Your heart is a vital organ that, along with your brain and lungs, you absolutely cannot live without. Thus, it is important to keep it healthy with regular exercise, healthy foods, and an overall supportive lifestyle. That being said, millions of Americans have heart problems, and when they visit a cardiologist in Stockton for the first time, they may not exactly understand the problem. In this blog post, the cardiologists at Stockton Cardiology Medical Group will review parts of the heart so you will have a good idea of what your doctor is telling you the next time you see the cardiologist. Contact us for an appointment at either our Stockton, Manteca, Tracy, or San Andreas office today!
PARTS OF THE HEART
As you know, the heart’s job is to pump blood throughout the entire body. Blood carries oxygen to every cell in your body, keeping them alive. The blood then returns to the heart where it picks up more life-giving oxygen and continues this cycle all day long, every day of your life. This is why the heart is the central figure in the circulatory system.
The heart is a fascinating muscle located just behind the breastbone. It has four chambers:
- Right atrium. This heart chamber receives the deoxygenated blood from the veins. This blood is pumped into the right ventricle.
- Right ventricle. This heart chamber takes the blood from the right atrium and pumps it to the lungs, where the cells pick up oxygen.
- Left atrium. The blood with oxygen moves into the left atrium where it is pumped into the left ventricle.
- Left ventricle. This heart chamber takes this oxygen-rich blood and pumps it throughout our entire body. As you can imagine, this heart chamber is the strongest and is the chamber that creates our blood pressure.
HOW YOUR HEART BEATS
Kids ask all the time about their heart beats. After all, just how does your heart know when to beat? Your heart gets messages from the body based on the body’s needs. For example, your heart gets a rest when you are sleeping. It doesn’t beat as fast, and it pumps just enough to provide your body with the lesser amounts of oxygen it needs while you are sleeping. On the contrary, when you are running a race, your heart shoots into overdrive, pumping faster so that your body’s cells can get the oxygen they need to perform more work.
Signals sent through electronic impulses control your heart beats. Your right atrium contains what is known as the sinus node. This tiny area of tissue tells the heart when to contract. This tiny node is known as the pacemaker of your heart. Then the electrical impulses are related to another node called the atrioventricular node that pushes the signals to the right and left ventricle, telling them when to contract.
The actual sound of your heart beating (the distinctive lub, dub sound) is actually the sound of valves in your heart closing. The first sound you hear (the lub) is the sound of your atrioventricular valves closing. These valves keep blood flowing in the right direction. The dub sound you hear is the sound of the aortic and pulmonary valves closing, preventing the backflow of blood as well.
There are lots of fancy names for this process, but what it boils down to is this: your heart beat is the sound of an amazing process that will happen millions of times over the course of your lifetime. You are hearing the sound of blood being pumped to your lungs and back, and then of blood being pumped all throughout your body. There are many other components of your circulatory system that work in conjunction with your heart that all play a vital role in keeping you alive. Our heart is an amazing muscle that deserves our special care.
HOW THE STOCKTON MEDICAL GROUP CARES FOR YOUR HEART
The cardiologists at Stockton Medical Group have dedicated their lives to helping you not only maintain a healthy heart, but also helping you with heart problems. Our heart doctors can help you with all kinds of heart problems and conditions, including congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, chest pain, electrocardiogram, and more. Our team offers cardiology services at our offices in Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, and San Andreas to better serve your needs. Contact us today for a cardiology appointment!