Anatomy and Physiology

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After a heavy meal it is more beneficial to rest. This is because when the body is at rest, the abdominal organs receive roughly 24% of the total blood flow. However, during exercise blood flow is directed to the skeletal muscles and away from the abdominal organs. Therefore it is wiser to rest after taking a heavy meal in order to allow proper flow of blood to the abdominal organs which ensures optimum functioning of the organs. This is important for proper digestion and absorption of food.

a) Weak pulse-This is as a result of low blood volume which occurs due to heavy blood loss hence there is no sufficient volume of blood to fill the blood vessels leading to a weak pulse.

b) Pale skin- Shock may be brought about by massive loss of blood which lowers the volume of blood flow to the skin hence the skin appears brighter than normal since there is lack of enough blood.

c) Cool skin-One of the primary functions of blood is to distribute heat throughout the body. During shock there is massive loss of blood resulting in reduction in the volume of blood. The reduction in volume lowers the supply of heat to body parts making the skin cold.

d) Tachycardia-This refers to the abnormally rapid beating of the heart. During shock there is a lower volume of blood which results in the insufficient supply of oxygen and other important substance to body organs. In an attempt to make up for the slower rate of oxygen transport, the brain signals the heart to beat more rapidly so as to make up for the reduced carrying capacity of the blood.

Advantages of having baroreceptors in the aortic arch and carotid sinus rather than in some other location.

a) The carotid sinus reflex protects the blood supply to the brain, whereas the aortic reflex is more concerned with maintaining adequate blood pressure in the systemic circuit as a whole.

b) Massage of the carotid sinus, carotid sinus massage is used to diagnose carotid sinus syncope and is sometimes useful for differentiating supraventricular tachycardia.

c) The carotid sinus contains numerous baroreceptors which function as a “sampling area” for many homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining blood pressure.

d) The carotid sinus is the reflex area of the carotid artery, consisting of various nerve receptors for baroregulation (pressure regulation of the body in sync to external conditions.

Blood pressures normally rise naturally as one gets older for both men and women in such a way that a 130 systolic blood pressure for a 30-year old (which is roughly 100 plus their age) becomes 150 in a fifty year adult old and 160 in a 60 year old adult with blood pressure readings in men exceeding those for women by around 10 mm Hg. This systolic pressure is the pressure peak with each beat of the heart (systole) and the diastolic pressure is the basal pressure that is in the blood vessels during relaxation of the heart (diastole)