The circulatory systems and respiratory system work hand in hand. Their principal function is transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Another key function of the circulatory and respiratory system is systemic circulation. Systemic circulation provides organ, tissues and cells with blood, so that they receive oxygen and other vital substances, such as glucose and amino acids.
In systemic circulation, the left ventricle pumps oxygen rich blood into the body’s main artery, the aorta. The blood then travels from the aorta to the vascular system, made up of smaller arteries and into the capillary network. It is through the thin capillaries that the blood drops off the oxygen, nutrients and other vital substances to our cells. The blood also picks up carbon dioxide and waste products.
The blood, which is now low in oxygen travels through our veins to return to the heart, where it is pumped through the right atrium and right ventricle.
Your capillaries, make up 80% of the circulatory system.
This is where pulmonary circulation begins. The right ventricle pumps the low oxygen blood into the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery extends to the lungs. This is where the blood enters the capillary network of the lungs, located in the pulmonary vesicles. The pulmonary vesicles are air sacs at the end of the airways. It is here, that the blood releases carbon dioxide into the air of the pulmonary vesicles. When you breathe out next, the carbon dioxide leaves your body. Next, fresh oxygen enters the bloodstream. Oxygen rich blood travels through the pulmonary veins and the left atrium into the left ventricle. In your next heartbeat, the now oxygen rich blood will be pumped through your aorta, starting a new cycle of systemic circulation.
Did you know?
Elevated levels of carbon dioxide can cause asphyxiation, due to depleted levels of oxygen to the brain. Without sufficient amounts of oxygen, your brain cells will be destroyed in 4-6 minutes.
How does Systemic Circulation Support your Body?
1. Externally, systemic circulation’s most important role is delivering oxygen. That is critical to human survival. However, your blood also transports many other nutrients and vital substances. Blood cells don’t participate in the nutrient transport. Instead, the nutrients are dissolved into your plasma. Plasma accounts for 55% of your blood. Myriads of vitamins, nutrients and other substances are dissolved in your plasma.For example, Vitamin K, which aids in the clotting process that occurs when you damage a blood vessel or cut yourself. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to clot the blood flow, consequently you wouldn’t stop bleeding out.
Another example is glucose. Glucose is the most regulated of the bloodstream nutrients. When you consume a meal containing carbohydrates, you digest the carbohydrates and absorb glucose into your bloodstream. The glucose dissolves into your plasma, which then carries it to your body’s cells. Glucose functions as one of our body’s energy molecules. Body cells preferentially rely upon glucose for energy, particularly your brain cells. Cells use energy derived primarily from glucose to produce electrical currents that allow communication and to grow and divide. Conclusively, the circulatory systems function of delivering vital substances to your body cells is integral in supporting the human body because these substances provide nutrients, energy and vitamins.
How does Pulmonary Circulation Support your Body?
The expelling of carbon dioxide and waste products is another function of the circulatory system that is integral in supporting your body. Carbon dioxide is a gas that is perpetually present in your blood. It is a waste product created as your body uses oxygen. At normal levels, its presence has no measurable consequences. However if the level increases it can cause,
- Acute respiratory effects; it deteriorates the respiratory functions.
- Cardiovascular effects; your blood becomes to acidic which can causes acidosis, which butterfly effects are cardiac arrythmia and low blood pressure.
- Nerve damage; the high acidity causes nervous system damage that culminates in delirium, hallucinations, seizures and comas.
- Asphyxiation; it is possible to suffocate on carbon dioxide. If the oxygen content of the air you breathe is insufficient, you slowly suffocate due to selective oxygen depletion. This is because as it is an asphyxiant, carbon dioxide displaces breathable oxygen.
How do the Circulatory and Respiratory System Function Together During Exercise?
As previous explained, to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your cells, your circulatory and respiratory systems function together. However, during exercise, to continually produce energy for contraction, your muscles need oxygenated blood. Inside your muscle cells, the mitochondria organelle combines the oxygen in your red blood cells, with the glucose and fats in your plasma. This combination creates the basic energy molecule.
When you increase your muscular action, your heart will beat faster and harder, ejecting a greater volume of blood with each stroke, to send oxygen to your cells. Your circulatory system and lungs will still function together but will do some more frequently during exercise. During exercise, your heart rate will also go up to transport deoxygenated blood back to your heart and lungs faster.
When exercising your muscles accumulate larger quantities of carbon dioxide and waste products. Resultingly your heart, a major part of the circulatory system, will beat faster to fast track the deoxygenated blood back to the heart and henceforth lungs. When the blood returns back to your heart it is pumped through the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery then transports the blood to your lungs. It is here that the blood expels the carbon dioxide and waste products it has picked up. The carbon dioxide and waste products are pushed into your airways. In your next exhale, the carbon dioxide and waste products leave your body.
Why are Blood and Oxygen Important to us?
Blood and oxygen are vital to human survival. Our cells, organs and tissues depend on red blood cells for oxygen for the efficient use of glucose in cellular respiration. Without oxygen our cells would not have energy. Our body depends on the substances and proteins dissolved in our blood’s plasma. These substances provide many important functions. For instance, one such substance is electrolytes. Electrolyte balance helps our body maintain hydration, balance nerve communication, absorption of calcium to our bones, regulating pH levels and converting blood sugar into energy. When we cut ourselves we depend on our blood for platelets. If a blood vessel is damaged our body sends platelets to the damaged area to adhere the cut edges. The platelets form a plug to stop the bleeding. Small molecules cause blood borne materials to adhere together and seal the wound. Once the blood vessel heals back to its original shape, the blood clot dissolves and the platelets return to resting form.When we are sick, we depend on our white blood cells, also known as leukocytes to defend our body against infection, bacteria and viruses. White blood cells are an integral part of our blood. They are a vital part of our immune system. The main types of white blood cells and their functions are, Neutrophils Fight against bacteria.Monocytes Fight against bacteria.Eosinophils Involved in allergic responses.Basophils Involved in allergic responses.Lymphocytes Produce antibodies to fight against viruses.
Why are Blood and Oxygen Important to us?
Blood and oxygen are vital to human survival. Our cells, organs and tissues depend on red blood cells for oxygen for the efficient use of glucose in cellular respiration. Without oxygen our cells would not have energy.
Our body depends on the substances and proteins dissolved in our blood’s plasma. These substances provide many important functions. For instance, one such substance is electrolytes. Electrolyte balance helps our body maintain hydration, balance nerve communication, absorption of calcium to our bones, regulating pH levels and converting blood sugar into energy.
When we cut ourselves we depend on our blood for platelets. If a blood vessel is damaged our body sends platelets to the damaged area to adhere the cut edges. The platelets form a plug to stop the bleeding. Small molecules cause blood borne materials to adhere together and seal the wound. Once the blood vessel heals back to its original shape, the blood clot dissolves and the platelets return to resting form. When we are sick, we depend on our white blood cells, also known as leukocytes to defend our body against infection, bacteria and viruses. They are an integral part of our immune system.
Conclusively, oxygen and blood are so important to use because they serve numerous functions in our body.