Heart and Circulation

The circulatory system is composed of the heart and blood vessels, including arteries, veins, and capillaries. Our bodies actually have two circulatory systems: The pulmonary circulation is a short loop from the heart to the lungs and back again, and the systemic circulation (the system we usually think of as our circulatory system) sends blood from the heart to all the other parts of our bodies and back again.

Alan’s Story: Coping With Change After a Heart Attack

Alan is something of a miracle man. At the age of 32, he had a massive heart attack. But more than 40 years, 4 bypass surgeries, 30 angioplasties, and a combined pacemaker/defibrillator later, he’s still thriving. He learned how to cope with heart disease the hard way. Alan had always been healthy and athletic. Except…

Alcohol Increases the Risk of Cold Injury

Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of injury from cold exposure. Alcohol: Changes your body’s ability to regulate body temperature. Changes your judgment. For example, a person may not put on more clothing when it is needed if his or her judgment is changed by alcohol. Can cause blood vessels in the skin to get…

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is caused by long-term alcohol abuse. It is a type of dilated cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood efficiently. If your heart gets weaker, you may develop heart failure. Alcohol in excessive quantities has a directly toxic effect on heart muscle cells. Symptoms are…

Allen Test

The blood supply to your hand normally comes from two arteries: the radial artery and the ulnar artery. Before drawing blood for an arterial blood gas test, your health professional will make sure that both arteries are open and working correctly. A procedure called the Allen test may be used to find out if the blood…