You’ve heard of cardiology issues and you’ve likely heard of respiratory issues. But did you know that they can often be interconnected? They are both complex systems in our body. Issues in one area can often cause symptoms in another. Here’s a breakdown of the two and their interaction.
Your heart is a muscle at the center of the circulatory system. Its sole role is to pump blood to your entire body. This is how nutrients are spread from the blood all the way to your fingers and toes! It can also carry away waste like carbon dioxide. The heart has four chambers, but two separate pumps. The right side of the heart takes in the oxygen-low blood from the veins and pumps it into the lungs. The left side of your heart is where the high oxygen blood enters and is pumped back to the rest of your body. Just think how many times your heart has done this while reading this paragraph!
Take a deep breath. Now breathe out. You just used your entire respiratory system. The main organs that it consists of are: nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi and lungs. The lungs are the largest organ in the respiratory system. Each time you breathe, they are taking in oxygen and pushing out carbon dioxide. The oxygen that comes into your respiratory system is vital to the human life and is then carried by blood throughout the body.
What do these both have in common? Oxygen. Both have a goal of getting oxygen to your entire body, each in their own way. The oxygen’s first stop after you take a deep breath is to travel from the windpipes down to the lungs. Your lungs get to work by moving this oxygen to the bloodstream and filtering through the carbon dioxide. Next, the heart pulls in the blood with low oxygen levels and pushes it back to the lungs. Then the blood re-enters the lungs as it meets more oxygen from your next breath. Your blood now has freshly oxygenated blood that can go to the rest of your body.
The two are essentially a partnership for keeping your entire body in check. This close connection means that any breathing problems you have can be caused by either of these systems, or both. For example, if you notice yourself having repeated shortness of breath, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with your lungs. In fact, this can often be a sign of early heart failure. In the same way, if you suffer from COPD, you are at a much greater risk for heart disease.
As you can see, it’s very important to make sure both your heart and lungs are working together as they should. We offer a variety of testing to find out what cardiac or respiratory issue is affecting you. Contact us today!