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Thursday, September 2, 2010
I have come to find that the human body is the most complex yet, fascinating structure to be walking on this Earth. The human, and any other living creature, has unchanging basic needs of survival which include: nutrients, oxygen, water, maintaining a normal body temperature, and living in a livable atmospheric pressure. All these factors are basic needs, but how does the body deal with all the variables to keep these factors balanced? The answer is homeostasis. Homeostasis is the maintaining of the balance of the bodies internal environment while the external environment is consistently undergoing changes.
With that much being said, what exactly does the body have to balance out? One main and popular example of homeostasis that the body undergoes every day, is balancing out the glucose levels in the blood and body. This "balance" usually occurs once you eat a meal or any food that will bring up the glucose levels in your body. It's the bodies job to balance out the glucose so, it goes through a three step process to get there. The receptor, which responds to the imbalance in the body, the control center, which pin points the direct change, and the effector, which directly responds to the changes to fix the problem. The diagram above shows how the body goes through this process when the bodies temperature is too hot or too cold. This is an example of negative feedback. Negative feedback is where the body drops high levels to balanced levels and visa versa. Another type of feed back is positive feedback. This is where the body enhances the changes in the body rather than balancing it out. Positive feedback does not happen as often as negative feedback but, it usually happens when there is a deep cut and the body creates blood clots and also when a women is giving birth to a child and the contractions grow stronger and stronger to push the baby out of the body.
After learning about homeostasis I was interested what would happen if homeostasis was ineffective in the body. One situation that I found to be ineffective was that of diabetes. With diabetes, there is not enough production of insulin to lower the levels of glucose that is in the body. Since the body can't naturally lower the levels of glucose, people with diabetes have to inject an outer source of insulin into the body and homeostasis can once again take place in the body. I found this to be very interesting! I would like to know what other ineffective symptoms can effect homeostasis.