The Human Circulatory System

Human Circulatory System

Overview of the Circulatory System

The human circulatory system includes both the cardiovascular system and the lymphatic system.

The Cardiovascular System is comprised of:

  • blood
  • the heart
  • the blood vessels which include

The Lymphatic System is comprised of:

  • lymph
  • 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 removal.

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.

Lymphatic System

Any fluid and substances that are not picked up by the venous system are picked up by the lymphatic system.

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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