Creating an Equilibrium Between Personal Comfort Zone and Surrounding Environment

Published: 2021-09-24 02:30:12
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Category: Human Body

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Homeostasis
It is common knowledge that most modern homes have a thermostat that controls the inside temperature of a home. You turn the heat up during the winter when it is cold outside to keep a comfortable temperature, usually around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, inside the home. On the hot days of the summer you turn the thermostat down to get air conditioning to keep the home from rising above a temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. People do this because cause their bodies feel the most comfortable at about 70 degrees, give or take a little. Essentially this is a process of keeping our inside environment (inside our home), in equilibrium with our comfort zone, as the exterior environment, which is the weather patterns of a geographic area, changes dramatically. A similar process takes place inside the human body. This process is called Homeostasis. Homeostasis is a active process by which the human body keeps its internal environment within ideal limits, regardless of changes to our external environment. The skin is the wall or barrier separating the external environment from the internal environment. Without homeostasis, the environments of earth would kill humans all to easily.
One major aspect of homeostasis is to control the temperature of the body. This is called thermoregulation. Thermoregulation relies on range of environmental qualities rather than a set point. This is a very good thing because it allows for some wiggle room rather than trying to stay rigidly at only one exact set point. Trying to stay at only one exact set point would over work the temperature controls. Living on earth where there are a lot of different weather and temperatures, the wider the acceptable range the better. Typically the human body stays at about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. People can complement thermoregulation by wearing heavy clothes when it is cold or light clothes when it is warm, but the multiple systems of the body do most of the work naturally. When the body temperature begins the drop below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a control center in the brain activates warming mechanisms. The body responds by having blood veins and arteries near the skin constrict, the metabolic rate increases, and the body may begin to shiver. These mechanisms keep the body temperature from dropping further. When the body temperature begins to rise above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a control center in the brain activates cooling mechanisms. Cooling mechanisms include the blood veins and arteries near the skin dilate, and sweat glands produce sweat to remove the excess heat from the body. (Simon, 2012, p. 467). There are however exception’s, after all, the body is not invincible. Extreme cold conditions can cause the bodies warming mechanisms to fail, in which case the body temperature drops and the body can go into hypothermia. Extreme hypothermia will cause death if not treated right away. Then, on the flip side of the coin, there is hyperthermia, which is when the body temperature is higher than normal. The most common form of this is the fever. A fever is usually caused by the immune system trying to fight off an infection of some kind. A moderate fever from about 99 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit is manageable with rest and over the counter drugs. A fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher may become life threating. (Simon, 2012, p. 467).The body’s ability to maintain homeostasis gives the human body greater freedom of activity. For example, homeostasis allows a cook who is working in a hot industrial kitchen with multiple ovens or stoves going, to work the ovens and stoves where the heat gets out and exposes the cook to temporary bursts of 200 degree air, without it causing the cooks body temperature to rise. Likewise the cook and enter a walk-in freezer for a few minutes to get frozen foods and not have to worry about his body going into hypothermia because his body’s thermoregulation system will keep his body in homeostasis during those few minutes.
Another major aspect of homeostasis is osmoregulation. Osmoregulation is the control of fluid and salt levels in the human body. Osmoregulation, like thermoregulation, act together with multiple systems and control mechanisms. The urinary system is an example of one of systems that contributes to osmoregulation. Within the urinary system you have the kidney, and within the kidney you have spaces called nephrons, which is where the gathering tubes and capillary beds intermingle for the functions of filtration and preservation processes. According South University Online lecture:
Osmoregulation involves filtration in which the plasma of the blood leaves the capillaries in a structure called a glomerulus to enter the tubule of the nephron. The tubule continues to pass through a capillary bed where water and some valuable dissolved materials are reabsorbed into the blood supply. The filtrate fluid in the tubule becomes more concentrated. (para 4)
The glomerulus are tiny tubes in the nephron section of the kidney. The nephron sections are triangular sections of the kidney. (Bing images. 2013). The nephron filtrates the blood, allows valuable solutes to return to the blood, removes unwanted substances from the blood and secretes it to the urine to be removed from the body.
In the lower part of the brain there is a gland called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the control center for the entire endocrine system. The pituitary gland, just below the hypothalamus, creates the antidiuretic hormone known as ADH. ADH is transported to the kidney via the blood vessels of the circulator system. ADH increases water reabsorption and averts dehydration. (Simon, 2012, p. 540)
The endocrine system represents all hormone secreting cells on the body. The endocrine system’s function is to regulate internal chemicals such as hormones. Endocrine glands make and secrete hormones. (Simon, 2012, p. 536).
The pancreas creates the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin lowers blood glucose whereas glucagon raises blood glucose levels, and both are regulated by how much glucose is in the blood. (Simon, 2012, p. 536). An example action that causes glucose levels in the blood stream to rise could be the person ate some food that is high in carbohydrates. After the high carbs food are digested, the glucose levels in blood go up. This simulates the pancreas to release insulin into the blood. The insulin will enable the body cells to take up more glucose and the liver to take in more glucose, storing it as glycogen. This takes the glucose out of the blood stream, causing blood glucose levels to fall back down to normal homogenous levels. An example action that causes glucose levels to go down in the blood stream may be the person is fasting. With a prolonged absence of food being digested, the glucose levels in the blood stream will drop. This will trigger the pancreas to release glucagon into the blood. When the glucagon reaches the liver it causes the liver to break down the glycogen, sending glucose back into the blood. The blood glucose levels will rise until it is back to normal homogenous levels. (Simon, 2012, p. 543).
According to Endocrine web “Problems in the production or regulation of pancreatic hormones will cause complications related to blood sugar imbalance.” (p. 1) These complications, or diseases, include diabetes, hyperglycemia, and hypoglycemia. Diabetes comes from not enough insulin being produced. Hyperglycemia comes from abnormally high blood glucose, and hypoglycemia comes from by low blood glucose levels.
The Thyroid gland has multiple purposes. One of the purposes of the thyroid gland is to create and release calcitonin. Calcitonin lowers blood calcium levels. The thyroid’s counterpart is the parathyroid. The parathyroid creates and releases a chemical peptide called PTH. When the calcium levels in blood increases to above normal, the thyroid gland will secrete calcitonin. Calcitonin will cause the calcium in the blood to be deposited into bones, thus taking the calcium out of the blood stream. Calcitonin will also reduce the amount of calcium the kidneys has to mix into the blood. This reduces the calcium levels in the blood back to normal homogenous levels. When the blood calcium level drops below normal levels, the parathyroid glands will secrete PTH. PTH will stimulate the kidneys to put more calcium into the blood stream, and to simulate the release of calcium from bones back into the blood stream. The blood calcium levels will rise until it is back to normal homeostasis level. (Simon, 2012, p. 542).
The maintenance of homeostasis is especially important during pregnancy. If homeostasis is disrupted during pregnancy, complications can occur. One example of a complication is the child may not get the calcium to grow bones properly. Another example is the baby could become diabetic. These problems could cause problems for the rest of the childhood develop.
In conclusion, homeostasis in the human body is an important and critical function thought the life of a human being.

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