The circulatory system may also be referred to as the cardiovascular or vascular system, and includes all of the different organs and associated body parts necessary to circulate blood, oxygen, nutrients, and other necessary substances throughout the body.
The respiratory system is part of the vascular system and allows for the transfer of oxygenated blood to the heart for distribution through the vascular system, and the oxygen-depleted blood from the heart back to the lungs for a fresh dose of oxygen.
Any impediment to the vascular system can inhibit the ability of individual organs to function, resulting in everything from muscle cramps and “sleeping” limbs or appendages, to heart attacks, strokes, and even death. It is important to remain as healthy as possible to enjoy the best possible quality of life, but even someone spending their life in an office chair should seriously consider efforts to improve their circulation if they wish to remain healthy.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that especially people who are not very active in their work or life should seriously focus on their vascular system and different means that they can use to improve their circulation. If your vascular system is compromised in any way, it could pose a serious threat, not only to your ability to enjoy life, but to life itself.
What is the Circulatory System and What Does it Do?
The vascular system or the circulatory system are perhaps more apt names for this portion of the body. The cardiovascular system is technically correct, but indicates a strong correlation to the heart and the transportation of blood throughout the system. The respiratory system is technically part of the overall system, but also tends to lend people to think primarily about the lungs.
It is important to remember that any indications of problems with the circulatory or vascular system should be a major concern in terms of medical health. If you imagined the body as a community of individuals, be they cells of whatever composition, the vascular system would be every bus, train, truck, highway, and passenger commuting back and forth to make that community function.
The two primary portions of the vascular system are the respiratory system which is responsible for the continual flow of oxygenated blood through the arteries and veins, lungs, and the heart. This is partnered with the cardiovascular system, responsible for pumping the oxygenated blood throughout the system, the transfer of carbon dioxide, amino acids, electrolytes, blood cells, and other units that help the body to function properly.
What Happens When My Circulation Is Not Good?
Whenever there is any disruption to the vascular system, it can lead to a host of medical problems that affect nearly every aspect of life, and even inhibiting mobility. If there are factors that prevent the vascular system from functioning properly, the individual components of the body are incapable of getting sufficient levels of oxygen or other important components required for them to work properly.
What are the most common problems resulting from problems with the vascular system?
If there is a lack of adequate blood flow for example, common in both the arms and legs, it can result in numbness or the limbs and appendages “falling asleep”. The restricted blood flow can also result in an insufficient level of electrolytes and other components reaching the muscle tissue, resulting in muscle cramps that can be both very uncomfortable and debilitating if left unchecked.
Restricted breathing reduces the flow of oxygen through the bloodstream and can result in less stamina and even make the body more susceptible to illness and disease. Ultimately, strokes or heart attacks may occur as a direct result of respiratory or vascular diseases. Blood clotting can also lead to blockages within the arteries or enter the heart also causing a heart attack.
What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm?
The aorta is the largest artery in the body, moving oxygenated blood out and away from the left ventricle of the heart to the rest of the body. An aortic aneurysm is a dilatation in the wall of an artery and can cause a restricted blood flow. The abdominal region is typically associated with your guts or innards, as in abdominal pains.
The aorta goes from the heart to just in front of the pelvic bone where it diverts the oxygenated blood into the smaller common iliac arteries. The abdominal aortic aneurysm is a swelling or expansion of the wall of the aorta and can lead to a greatly reduced blood flow, reduced oxygen levels and even reduced nutrients being delivered to all of the parts of the body.
The aneurysms are also common in people over fifty and should be one of the focuses of preventive medical care and treatments, and any preventive health care plan. If any aneurysm is allowed to rupture, it could easily become a life-threatening emergency requiring emergency medical care and long-term treatments.
What is an arteriovenous malformation?
An arteriovenous malformation or AVM is the result of blood vessels forming improperly somewhere in the body, and the veins and arteries becoming entangled, even circling back on themselves, forming in such a manner that the blood does not flow to specific areas of the body.
This can result in individual organs being cut off from the vascular or circulatory system, including the brain itself in the case of brain related arteriovenous malformations. An AVM in the brain can be indicated by severe headaches, dizziness or other symptoms and in the event it bursts, it can cause sudden death.
What are blood clots?
A thrombus or more commonly called a blood clot, is when the blood thickens or congeals and becomes semi-solid or even solid, and can be both beneficial and dangerous. In the event of an injury, the clotting of the blood serves to seal the wound and prevent excessive levels of blood loss from the body.
When the thrombus or blood clots form inside the body, they can restrict circulation and even cause death if they are not dissolved naturally or medically removed. In some cases, blood clots may also thicken and create blockage in the vascular system or in the organs, decreasing efficiency or even shutting biological systems down completely.
Blood clots generally form in the arms and legs and may be noticed by areas of these limbs that are exceptionally warm feeling, a sensation of pain, and swelling. Noticing any of these symptoms may merit visiting your family doctor.
What is carotid artery disease?
Carotid artery disease is the result of a build up of fatty tissues inside the carotid arteries and usually results from a combination of a poor diet consisting of largely fatty foods, and a lack of exercise, or even improperly exercising.
Increasing the heart rate before exercising indicates that the body has used the current energy that it has consumed, and is in fact working to burn fat and other energy stored within the body. That being said, it is always important to consult a doctor or other medical professional before beginning any exercise routine or radical change in diet.
