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Maintaining an Internal Balance

- In a system that is in dynamic equilibrium, parts of the system change, but the overall system remains the same.

- Your body is an example of dynamic equilibrium. The following are systems that help maintain this equilibrium:



Nervous: Autonomic, Central




Pattern of Homeostasis

Stimulus à receptor à regulatory centre à effector à responses

^ l

l-------------- feedback -------------

Homeostasis and Control Systems

- Homeostasis refers to the body’s attempt to adjust to a fluctuating external environment.

- All homeostatic control systems have three functional components: a monitor, a coordinating center, and a regulator.

- Negative feedback mechanisms trigger a response that reverses the changed condition.

- Positive feedback systems move the controlled variable even further away from a steady state.



Physiological Response


Decreased environmental temperature

- Constriction of blood vessels in skin

- Hairs on body erect

- Shivering

- Heat is conserved

- More heat is generated by increased metabolism

Increased environmental temperature

- Dilation of blood vessels of skin

- Sweating

- Heat is dissipated

Eat fish two to three times a week to reap its many health benefits.

Food powers your life. It fuels all bodily processes that enable you to move, think and breathe. There is no aspect of your life that is not influenced by what you eat. Fueling your body with processed food, fast food, sugar, fat and calorie-dense food affects who you are, what you do and your ability to pursue your dreams and aspirations. Food is that powerful – use it to your advantage.

Physical Well Being

Strength, agility, coordination, endurance, speed and level of performance are all powered by the foods you eat. What you eat determines how you tackle your daily physical activities, including housework, your job, school, homework, shopping, caring for a family and exercise. Eating healthy enables body movements to be executed with ease. A poor diet with unhealthy food choices can make each movement a major effort filled with stress, strain and pain. If you prefer sugar-laden simple carbohydrates to healthier whole grains, fruits and vegetables, you alternate between energy spikes and crashes. A diet filled with fried foods soaked in unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats and high-fat meats increases your risk for major diseases that impair your physical well being and threaten your life. Replace or limit foods containing unhealthy saturated fats and treat your body to the protective and restorative benefits of unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, fish and nuts.

Mental Health

Food supplies the source of power for your brain as well as your body, and has a direct relationship to mental and emotional health and stability. Learning and memory, illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease benefit from a healthy, reduced-calorie diet that includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. According to an article published in “American Psychologist” in October 2011, reducing excess calories may offer protection against obesity-related neurodegenerative processes, cognitive impairment and reduced brain volume and function.

Eating and Relationships

Eating a healthy diet keeps you physically and mentally fit. When you look good, you feel good and you have self-confidence and fewer inhibitions; you are more outgoing and have a greater capacity for enjoying life. Unhealthy food choices lead to obesity and illness, prevent you from socializing with friends and family, zap your energy, leaving nothing for you to look forward to at the end of the day other than being home, sprawled out on your couch. Eating a healthy, balanced diet prevents weight gain, lowers your risk for diet-related illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and depression, and gives you the energy to have a full and rewarding social life. If overcoming bad dietary habits is a problem, speak with your doctor or a dietitian about making better food choices based on your personal lifestyle and food preferences.

Behavioral Problems in Adolescents

A study published in the May 23, 2009 issue of “Preventive Medicine” examined the effects of dietary patterns on mental health in two groups of subjects ranging in age from 13 to 15 years old. The three-year study reviewed behavior patterns of participants eating a Western diet of refined foods, sugary foods and red meats, and subjects eating a healthy diet, which included fresh fruit and leafy green vegetables. A higher percentage of negative behavior patterns involving depression, aggression and delinquency were associated with participants consuming the Western-style diet. Subjects eating the healthy diet displayed better mental health outcomes.

The Importance of Homeostasis in the Human Body: Keeping Us Alive

Homeostasis is maintained within the body by a complex series of organs and organ systems. Learn more about how they work together to keep our body functioning properly.


When equilibrium within the body is maintained, homeostasis is said to occur. The human body maintains a steady internal environment for the proper functioning of the body.

Maintaining a constant internal environment requires the body to make many adjustments. Adjustments within the body are referred to as regulation of homeostasis. Homeostatic regulation is comprised of three parts: a receptor, a control center and an effector. The receptor functions by receiving information about any changes that are occurring in the environment while the control center processes that information and the effector executes the commands of the control center by making changes in response.

