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Your body is made up of several different systems and depending on who you are talking to any one of the systems can be considered THE system that is most important. For doctors and others that are concerned with empirical evidence of the importance of a system, circulatory system is the one that they choose as the most important.

This body system includes several key parts that are credited with keeping you alive. This system is often also referred to as the Cardiovascular System.

The Parts

There are several main parts to the circulatory system. The heart, blood, blood vessels to include the pulmonary arteries. This circulatory system pumps blood from the heart to the lungs and other organs. The main function is to carry blood to organs to nourish the organs. The lymphatic system is considered part of the circulatory system although lymph’s do not travel the same routes as blood products do.

Heart

Most people understand the importance of a healthy heart but most people do not realize that the heart actually has two very separate functions. The first function is to pump oxygenated blood to the organs, the second function is to send the deoxygenated blood to the lungs when it returns from the organs. The heart contains four separate chambers each of which has a specific function. Healthy lungs and a healthy heart keep the circulatory system functioning as it should.

There are many doctors that consider death when the heart stops beating on it’s own (of course other doctors argue that the brain is the difference between life and death). The heart is a powerful muscle yet rather frail and prone to disease.

Blood Vessels

Blood vessels are made up of arteries and veins. Arteries are the larger tougher veins that are responsible for doing the tougher job of bringing blood to the brain and to the major organs like the kidneys. The veins are smaller in size but there are more veins than there are arteries.

The arteries and the veins are the highways of the circulatory system. They are constantly put to work either bringing blood products to the heart or taking blood products to the organs. They are always at work.

The human circulatory system is a closed system. That means at no point does the blood leave the body it is continuously cycled through the body in one direction. In other words veins, capillaries and arteries are not a two lane highway. Everything travels in the same direction.

Common Diseases

The circulatory system is a powerful yet frail system that is prone to disease. The number one cause of circulatory disease is life style. Improper diet and lack of exercise is the single largest contributor to circulatory disease. Of course genetics does play a role but even genetics can be outwitted with the right “heart healthy” diet.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and other diseases can be treated with diet, exercise and prescription medication.

More about: Body Systems