Part as it is the brain’s processing

Part B

Homeostasis

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Why homeostasis is important in the body

Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal
environment within an organism or cell to maintain equilibrium, usually using a
system of feedback controls to stabilise health and proper functioning.
Homeostasis can control steady water levels, blood sugar level and temperature
which are vital in survival as they can be changed depending on the external
environment, whether being in a cold or hot climate, the body will adapt
internally in order to keep itself functioning. The human body has receptors to
detect stimuli, processing centres which receive information, a coordinator that
will receive and control the information from the receptor and trigger the
response that will correct the change and an effector that carries out the
action that will bring about the change.

 

For example, the body’s overall temperature needs to always remain
at 37 degrees Celsius as enzymes can only function properly at this temperature.
There are temperature receptors found within the skin which can detect change within
the external environment and then this information is passed onto the
hypothalamus as it is the brain’s processing centre and it also has receptors
that can detect change in blood temperature. Whenever the internal or external
temperature changes, the hypothalamus will be triggered and result in a change
in the body’s effector (in this case sweat glands and muscles) to maintain the
correct temperature. If it discovers that the body is too hot, glands within
the skin will secrete sweat onto its surface which will increase heat loss by
evaporation. If the body is too cold, muscles in the skin contract, causing the
hair on the arms to stand up straight which in turn traps a layer of warm air
next to the skin to prevent heat loss. This happens all over the body in many
different ways in order to maintain stability in the body or the body could
malfunction.

 

How the endocrine system is involved with homeostasis

The endocrine system has glands that secrete hormones, which
are chemical messenger molecules, into the bloodstream to be used in another
part of the body. The endocrine has an important role within homeostasis
because it is the hormone’s job to regulate the activity of body cells which
can be changed to achieve homeostasis. Release of hormones is controlled by a
stimulus which either increases or decreases the number of hormones secreted,
depending on what is needed for a specific situation.

 

The endocrine system is involved with certain homeostatic
regulations such as osmoregulation, where antidiuretic hormones (ADH) are
released from the pituitary glands in the kidneys. ADH balances the
concentration of urine by absorbing water, so too much water in the blood will
increase ADH release, while too little water will decrease ADH release. The
endocrine system is also involved in thermoregulation as the hypothalamus can
detect change in blood temperature.

 

Examples of homeostasis within the body

Glucose level within the bloodstream must be maintained in
homeostasis, so when this level changes, the body will react to correct it.
When there is an increase in glucose levels in the blood, for example, eating
glucose rich food such as fruit and vegetable, the increase of the glucose
level in the blood will be detected by the beta cells found in the pancreas.
The pancreas then releases insulin into the bloodstream which helps the liver
to take up the glucose and break it down into glycogen to be stored. Insulin
increases the rate of respiration within the body cells, therefore increasing
the glucose uptake which helps in the regulation of the glucose level in the
blood. This is a negative feedback loop because the change detected was an
increase and this had to be reduced.

 

When there is a decrease in glucose level in the blood, for
example, not eating for an entire day, the alpha cells in the pancreas will
detect this change and glucagon will be released. The glucagon will facilitate
the breakdown of glycogen stored to glucose within the liver and released into
the bloodstream, therefore increasing the glucose level in the blood.

 

Hyperglycemia
is when the glucose level is above the normal range (980mg – 100mg / 100ml),
this can be a

result of type 1 diabetes where the body cannot make
insulin, or type 2 diabetes where the body cannot respond to insulin properly,
so the glucose builds up in the blood. This can result in damaging the vessels
that supply blood to vital organs, increasing risk of heart disease/stroke,
kidney disease, vision problems and nerve problems for diabetic people.
Hypoglycemia is the opposite, where the level of glucose in the blood is lower
than the normal range which can be a result of not eating, or not taking
diabetic medicine and can result in confusion, seizures or death.

 

The blood oxygen level is also maintained through
homeostasis, as the kidneys constantly measure how much oxygen is in the blood,
if they discover that there is a decreased red blood cell count, then there is
a low blood oxygen carrying affinity, leading to decreased haemoglobin, meaning
that there is a decreased availability of oxygen. Erythropoietin (EPO, a
hormone produced by a specialised cell in the kidney) is secreted by the
kidneys which will then stimulate red bone marrow. Red blood cells are then
produced by the red bone marrow as it is the effector which will in turn
increase the red blood cell count, meaning the oxygen level is increased,
maintaining homeostasis.