All the organ systems of the body work together to maintain homeostasis within the body. Before we look at the various organ systems involved and how they work together to maintain a normal internal environment, we will look at the different aspects of the human body and how does the human body maintain homeostasis.

· Various Factors in the Internal Environment

The constant monitoring and regulation of the internal environment is crucial for survival. Various factors that the body regulates help maintain homeostasis. We will briefly look at some of them:

1. Temperature: As warm-blooded creatures, humans constantly maintain a set temperature of their internal environment. Thermal Various organs and organ systems within the body regulate the body themrally. Liver and muscle contractions are primarily responsible for generating heat within the body. When the temperature of the body is greater than the surroundings, the skin loses heat. The body gains heat by radiation and conduction if the temperature of the body is lower than the surroundings. Evaporation is also a means of cooling down the body temperature and getting rid of excess heat. The brain also produces a lot of heat. The system of blood vessels comprising the head, allow the excess heat to escape and cool the head off.

2. Osmoregulation: Osmoregulation involves the regulation of osmotic pressure of bodily fluids. The body makes sure that the water content within the body does not become too diluted or too concentrated. Kidneys help by removing excess ions from the blood. This is then excreted as urine and affects the osmotic pressure.

3. Sugar: Sugar levels within the body are also regulated to maintain homeostasis. The pancreas secretes two hormones essential to regulating blood sugar levels. These are glucagon and insulin. A drop in sugar levels intiates the pancreas to release insulin causing glucose to be stored in the body cells as glycogen. As a result, blood sugar levels within the body are lowered. When the blood sugar levels reach a low, glucagon is released from the pancreas which causes the release of glycogen from the body cells which is then converted to glucose, raising blood sugar levels.

4. Calcium: Calcium regulation within the body occurs when calcium-sensing receptors get activated by low calcium levels. These receptors are located in the parathyroid gland. A release of PTH occurs by the parathyroid gland, which works by increasing blood calcium levels by release of calcium from bones.C cells located in the thyroid gland, release calcitonin, which helps lower calcium levels by absorption of calcium into the bones.

5. Balance of Fluids: The maintenance of homeostasis requires adequate balance of fluids within the body. This balance includes both the gain as well as loss of fluids. Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and aldosterone are two major hormones that help maintain a fluid balance.

The digestive system further works in conjunction with the muscular, skeletal, nervous, endocrine, lymphatic, reproductive and respiratory systems. Both certain bones of the skeletal system and muscles of the muscular system are involved in chewing food. The muscular system also plays an important role in swallowing food and moving the products of the digestion process along the gastrointestinal tract. The endocrine system interacts with the digestive system in that there are hormones that play a role the digestion process. The functioning of the nervous system can also have an impact on how digestion progresses.

The lymphatic system is involved in the absorption of fats consumed through food that enters the digestive system, and the digestive system works with the reproductive system to supply the nutrients necessary for successful conception and healthy development of offspring.

The respiratory system shares the anatomical structure called the pharynx with the digestive system. The pharynx is involved in transporting both air and food.

The Digestive System works with the Circulatory System

The digestive system works very closely with the circulatory system to get the absorbed nutrients distributed through your body. The circulatory system also carries chemical signals from your endocrine system that control the speed of digestion.

Digestive System works with Excretory System

The digestive system also works in parallel with your excretory system (kidneys and urination). While the digestive system collects and removes undigested solids, the excretory system filters compounds from the blood stream and collects them in urine. They are closely connected in controlling the amount of water in your body.

Digestive Dependence Upon Nervous System

Digestive processes provide the building blocks for some neurotransmitters.

The autonomic nervous system controls the tone of the digestive tract.

The brain controls drinking and feeding behavior.

The brain controls muscles for eating and elimination.

The digestive system sends sensory information to the brain.

Digestive Dependence Upon Respiration

The digestive tract is dependent upon the respiratory system, because your digestive tract functions by using muscular contractions to break up food and move it along the tract. Smooth muscle in the stomach churns food into a liquid, and contractions of the intestine move food through the system. These muscles depend upon oxygen in order to function -- without oxygen, your digestive tract would stop working.