The Human Circulatory System
Overview of the Circulatory System
The human circulatory system includes both the cardiovascular system and the
The Cardiovascular System is comprised of:
- the heart
- the blood vessels which include
The Lymphatic System is comprised of:
- lymph nodes
- and lymph vessels
Organs such as the spleen, thymus, tonsils, adenoids and bone marrow have also been included as
part of this system since part of their several functions are lymphatic in nature from
lmphocyte and blood cell formation to lymph cleansing, immunity activities, and debris
Functions of the Human Circulatory System
- Moving Nutrients
The human circulatory system has the important function of moving nutrients (such as electrolytes
and amino acids), gases, hormones, blood cells, and other substances to and from cells.
- Removing Debris
The human circulatory system also has an important role in carrying metabolites created from cellular activity and debris
resulting from disease and injury processes and cell death to areas where they can be
broken down and eliminated.
- Maintaining a Healthy Body
It also functions in the areas of fighting disease, stabilizing body temperature, and in
controling the proper pH so that body homeostasis can be maintained.
The circulatory system is sometimes broken down into the following categories:
Pulmonary Circulation (going to and from the lungs)
Pulmonary Circulation is part of the cardiovascular system which forms a loop of blood
vessels that moves oxygen depleted blood away from the heart to the lungs where carbon
dioxide is released. Oxygen is picked up by the red blood cells in the lungs and is then
transported from there back to the heart. The pump for the arterial side is the heart
and the pump for the venous side is smooth muscle and respiration.
Coronary Circulation (going to and from the heart tissues)
Coronary Circulation is part of the systemic circulatory system and it transports blood to
and from the heart.
Systemic Circulation (going to and from the rest of the body)
Systemic Circulation is that portion of the cardiovascular system which carries oxygen rich
blood from the heart to all parts of the body and returns oxygen depleted blood back to
the heart. The primary pump for the arterial side of this system is the heart. The pump
for the venous side of this system is smooth muscle, skeletal muscle and movement and respiration.
Any fluid and substances that are not picked up by the venous system are picked up by the
The lymphatic system transports interstitial fluid (called lymph) and
any other substances that need to be carried away from the cells (such as metabolites, debris,
disease organisms, etc.) and transports them to areas of the body where they can be broken
down and eliminated and then ultimately empties back into the venous system.
Vincent Van Gogh stated: "Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
How could we describe the human body any better than that?
It is such an amazing thing. It is a miracle really, the way it works so smoothly, integrated perfectly. We really should take care of it.
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