Carotid artery disease can greatly increase the chances of strokes and heart attacks resulting from the decreased flow of blood, and reducing the flow of oxygen to the brain sufficiently to create an adverse reaction or medical emergency.
What is chronic venous insufficiency?
When the oxygenated blood is pumped throughout the body, there are a series of valves or pumps in the veins that allow the oxygen-depleted blood to be pumped back into the heart, where it can be routed back to the lungs to become oxygenated once again. When the valves or pumps in the veins of the legs are incapable of pumping the blood back to the heart, the result is known as chronic venous insufficiency.
Chronic venous insufficiency results in blood gathering or pooling in the legs, as the veins are incapable of pumping the blood back to the heart. Fortunately, it can be treated, but effectively mostly during its early phases. This condition is generally noted by darkened spots or areas of the legs where blood has gathered, or numbness.
Physical exercise such as walking, repeated reps on the closest set of stairs, or other physical activity that increases the heart rate and circulation is an effective means of preventative health to avoid issues associated with chronic venous insufficiency, but a certified medical professional should be consulted in order to assist with the creation of any preventive health care exercise regimen.
What is critical limb-threatening ischemia?
Critical limb-threatening ischemia as the name implies, is largely relegated to issues with the arms, legs, and the attached appendages and digits, namely the hands, feet, fingers and toes, though the primary threat is to the actual limbs that give access to and control of the appendages.
Symptoms of critical limb-threatening ischemia can include lesions and sores on the arms and legs, and severe pain that can interrupt sleep and interfere with the ability to perform normal tasks and daily work routines. This can be a common threat to people working from home who do not have ergonomically designed tools, equipment and furniture, and who do not routinely exercise.
What is deep vein thrombosis?
A deep vein thrombosis is when a blood clot or thrombosis forms in the veins. It can be extremely dangerous on many levels, including blocking the flow of blood and thus, important oxygen and nutrients. It can also “move” as the blood is pumped through the veins, ending up in the heart and causing a heart attack or causing a pulmonary embolism as it travels to the pulmonary veins in the lungs.
Smaller blood clots are often difficult to detect, which merely emphasizes the need for routine medical checkups and consultations with a medical specialist, especially as we begin to enter middle age and in our retirement or golden years.
What is a stroke or a heart attack?
A stroke and a heart attack may be similar, but are decidedly unique, though both are potentially deadly. In the case of a major heart attack, it is actually common that the only symptom is sudden death, which makes it pretty important to determine a means to avoid heart attacks before they occur.
Some heart attacks may be preceded by a tightness and discomfort in the chest, aches in the jaw, arms, and back, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, and a difficulty in breathing. At the first sign of any of these symptoms, medical attention should be requested immediately.
Strokes can be just as debilitating in some ways, though not always leading to death. Either way, both of these should be avoided to the extent possible, generally following some basic medical and health guidelines established by your primary caregiver.
A stroke may also be referred to as a “brain attack”, similar to a heart attack, but resulting from an insufficient amount of oxygen being delivered to the blood vessels brain. A heart attack is the result of a similar disruption to the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart resulting in a disruption to the blood vessels and resulting in an inability of the heart to function and pump blood throughout the body.
Other symptoms for a stroke may include paralysis of the face, arm, or leg,, difficulties with speech and a reduction in cognitive abilities. This may include a difficulty with vision, and even in understanding the speech of others around you, likely asking about your well-being. Any signs of a stroke are cause for immediate concern
There is also a common misconception about the location of the heart, as noted at any sporting event or other venues where people routinely put their hands “over their heart” during the singing of the national anthems. Despite popular misconceptions to the contrary, the heart is situated in an angular position between the lungs, generally just to the left and above the sternum which is itself located in the center of the chest area.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins may or may not result in physical discomfort or medical emergencies depending on their location and the severity of the underlying causes. The varicose veins are swollen and misshapen veins, generally forming in the legs, ankles and feet.
Varicose veins can produce medical problems if they inhibit the flow or circulation of blood. If you suffer from soreness, stiffness, or aching in the legs, ankles, or feet, or suffer from any swelling after physical activity, it is a pretty good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor for a consultation.
How Can I Improve My Circulatory System?
As we continue into the “new normal” with more people working from home, and more people than ever before spending an increasing amount of time sitting in front of computers and monitors, there is a growing need to focus on vascular health. Fortunately, there are many things that can assist you and help you to keep your circulatory systems safe and healthy in the new normal.
Ergonomically correct home office equipment is only one option, with keyboards, desks, chairs, and even mice and mousepads being designed to prevent concerns resulting from a reduced flow of the vascular system. While the vast majority of the focus here is a reduction in the experience of carpal tunnel syndrome, the reduced strain on the vascular system can benefit in other ways as well.
Breathing exercises can easily be practiced while sitting at the home office. During periods of break from working at your home computer, you can also set up stairs, stationary bikes, treadmills or other simple methods for exercising the cardiovascular system, increasing your heart rate and improving blood circulation throughout the body.
A consultation with your private doctor or family physician, with an additional focus on preventive health care can help you to establish a new, healthy routine, even as you make the major adjustments necessary to improving your medical health as you move to a new home office. Consultation with clinical dietitians can even help you to create an inexpensive, healthy menu to support your individual lifestyle while helping you to remain healthy and happy.
Does Advanced Health Care Treat Vascular Disorders and Diseases?
Advanced Health Care MD in Boca Raton offers a wide range of medical services in addition to personal medical consultations to help you establish and maintain your good health.