Homeostasis Term Paper

979 words - 4 pages

Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment. Once the climate is stable, it allows an organism to be independent of changes in the external environment.

Homeostasis is needed because the conditions outside of our body are changing all the time; however, the conditions, like pH and body temperature, within our body must be kept constant. The body temperature has to stay constant to ensure that enzymes do not get inactivated or denatured since enzymes only work within a certain temperature range. Tissue fluid must be kept at a constant pH and water potential because the change in pH affects enzyme reactions in the cells, and the change in water potential affects the cells.

Homeostatic control involves a principle called negative. For example, if the water potential of blood increases above normal, it is detected by a receptor. The body responds by returning the water potential back to normal condition. If the water potential gets too low, the body responds, and the water potential rises to normal again. Negative feedback is described as the body always reacting to bring an opposite effect to the changes. If the system is disturbed, the disturbance sets in motion a sequence of events that tends to restore the system back to its original state.

Another principle of homeostasis is positive feedback, which is a mechanism by which an output is enhanced. This mechanism is designed to accelerate of enhance the output created by a stimulus that has already been activated. A real-world example of positive feedback would be if a person earns more interest, their bank account will grow.

In order for homeostatic control to occur, there must be a stimulus, which is a change in the internal environment, a receptor, which can detect the stimulus, and an automatic or self-regulatory corrective mechanism, which brings about negative feedback to the stimulus. Examples of homeostasis in the body are the regulation of blood glucose concentration, regulation of blood water potential, and temperature regulation.

The integumentary system plays a huge role in homeostasis. The skin protects the internal body parts, temperature regulation, sensory reception, biochemical synthesis, and absorption. The skin's primary functions are to serve as a barrier to the entry of microbes and viruses and to prevent water and extracellular fluid loss. When a microbe penetrates the skin, the inflammatory response occurs. The skin is an important barrier to infections and diseases. It plays a part in the feedback loop that regulates body temperature, and it synthesizes important vitamins for our bodies.

Homeostasis helps in regulating blood glucose concentration when it rises and falls. When the blood glucose concentration rises above normal levels, the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas are stimulated. The corrective mechanism begins when the Islets of Langerhans secrete more insulin, which is transported by the blood to the liver and muscl...

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