) atrium coming from a vessel that brings back mainly carbon dioxide in the blood from the toes and the brain that was mainly used up by the tissues and those RBC’s need to be reoxygenated with higher levels of oxygen for the RBC’s to deliver 02 again to tissues. It first goes to the Rt. atrium & fills up to its max level simultaneously while the left (Lt.) atrium is filling up to its max level. When the Rt. atrium is ready to drop its blood max level into the Rt. ventricle below it the valves open between the chambers simultaneously dropping the blood to the Rt. Ventricle (Lt side does the same thing) but only the Rt. side ends up going to the lungs through a Rt. and Lt. pulmonary artery to get more oxygen to send it to the highly oxygenated side of the heart, being on the left side. The job the Rt. side of the heart does is this, it just goes from the Rt. side of the heart to our lungs and back to the heart on the Lt. side through the 4 pulmonary veins to the L atrium; so the path or distance for the Rt. side of the heart to do its function is a short distance = it gets your used up oxygen in the red blood cells (that are high in carbon dioxide) to get more oxygen by going through the Rt. side of the heart sending them to the lungs where they get more O2 and then they are sent back to the Lt. side of the heart.   This is the Rt. side of the heart’s function.

Now let us look at what the Lt. side of the heart does in function. The RBC’s reoxygenated leave the lungs and sent via the 4 pulmonary veins to the Lt. side of the heart reaching the Lt. atrium thus carries a high 02 level in the RBC’s (this blood just came directly from the lungs where O2 and CO2 exchange for the RBC’s took place). Next the RBC’s go to the Lt. ventricle to our Aorta that sends this high oxygen level of RBC’s out to all our tissues as food to prevent starvation of the tissues).   Again, when the valves open between the chambers and allowing this blood to fill up in the lower chambers called the Rt. and Lt. ventricles it is simultaneously done also including the valves that open and close in the the pulmonary artery and the aorta that is in the Lt. ventricle sending RBC’s out to our circulatory system high in O2 to be utilized by our body tissues.

So the way it works with both sides of the heart is the Rt. side sends blood of highly carbon dioxide blood (RBC’s) to the lungs to get re-oxygenated through 2 vessels from the Rt. side of the heart to the lungs that sends this re-oxygenated RBC’s through 4 vessels to the Lt. side of the heart and it reaches the Lt. side of the heart which sends this highly oxygenated blood throughout the top and bottom of the Lt. side of the heart to the aorta that sends this blood throughout our body tissues. When this oxygen is used all up from dispensing it out to tissues the C02 is taken back from the tissues by RBC’s that replace it with O2, this process starts all over again with these RBC’s that returned to the heart. Ending line the right side of the heart is for higher levels of carbon dioxide in the blood (used up blood) to get more oxygenated whereas the left side of the heart sends higher levels of O2 throughout the body all the way to the toes (a harder job=muscle mass of the left side of the heart works out more than the right making the left side of the heart a bigger muscle vs the right side.

Now knowing the anatomy and physiology of the heart let’s now understand more about cardiac disease in how they develop and in how it effects the engine of the body, being the heart and other areas of the body. If eating unhealthy or living unhealthy habits or even overweight to obese these are the problems that can arise regarding the cardiac system alone:

  • High Blood Pressure is the primary cause of death among Americans older than 25. About 75 million people suffer from high B/P or hypertension, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and more. Did you know that from the National Health Survey in 1981 their statistics indicated that hypertension afflicts at least 17 to 22 million American adults during that time, in the book of “Principles of Anatomy and Physiology” by authors Tortora and Anagnostakos? Look at today, yes our population has increased but the debate with that is we now know better and have for awhile. We as responsible people for ourselves, families (children in particular) and as a country should be living healthier but still too many EAT and PRACTICE unhealthy habits based on statistics, if we weren’t disease would be less in percentage throughout America.


AMERICA wake up or else we will just continue increasing high in the following problems we already have at home and make life, especially for many, unbearable.                                                                                                                                              Uncontrolled high blood pressure is of considerable concern because of what harm it can do to the HEART, BRAIN, and KIDNEYS.  What harm and how?  Than come back this weekend for Part 2 on that section of this article.

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