When we go to the doctor for a health problem one of the most worrying diagnoses that we can offer is that we are suffering from diseases of the circulatory system.

Not because they are always serious, but because we often associate them with irreplaceable and irreparable organs of our body, such as the heart.

Although the heart is one of the possible organs affected, diseases of this type do not only affect the heart muscle. For this reason, before alerting oneself more than necessary, it is necessary to know in detail the different elements that make up the circulatory system of the human body.

What is the circulatory system?

Also known as the circulatory system, the main components of the system are the heart, veins, arteries and blood (collectively called the cardiovascular system), and the lymphatic vessels and lymph (lymphatic system).

This apparatus performs transport functions within the human organism. Through the blood, the different nutrients that the organs need for their correct functioning are delivered, the supply of oxygen is carried out, but also the waste and residues of the metabolism are collected to expel them in the exhalation or in the excretion, according to correspondence.

Blood vessels are muscular ducts that start from the heart, run through the whole body and return back to the heart. They are full of blood and allow this to reach every chink in the body without perfusion to other tissues.

There are two main types of blood vessels. On the one hand we have the arteries, which are the blood vessels that draw blood from the heart, and the veins, which perform the complementary task; that is, they carry the blood back to the heart so that the pumping cycle can continue.

Distinctions can also be made according to the size of the blood vessels. Thus, arteries are divided into arterioles, and these into metaarterioles. The most delicate vessels are known as capillaries, they are extremely thin and do not even have a muscular layer.

It is in the capillaries where the exchange of substances with the tissues takes place and after having carried out the task entrusted, the blood reunites again, as we already mentioned in the previous paragraph, in the veins that go to the heart, passing first through some vessels of smaller caliber known as vénulas.

The pumping of blood would not take place if the heart did not exist. It is a muscle of complex shape and considerable size, some people compare it with a closed fist, both for the shape of the envelope and for the dimensions. This muscle works like a pump, being hollow inside. Inside there are chambers, called cardiac chambers, in which vascular flow takes place.

The heart works at a speed of between 60 and 80 pulsations at rest, an amount that can increase considerably during exertion and is also greater during youth and when suffering from circulatory diseases. Blood enters one of the cavities known as the atrium and passes through the tricuspid valve into the ventricle. The different muscle movements that allow the mechanical pumping action are called systole and diastole.

The elements of the vascular system are well known in general, however the lymphatic system is an often forgotten part of the circulatory system. This system is in charge of carrying the lymph unidirectionally to the heart. It is a non-pigmented liquid that is delivered excessively to the cells and escapes into interstitial spaces.

It contains some proteins, its lipid content being much more remarkable. The lack of colour is largely due to the fact that it only transports white blood cells. This is the fundamental difference with blood.

The lymphatic vessels, a series of veins specialized in carrying lymph to the heart, receive the liquid from muscles and capillaries thanks to the involuntary contractions of the muscles, to the pulsating movements of the nearby arteries and even by the inertia generated in our movements with the extremities.

All the recovered lymph is concentrated in capillaries of greater relevance to the organism known as subclavian veins. Other lymphatic vessels that should be known to exist are the ducts, trunks and collectors.

As for the peculiar organs that make up the system, they are usually divided into two well-differentiated groups.

In the first group are the primary lymphoid organs, which are the bone marrow and thymus. These two organs are responsible for generating lymphocytes. Specifically, the bone marrow matures the B lymphocytes and the thymus matures the T lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are special white cells, so in medical texts and diagnoses they are often referred to simply as leukocytes. This function of creating blood cells is called hematopoiesis.

On the other hand there are the secondary lymphoid organs: lymph nodes, spleen and lymphoid tissue located in the different mucous parts of the body.

The spleen is a kind of filter that removes cellular alterations from the blood. The lymphocytes generated in the primary lymphoid organs come into contact with this organ and are activated when they come into contact with mutations and pathogens.

Lymph nodes act similarly. They are a kind of nodules arranged in clusters whose function is to detect and fight infections, substances not recognized by the body and germs. They are concentrated in the central parts of the body and appear less on the periphery.

Finally, the lymphoid tissue of the mucous membranes, also known as MALT, or lymphoid follicles, is associated with the digestive, respiratory, reproductive and excretory systems. Its functions are analogous to those of the spleen and lymph nodes but its scope of action refers to specific areas of the aforementioned systems.

All these elements of the human body are what make up the circulatory system of man and woman. With so many parts it is normal that there is a plethora of circulatory diseases. In addition, all these parts of our organism are especially susceptible to suffer some pathology if they are exposed to certain behaviors. Let’s look at the main causes of these problems.

Causes of circulatory system diseases

The main suspect when trying to find a person responsible for the diseases of the circulatory system that have appeared recently are bad habits. Among them, it is not necessary to dwell too much on tobacco and alcohol, as their harmful effect on the human body is already well known.

Suffice it to say that a person who smokes regularly is six times more likely to have a heart attack. Of course, abusing spirits is no better. Alcohol works like a vasodilator; that is, it relaxes the muscles of the arterial walls making the volume of the circulatory system greater than usual, which consequently puts additional stress on the heart. Not good.

Another recurrent problem is poor nutrition. An unbalanced diet can cause an increase in blood cholesterol. We often hear about cholesterol in advertising but we don’t know in detail why this type of fatty acid is harmful to health. The first thing to say is that there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.

The first is known as HDL cholesterol and is beneficial because it is responsible for maintaining and repairing the interior of the arterial membranes. On the contrary, LDL cholesterol (popularly called bad cholesterol) accumulates in these same arterial walls (endothelium) forming masses that can block the blood vessel. This