 

Carbon
dioxide is a waste product of respiration, in order to leave the body, it
travels in the

blood stream
from the cells to the lungs where it leaves the body during exhaling. Carbon
dioxide forms an

acidic solution
when it dissolves in water, so the carbon dioxide levels must be controlled to
prevent the

blood from
becoming too acidic or too alkaline. If carbon dioxide levels get too high, the
pH of the blood can

be affected,
resulting in blood proteins and enzymes being affected too which can result in
blood clotting.

During a
feedback loop, the CO2 level increases, decreasing the pH and oxygen
levels in the blood

decrease as
well as cerebrospinal fluid. The reflex response has the chemoreceptors being stimulated,

resulting in
the respiratory response where the medulla oblongata (Lowest part of the
brainstems that

controls the
heart and lungs) is stimulated, increasing the respiratory rate, therefore
restoring homeostasis

with the CO2
level decreasing, pH increasing, oxygen levels in the blood and CSF
increasing.

 

How each key organ system works together and contributes
to overall functioning of the human body

All
of the major organ systems in the human body work together in at least way in
order to keep the body functioning. The cardiovascular system, which is
responsible for blood circulation around the body, transports oxygen, carbon
dioxide, nutrients and hormones to keep the body functioning. The
cardiovascular system works with the endocrine system as the hormones released
by glands within the endocrine system, use the bloodstream to transport
hormones around the body to where they are required. The cardiovascular system
also works with the digestive system, as the digestive system processes food,
nutrients and water are absorbed into the bloodstream which can then be
transported to where they are required around the body. The cardiovascular
system and excretory system coordinate because the kidneys filter out waste and
fluid from the bloodstream to produce urine which is micturated from the
bladder, this keeps the blood as clean as possible. The nervous system can
prepare the body for the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism with the sympathetic and
parasympathetic systems, which can raise the heart rate as there is more
adrenaline or inhibit it.

 

The
endocrine system works with the digestive system as the pancreas can produce
insulin, which is used to regulate glucose levels in the blood, which helps in
maintaining homeostasis. The excretory system is regulated by the endocrine
system, because the hypothalamus can detect when the body is dehydrated so
antidiuretic hormones are created and released from the pituitary gland, then
circulates to the kidneys where it causes them to increase their rate of
reabsorption of water until homeostasis is restored. The endocrine and nervous
systems are both communication systems within the body and are connected by the
hypothalamus, which controls the autonomic system, and this is responsible for
bodily functions not controlled consciously. The hypothalamus is also
responsible for secreting many different hormones for where the nervous system
detects that they are required. The nervous system also works with the
digestive system as it can control the digestive tract’s size and tone to
maximise its use.

 

The
digestive system helps all other systems in the body as it provides nutrients,
which provide energy, allowing everything to grow and function as it should.
The excretory system also helps all of the other organ systems as it expels the
waste products out of the bloodstream, which reaches all organ systems.

 

 

 

 

Compare
and contrast how the endocrine system and nervous system help control our body
functions

The endocrine
and nervous systems have both similarities and differences, the largest
difference is that the

nervous
system uses chemical impulses through a continuous network of neurons to relay
messages in

both chemical
and electrical forms and are much quicker but shorter lasting. The endocrine
system uses

chemical messengers
called hormones which are transported through the cardiovascular system using
the

blood stream
towards their target cells and while this signal transmission is slow, the
functions are longer

lasting. There
are countless different types of hormones in the endocrine system, whereas in
the nervous

system, there
are only three different types of neurons: sensory neurons which carry
information from the

sensory
receptors, motor neurons, which transmit information from the brain to the
muscles of the body and

interneurons
which communicate between different neurons within the body.

 

Both systems
regulate bodily functions, however the nervous system mainly transmits
information

regarding
external stimuli, meanwhile the endocrine system transmits information
affecting the interior and

wellbeing of
the interior of the body. They are both connected via the pituitary glands
which is connected to

the
hypothalamus which allows the nervous system to send and receive information
from the endocrine

system, which
in turn, regulates reactions going on around the body. The nervous system can
detect

changes in
the environment which can activate a response from the endocrine system in
order to carry out

a change.