Circulatory system: anatomical and functional
The circulatory system works by continuous pressure from the heart and valves, which ensures that the veins carry blood to the heart and the arteries that carry it out.
Combined with the cardiovascular system, the circulatory system helps fight disease, helps the body maintain a normal body temperature and provides the right chemical balance to provide homeostasis to the body, or equilibrium between all systems.
The circulatory system consists of four main components:
Heart: The size of adult hands clasped together; the heart is near the centre of the chest. Thanks to the steady pump, the heart keeps the circulatory system running at all times.
Artery: An artery that carries oxygen-rich blood out of the heart and where it is needed.
Veins: Veins carry deoxygenated blood to the lungs where they receive oxygen.
Blood: Blood is the transport vehicle for almost everything in the body. It transports hormones, nutrients, oxygen, antibodies and other important things needed to keep the body healthy.
Oxygen enters the bloodstream through small membranes in the lungs, absorbing it when inhaled. When the body uses oxygen and processes nutrients, it produces carbon dioxide, which the lungs release when exhaled. A similar process occurs with the system to transport nutrients, as well as hormones in the endocrine system. These hormones are taken from where they are produced to the organs they affect.
The circulatory system works by continuous pressure from the heart and valves throughout the body. This pressure ensures that the veins carry blood to the heart and the arteries that carry it away from the heart.
There are three different types of circulation that occur regularly in the body:
Pulmonary Circulatory: This part of the cycle carries oxygenated blood out of the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart.
Systemic circulation: This is the part of the body that carries oxygen-rich blood out of the heart and to other parts of the body.
Coronary Circulation: This type of circulation supplies blood to the heart, which is oxidized so it can function properly.