What do arteries and freeways have in common?
Arteries are the main blood vessel responsible for transporting blood away from the heart. There are two main types, pulmonary arteries and systemic arteries.
The pulmonary artery is the main roadway directly to the lungs where the blood is transported so that it can be enriched with oxygen.
Systemic arteries, as the name implies, are the major blood vessels delivering blood to the rest of the human body.
Do you know the name of the main systemic artery that supplies blood to the body?
The aorta is responsible for the transportation of blood throughout the human body. Your arterial system can be compared to the freeway system across the country. The major highways carry automobiles at speeds of 55 mph (miles per hour) and above. Upon exiting the freeway, you branch off into main thoroughfare and then secondary streets. In this case, the main roads would be the veins and the capillaries would be the secondary streets.
Each major artery of the body has a developed system of smaller arteries which transport the blood to the
arms, legs, and head. Because of the relationship with the pulmonary artery, this blood is rich in oxygen. Any breakdown in the transportation process or quality of the blood results in medical problems or diseases.
Similar to veins, arteries are composed of three layers!
The outer layer, the middle layer made up of muscle, and the inner layer comprised of epithelial cells make up the three layers. Because the artery is a blood vessel it is a hollow tube with the inner layer being very smooth to facilitate the rapid flow of blood.
The engine which drives the blood is the heart and it’s major components include coronary arteries. Each heartbeat causes the arteries to expand and fill with blood and likewise each contraction results in blood being circulated throughout the systemic system of arteries and veins in the body. That’s why it’s important to have your blood pressure monitored to insure a steady flow of oxygenated and nutrient filled to all parts of the body.
Have you ever had a nurse or doctor take your pulse?
If so, they’re actually locating an artery, feeling the contractions, and counting the number of times it expands and contracts. From this, there is an acceptable range of blood pressure that all individuals fall into. You’re either classified as having normal blood pressure, high blood pressure referred to as hypertension, or low blood pressure called hypotension.
The large arteries give way to smaller arteries referred to as arterioles which play an important role in the microcirculation of the blood. If you’re wondering about microcirculation, it is the flow of blood to the venules or smallest veins and the capillaries.
How does this microcirculation affect your skin?
The three layers of skin, the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat receive their nutrients and oxygen through the systemic veins. They are a branch of the freeway system of arteries that provides the transportation of the blood throughout the human body. Because the skin is the largest organ on the human body, a consistent flow of blood from the arteries to the veins is essential to keeping the skin healthy and disease free.
In summary, arteries like the veins are comprised of three layers, the outer layer, the middle layer of muscle, and the epithelial layer or inner layer that’s smooth. And, there are two types of arteries, the pulmonary artery and systemic.
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