5 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About Blood Vessels

Did you ever consider just how interconnected your blood vessels are to your overall health? Here are five things you didn't know about blood vessels

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April 29, 2019
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There are many things you may not know about blood vessels. For starters, did you know that this vast network of muscle-comprised elastic tubes is so long that, if laid out, they would span 60,000 miles—enough to circle the globe twice? Furthermore, it pumps 1,800 pounds of blood to the heart every single day. This means that you are blood vessels are literally and figuratively your lifeline. Without them, your vital organs wouldn’t have what they needed to help your body function normally. With that in mind, here are five other interesting things you didn’t know about blood vessels:

They Protect Your Brain

Blood vessels create a strong force field around your brain to protect it from foreign invaders. These critical defense systems—comprised of blood vessels and tissue—are so densely packed together, that they are able to stop harmful substances from entering while still allowing water and oxygen to flow through.

This forcefield is so strong that it makes it extremely difficult for doctors to deliver anticancer medications and other substances that could be helpful in treating certain diseases and viruses. This is because the barrier that remains in place cannot always tell the difference between what will help it and what will not, such as a foreign substance. As a result, some diseases, like brain cancer and Parkinson’s, are hurt by the blood vessels defense system. However, ultimately, the body’s critical defense system does much more good than bad.

Chocolate Is Good for Blood Vessels

You may already be well aware of the ample benefits of chocolate. The fact is, chocolate is very good for your blood vessels. A study published in the scientific journal Heart found that when you consume various amounts of chocolate (especially dark chocolate), it could lower your risk of stroke and heart disease, ultimately keeping your blood vessels healthy. This is because chocolate is chock full of micronutrients that have rich antioxidants.

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Brain Freezes Are Caused By Blood Vessels

Brain freezes can be incredibly uncomfortable, and sometimes scary. If you’ve ever swallowed too much ice cream too fast or bit straight down into a popsicle or snow cone, you might have experienced an extreme headache that made it impossible for you to focus. The scientific term for this is called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, and when this occurs, it sends signals to your brain to tell you to slow down.

“Brain freeze is really a type of headache that is rapid in onset, but rapidly resolved as well,” neuroscientist Dwayne Godwin told Science Daily. “Our mouths are highly vascularized, including the tongue—that’s why we take our temperatures there. But drinking a cold beverage fast doesn’t give the mouth time to absorb the cold very well.”

The warning signals occur when cold substances have hit the back of the throat too quickly. The internal carotid artery, which is responsible for providing blood to the brain from the throat region, and brain tissue sits at the anterior cerebral artery on the throat juncture. Because the brain receptors begin where these aforementioned arteries meet, they are triggered by substances that are too cold and shut down.

They Could Be Harmed While Working

Your blood vessels are complex and sensitive. There are certain professions that could put a strain on your blood vessels, and unfortunately, there are many management teams that ignore the laws and protocols mandated to keep their employees safe. For example, employees who work standing too long without breaks in industries like manufacturing might find that blood could pool in their legs from the gravity. And because your body experiences a bit of a delay pushes blood upward, it could restrict blood flow to the brain.

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Many people who work in tough, physically demanding environments unknowingly put themselves at risk for complications, says the Barnes Firm, a personal injury attorney in San Diego. Sometimes, you might find yourself experiencing serious health issues and injuries that are related to your workplace, and it’s important to see a medical professional or lawyer if conditions are causing your body harm.

Weather Affects Blood Vessels

Your internal temperature is monitored by your circulatory system. As such, your blood vessels will constrict or expand, depending on whether the body is trying to conserve or release heat. Some temperature is so extreme, that the blood vessels are unable to carry out their natural duties. For example, in extreme icy conditions, your blood vessels will completely constrict and shut down circulation. This will finally cause the skin tissue to die.

Conclusion

Your blood vessels are a fascinating part of the body that impact so much of your overall health and wellbeing. Treating them with care is a key part of living a healthy life!