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Homeostasis Study Guide

Homeostasis refers to the steady-state of physical and chemical conditions maintained by living organisms necessary for their survival.

Introduction:

In 1865, a French physiologist, Claude Bernard, first introduced the concept of homeostasis in the body. However, it was later popularized by Walter Bradford Cannon in 1926.

Homeostasis is derived from two ancient Greek words pronounced as homoios and histemi, which mean combined respectively translates to similar and standing still.

What is Homeostasis?

  • Homeostasis is the tendency or ability of a cell or the whole body to maintain and seek an equilibrium condition irrespective of its external environment.

  • Homeostasis biology can be explained as a living organism’s skill of staying within range against fluctuations in the environment.

  • This helps the organism to stabilize and sustain itself on Earth.

The Process of Homeostasis

The homeostatic systems in the body have a specific way of functioning, and the biological systems in your body are pushed away constantly from equilibrium. For example, if you are exercising, your muscles will increase the heat production of your body. In turn, this will increase your body’s temperature.

homeostasis Source

Likewise, your blood glucose level goes up when you drink fruit juice.

  • Homeostasis refers to your body’s ability to detect as well as to oppose these changes.
  • Homeostasis in the body is maintained through negative feedback loops.
  • The loops act against the stimulus, which disrupts body stability.
  • For example, when you have a high body temperature, the negative feedback loop will try to bring it to its optimal temperature, 37 degrees celsius.

Components of Homeostasis Regulation

components of homeostasis Source

There are three components that help in regulating homeostasis in our body. These are as follows:

1. Receptors

They receive information regarding your body’s status. Receptors perceive and monitor the changes in both the external and internal environment. They are present as sensory nerve terminals which receive the stimulus. After that, they send an appropriate response by producing nerve impulses as per the extent, absence/presence, and type of stimulation.

2. Control Centers

This area is also called the integration center. Control centers receive and process the information provided by the receptors. The renin-angiotensin system and the respiratory center are some examples of control centers.

3. Effectors

They respond to the information processed and passed by the control centers. This would help the body to either oppose the change or enhance it to maintain equilibrium. The gland or muscle are examples of effectors at an organ or tissue level. Whereas at a cellular level, nuclear receptors are an example of effectors.

What is Homeostasis Breakdown?

  • When your body fails to maintain homeostasis, it prevents the body from functioning properly.
  • It may even fail to sustain life itself.
  • Continuous imbalance in homeostasis can result in diseases and illnesses.
  • It can even cause disability or death in severe cases.

Some of the common factors that can impact homeostasis are as follows:

  1. Side effects of medical procedures and medications
  2. Psychological health
  3. Toxins and venoms
  4. Nutrition and diet
  5. Physical condition
  6. Genetics

Conclusion:

  • Homeostasis is a steady internal state where physical and chemical conditions are maintained by living organisms.
  • Various optimal factors such as body temperature, balance of fluid come into play.
  • Receptors, control centres and effectors are the three major components of homeostasis.

FAQs:

1. What is the best way to describe homeostasis?

Homeostasis is a self regulating process that all living organisms use for maintaining internal and external stability while adjusting to the internal or external environment to survive themselves.

2. Which part of the body controls homeostasis?

The central nervous system and endocrine system of the body are the two major control systems that help in regulating homeostasis.

3. What are five examples of homeostasis?

The five examples of homeostasis in the body are as follows:

  1. Body temperature homeostasis
  2. Blood-oxygen concentration homeostasis
  3. Blood glucose homeostasis
  4. Body water volume homeostasis
  5. Arterial blood pressure homeostasis

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Sources:

  1. Homeostasis. https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/13.2/primary/lesson/homeostasis-bio/. Accessed 6 Dec, 2021.
  2. Homeostasis: The Underappreciated and Far Too Often Ignored Central Organizing Principle of Physiology. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2020.00200/full. Accessed 6 Dec, 2021.
  3. What is Homeostasis?. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-homeostasis/. Accessed 6 Dec, 2021.
  4. Homeostasis. https://www.britannica.com/science/homeostasis. Accessed 6 Dec, 2021.