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Why Are Blood Vessels Important?

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Why Are Blood Vessels Important?

Cardiology | by Dr. Ashok B Malpani | Published on 22/11/2023


Introduction

Have you ever thought what would happen if the blood vessels stopped functioning for a few seconds? It will cause sudden cardiac arrest and one can die because of this. Scary, isn’t it? Well, this is why it is important to understand the role and functioning of the blood vessels in the human body including blood vessel disorders.

If you suffer from any blood vessel disorder or condition, you must book your appointment with BM Birla Heart Research Centre , one of the best multispeciality hospitals in Kolkata. They have the best and most highly skilled medical professionals.

In this blog, we will discuss and understand the blood vessels, their functions, anatomy, and blood vessel disorders. However, kindly note that the information gathered is research-based and we do not construe with the doctor’s consultation in any way.

What are Blood Vessels?

Blood vessels are tubular structures or channels responsible for carrying out blood throughout the body. The tubular structures in the blood vessels that produce the circulatory system part. Blood vessels also produce a loop that is closed and appears like a circuit beginning and ending at the heart. When combined, blood vessels and heart vessels are accountable for forming the circulatory system. As per healthcare experts, the body entails more than 60,000 blood vessels miles. 

What are the types of Blood Vessels?

Blood vessels are divided into three types of blood vessels and they are:

  • Arteries- They involve carrying blood away from the heart
  • Capillaries- These are among the smallest vessels and link both the veins and arteries
  • Veins- They are responsible for carrying blood back towards the human heart

What is the main function of Blood Vessels?

The primary function of blood vessels is to deliver blood to the organs and tissues in the human body. Oxygen and nutrients function properly as the blood is supplied by the blood vessels to both. Blood vessels also are accountable for carrying out the waste products and carbon dioxide away from both the tissues and organs. 

Here is how each type of blood vessel function:

  • Arteries- These are robust and muscular blood heart to the body carrying blood that is rich in oxygen from the heart to the body. They can handle massive force and pressure from the blood flow but cannot carry blood that is huge in volume. There is around 10-15% blood present in the arteries. 
  • Arterioles- These are arteries branching into the smaller vessels. Arterioles and arteries are flexible when it comes to functioning. To maintain the blood pressure in the blood, they keep getting bigger or smaller. 
  • Capillaries- These blood vessels are tiny with very thin walls. Both oxygen and nutrients can travel through the walls to enter tissues and organs. They can obtain waste products away from the tissues.
  • Venules- Venules are tiny vessels that begin as tiny vessels. They slowly get larger as they are adjacent to the heart. The blood is received from the capillaries. 
  • Veins- They are accountable for carrying out deoxygenated blood back to the heart in large volumes as they are not required to carry out highly pressurized blood. Thin and less elastic walls assist veins in handling large volumes and less pressure. There is around 75% of blood present in the human veins.

What is the anatomy of Blood Vessels?

Blood vessels are segments of the circulatory system and are vital to transporting blood throughout the body. Here is the anatomy of blood vessel types discussed above:

  • Arteries- The structure of arteries appears like a thick-walled, elastic, and muscular vessel. The function of this type is to transport oxygenated blood aside from the heart to several body parts. Three layers are there in the arteries which are tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. 
  • Veins- The structure of veins is thin-walled and less elastic. To avert blood backflow, they have valves. The function of veins is to transport deoxygenated blood back to the heart. The layers of veins are similar to the arteries which are tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. 
  • Capillaries- They are small vessels with thin walls connecting both the arteries and veins. The function of this type is to assist the oxygen, nutrients, and waste product exchange between the blood and nearby tissues. The layers of this type involve endothelial cells, consenting for simple substances diffusion. 

Comprehending the blood vessels anatomy is important to understanding how blood is carried out throughout the body. It also assists in understanding how several physiological processes like an exchange between nutrients and oxygen happen at the cellular level.

What do Blood Vessels look like?

Although blood vessels resemble tubes, they do not flow in a straight line. Certain blood vessels are big enough to see through human skin. When drawing blood, veins are typically visible inside the arm. Even when the blood is red, it appears to be blue beneath the skin. 

What composition do Blood vessels have?

Three layers of tissue are there in the blood vessels which are:

  • Tunica intima- It is an inner layer surrounding the blood flowing through the body. This layer assists in regulating blood pressure, averting blood clots, and keeping toxins away from the blood. Tunica intima ensures smooth blood flow in the body. 
  • Tunica media- It is a middle layer containing elastic fibers that keep your blood flowing in a single direction. This layer assists vessels in expanding and contracting.
  • Tunica adventitia- Nerves and small blood vessels comprise this layer. It helps remove waste from the body and carries nutrients and oxygen from the blood to the cells. Additionally, vessels receive their support and structure from Tunica adventitia.

What conditions and disorders affect the Blood Vessels?

A wide range of conditions and disorders are there that can affect the blood vessels. Here are some of them: 

  • Aneurysm 
  • Arterial diseases such as coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, and peripheral artery disease
  • High blood pressure 
  • Blood clots
  • Varicose veins
  • Vasculitis
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Vascular malformations
  • Atherosclerosis

What are the symptoms of Blood Vessel disorders?

Blood vessel disorder symptoms differ hugely across its three types. Some disorders might cause symptoms while some do not. However, if someone experiences the following symptoms, it is better to consult a healthcare professional:

  • Skin color changes like blue
  • Fatigue
  • Breath shortness
  • Trouble while performing physical activities
  • Numbness or coldness in different parts of the body like legs, feet, arms, or hands
  • Chest pain including in other body parts like arms or legs

How are Blood Vessel disorders diagnosed?

To diagnose blood vessel disorders, the healthcare expert involves several tests such as ultrasound, echocardiography, electrocardiography, exercise stress tests, CT Scan, MRI, angiography, cardiac catheterization, and tilt table test. 

What are the options for Blood Vessel disorder treatment?

Here is what the treatment for blood vessel disorders looks like:

  • Lifestyle changes like reducing the risk of blood vessel disorders by quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining healthy body weight, and restricting unhealthy food.
  • Medications are given for blood pressure management and diminishing the blood clot risk or reducing the cholesterol levels.
  • Nonsurgical procedures might be needed for certain blood vessel disorders. It involves minimally invasive procedures with the use of imaging to instruct catheters to the blood vessels. These procedures help in treating blood clots, aneurysms, and narrowed blood vessels.
  • Surgery is recommended for serious blood vessel conditions that are not improving with medicines or other treatment options.

Conclusion

Blood vessels transport blood from the heart throughout the body and are vital to ensure that organs and tissues are getting sufficient nutrients and oxygen that they need to function properly. Blood vessels can cause issues like enlargement or blockages. Some blood vessel disorders can be dangerous and require treatment on time. However, blood vessel disorders can be mitigated by maintaining a good and healthy lifestyle.

FAQ -

 

How to clean blood vessels naturally?

You must include berries, nuts, beetroots, beans, avocados, green vegetables, citrus fruits, and fish to clean blood vessels.

Which blood vessel does not carry any carbon dioxide?

The pulmonary vein doesn’t carry any carbon dioxide

What prevents the clotting of blood in blood vessels?

Thrombomodulin is a protein that helps to prevent the clotting of blood in blood vessels.