The Beat of My Heart

To look at it simply, the heart is just a mechanical pump, made up of very powerful muscles. Its job is to pumps blood around your body constantly every day of your life. Like any muscle in your body, it requires its own blood supply which brings it oxygen and nutrients to keep it alive, and able to do its job.

This blood supply travels to the heart muscle by way of small coronary arteries. These are normally able to respond to varying demands which the heart muscle makes by dilating (opening wider) or constricting (narrowing). When the heart speeds up, it requires more energy to do the extra work; so the coronary arteries dilate and deliver more oxygen to the heart muscles.

As the heart returns to its resting mode, less oxygen is required and the coronary arteries constrict to their original size. However, things sometimes go wrong with the coronary arteries, and the outcome can be either angina or a heart attack. heart

The diagram below shows the heart muscle and its coronary arteries.




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