Normally, we tend to pay no attention to our veins unless we experience a problem, be it painful varicose veins or some serious disorders. We know that veins are important for carrying blood back to the heart. Are there any other interesting facts which we should be aware of?
Here are a few things you should know to be more mindful about this important part of your body.
1) Your veins, capillaries and arteries would stretch for more than 60,000
miles if laid out.
Blood flowing through the circulatory system transports oxygen, water and nutrients to the cells throughout your body. The journey begins and ends with the heart. The vast network of arteries, veins and capillaries carry blood to every part of your body. However, did you know that if you took the blood vessels out of the body and stretch them out, it would stretch over 1,00,000 miles. In a child this would be 60,000 miles. Considering that the circumference of the Earth is around 24,873 miles, it means your blood vessels could circle the globe more than twice ! Interesting, isn’t it? And that’s how significant the circulatory system and its associated functions are.
2) Blood is alive!
Each drop of blood contains living red and white blood cells, and it is alive ! Without the heart, your blood would stop flowing. Without blood, your body would stop working.
3) Blood Pumping
On a daily basis, your heart pumps over 1,800 gallons of blood through your veins and other blood vessels. This means that over an average human lifespan, millions of gallons of blood will be pumped through your system.
The weather outside can affect your veins and other blood vessels. During hot summers, they tend to expand and cool your body temperature by releasing heat. On cold days, they shrink to conserve heat and energy. Smaller veins also contribute to increased blood flow to all parts of the body. Your veins might look smaller, but pain, cramps and swelling can disappear as well.
Excess body fat is a leading cause for varicose veins. Extra body weight adds more pressure on the veins and valves. Pumping blood against gravity back to the heart becomes tough. For every pound of fat gained, harder your veins work and more strain it puts on your heart. Over time the added stress on the veins can cause the valves to fail when the blood starts flowing backwards and pools around the legs. This may lead to the expansion of vein branches and cause varicose veins.
Interestingly, the human body can form new pathways and vessels if one becomes blocked or damaged! The process called angiogenesis, is the way that your body heals if you get a cut or wound. Similarly, veins can handle sudden changes in blood.
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