Unit 5: Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Social Care Level 3 Diploma
P5, P6, M2, M3, D2
According to Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers (2009), Homeostasis is a tendency to equilibrium or stability in the normal physiological states of the organism. In more simple terms homeostasis is the name of the process that constantly maintains the internal environment against factors such as external changes. The internal environment in this case is our body; the blood, body cell contents, tissue fluid and all metabolic processes.
For homeostasis to be able to work there are homeostatic mechanisms that travel around the bodies’ organs, glands, tissues and cells monitoring and checking for changes such as pH of blood and tissue fluid. When the mechanisms find a change or deviation they send messages back to the brain with negative feedback. The brain then uses the information it has received to compare it to the normal and then initiates a response to return that part of the body system to its original state. A response that it might send out would be for example if the blood sugar level was too high the brain would respond by sending enzymes carrying insulin which would help by decreasing the levels, returning the blood sugar level to its normal state.
Our body can also tell us to change something before getting to the stage where we physically need it. For example if your body is starting to run low on energy because you have not eaten for a while it may cause you to feel cold or tired. This is because the nervous system and brain can anticipate changes before they happen. This way our brain can tell us to eat something so that we can receive the energy we need before we reach the low energy state.
Homeostatic mechanisms play an important role in the how the heartbeat is regulated. The heart itself is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. This system is split into two; the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic...