Have you ever thought about why your blood is under pressure?
Many people only learn about this vital part of the functioning of their body after they have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.
The function of the blood is to transport materials around body, mainly to take oxygen and food nutrients to the body’s cells to keep them alive and well.
The blood also removes the waste products from the body such as carbon dioxide. If your blood was not under some kind of pressure and being continuously pumped around your body by the heart, it would just stay where it is and stagnate, like a garden pond. It would be incapable of nourishing or cleansing the cells of your body, and they would die.
So how does blood move around body?
Your circulatory system consists of two circular systems of tubes. The circulation through your lungs is called the pulmonary circulation, and circulation throughout the rest of your body is called the systemic circulation. The tubes are your blood vessels-the arteries, veins and capillaries.
Blood is moved around through these two systems by two pumps the right and the left hand sides of your heart. Although these right and left pumps beat together, the blood in each side is entirely separate, and the two pumps can, and do to some extent, function independently.
Because pushing blood through your lungs is much easier than pushing it through every other part of your body, the left hand side of your heart is bigger, more muscular, and carries a much heavier workload than the right-hand side.
Obviously your blood is under pressure at all points throughout both systems, in arteries capillaries and veins, otherwise it would not circulate. Pressure in your capillaries which are the smallest type of blood vessel is not only extremely small, but has to be kept constant, so that the conditions for the transfer of incoming oxygen and nutrients, and getting rid of waste products and carbon dioxide out of your body’s cells take place at a constant rate, despite what the rest of your body may be doing.
Pressure is generally much higher in the arteries than in the veins. When doctors talk about blood pressure they normally mean arterial pressure. It is important to understand this. If you cough, sneeze, or push your car out of a ditch, you go red in the face and you can feel your head filling up with blood. This is caused by raised blood pressure in your veins known as venous pressure, not in your arteries, which is known as arterial pressure.
Many people as you that I arterial pressure causes similar symptoms to hide venous pressure, but this is not correct, as there are few signs of high blood pressure that can be diagnosed without the aid of instruments or medical assistance.
Arterial pressure is highest close to the heart and falls as the blood moves further out among the arterial tree. Arterial blood pressure is frequently measured in the upper arm just above the elbow -the archery there is called the brachial artery, and this has long been the international standard way of measuring blood pressure.