Homeostasis Balance and The Cardiovascular System

The cardiovascular system is a group of organs, vessels and arteries that are interconnected to remove metabolic waste and transport nutrients and oxygen throughout our bodies. (1) Within the cardiovascular system the main organ that is involved would be the heart. The heart sits in the mediastinum cavity. (2) It is positioned medial of the lungs, anterior to the vertebral column and posterior to the sternum. It works as a pump that is connected to arteries and veins. These arteries and veins can be considered both superficial or deep depending on where the location of these are. For example, veins in your hand that you can visibly see and palpitate with your finger are considered superficial. The veins and arteries that are within your chest cavity and that supply blood to your internal organs are classified as deep or “internal”. Just superficial of the tissue of the veins, arteries and capillaries is where the blood and plasma flow. The cardiovascular system works with these organs in order to maintain a homeostatic balance.

The way that our cardiovascular system works to maintain a homeostatic balance is by making sure our heart is pumping blood from a high level of concentration to a low level of concentration at a steady flow and pressure. The blood flows from the atrium then to the ventricle and depending if the blood needs more oxygen it travels to the lungs or back through the rest of the body. It then returns back to the heart to restart the cycle. “Blood is also instrumental in the maintenance of proper concentrations of ions in the tissues as well as transport of various hormones and other specific substances to different tissues. It also removes carbon dioxide, hydrogen ions and other waste products from the tissues.” (3) If the homeostatic balance is off even just slightly with the cardiovascular system it can cause many problems such as cancer, diabetes, even heart diseases that can cause thinning of the heart wall and eventually causing death. The function of the cardiovascular system can be disrupted in many ways, causing homeostatic imbalance. If a person is not getting enough oxygen to be able to fuel our blood cells with the oxygen needed then it can cause muscle cramps, brain damage, or death. Another common disorder that causes homeostatic imbalance is obesity. “Obesity is a major contributor to the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in the developed world, and yet has only recently been afforded the same level of attention as other risk factors of coronary artery disease.” (4). Keeping a healthy lifestyle and being mindful to our bodies can help prevent serious problems within the cardiovascular system.

If I were explaining this process with a patient it would not have required as much research as it did trying to explain it to a medical colleague. For example, I would not be able to use the directional terms used to describe the position of the organs within the cardiovascular system because without prior knowledge of what the anatomical position of the human body it would be very difficult to explain. In order to describe it I would probably have to give a visualization of the position of the organs and not use as much medical terminology. Looking back to the first module I would say this was much more difficult. It was a fun challenge to try to understand the cardiovascular system as well as what a doctor would.

References

(1) Mueller, L. (2017). ANATAMY IN ACTION SERIES: Highlights of Cardiovascular Disease. American Chiropractor, 20.

(2) Heart. (2007). In World of Anatomy and Physiology. Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.ccco.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/CV2430500183/SCIC?u=aur58810&sid=SCIC&xid=6b4e1fa8

(3) Frank, Robert (Swiss photographer), & Tankersley, C. (2002). Air pollution and daily mortality: a hypothesis concerning the role of impaired homeostasis. (Articles). Environmental Health Perspectives, 110(1), 61+. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.ccco.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A83445521/SCIC?u=aur58810&sid=SCIC&xid=f2cdc70d

(4) Associations among education, cortisol rhythm, and BMI. (2006, April). Nutrition Research Newsletter, 25(4), 11. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.ccco.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A144930600/SCIC?u=aur58810&sid=SCIC&xid=d55fdefa

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