It is amazing how little people know about their own heart. They believe myths they have heard over the years. Dr. Christopher Magovern, a heart surgeon, sets the record straight about many of the myths we have heard about the heart.
Description of the Heart
Your heart is an organ that pumps blood to every other organ in your body. Dr. Magovern says, the pressure of the heart is so strong that it can squirt blood thirty feet across a room.
Depending on the activity you are engaged in, your heart will pump one to seven gallons of blood a minute, and as much as 2000 gallons a day. Over the course of your lifetime, your heart will pump one million barrels of blood.
Location of the Heart
Most people think the heart is located on the left side of the chest. That’s why they put there hand there when they pledge allegiance to the flag. The heart is located in the center of the chest between the right and left lung. However, it does tilt slightly to the left.
Size of the Heart
An average heart weighs less than one pound, and is roughly the size and shape of your clenched fist. The outward appearance of a man’s heart is identical to that of a woman’s heart, but there are some differences. An average man’s heart weighs 10 ounces, and an average woman’s heart weighs only 8 ounces. Even though a woman’s heart is smaller, it beats faster than a man’s heart. The average heart rate of a man is only 70 beats per minute compared to a woman’ heart that has 78 beats per minute.
Your heart will continue to beat as long as it receives oxygen even if it is out of your body. The heart has its own electrical system that causes your heart to beat.
Your heart started to beat four weeks after conception and doesn’t stop beating until you die. It beats 100,000 times a day, and almost one million times a week.
Color of the heart
It is all right for hearts to be red on Valentine’s Day cards. However, the heart is not red at all. It is true that blood that is pumped through the heart is red, but the heart is darker and browner than the blood it pumps. The color of the heart is like the color of a colonial brick house. The surface of the heart has lots of fat deposits that makes the surface of the heart look yellow.
Damage to the Heart
Viruses that cause a common cold can weaken your heart. Your heart will usually recover its function once the virus runs its course.
Excessive alcohol intake and certain cancer-fighting chemotherapy drugs can damage your heart.
Heart Attack And Chest Pains
You can have a heart attack with feeling chest pains. Although the common symptoms of a heart attack include heaviness or tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath, there are many other possible symptoms including fatigue, sweating, nausea, palpitations, and neck or arm pain. Some people, particularly diabetics, may have no symptoms at all. When a heart attack occurs in this setting it’s called a “silent” heart attack.
Can You Die From A Broken Heart?
Yes, you can die from a broken heart. Emotions and stress can cause your body to release certain hormones that, under certain circumstances, can paralyze large portions of your heart. This is called a “broken heart syndrome.” The stress that triggers this phenomenon can be the death of a loved one, the loss of job, a surprise party or even the fear of performing in public. This syndrome is only temporary, and after supportive measures, heart function usually returns to normal.
Here is a short quiz to test your knowledge about the heart.