How does homeostasis work?

Written by cheryl grace myers
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What is Homeostasis

Homeostasis is a natural process in our body that regulates our internal environment to keep our body systems functioning well. The body preserves balancing conditions or set point ranges that protect our body from harm by using natural resources from within. Homeostasis controls most of our body mechanisms such as heart rate, temperature, and glucose levels through the nervous and endocrine systems to correct altering ranges. Although the internal environment is responsible for the keeping normal functions, some of the stimuli occur outside of our bodies, such as those coming from the skin's interpretation system. A body function, such as an organ uses a relay system that interprets the organs needs and sends this message to the brain. In turn, the brain sends a response to correct this condition so the body can return to normal ranges. This process of constant monitoring comes from the direct response of a negative feedback system.

How Does Homeostasis Work

A negative feedback system is a process that interprets negative factors that alters our body's normal ranges. Negative factors could be either a credit or deficit in normal ranges. Your body organs and functions have specific receptors that send messages to the brain on the current credit or deficit ranges. The brain sends an appropriate response to either increase or decrease a function so the mechanism returns to normal ranges. For instance, when you eat your blood sugar rises. The receptors on the pancreas report this to the brain through the nervous system. The brain responds by sending messages to the pancreas to release insulin into the blood stream. Insulin helps transport blood sugar to the cells that need them. When blood sugar returns to normal ranges after this process, the receptors send this information to the brain and the brain responds by inhibiting insulin release from the pancreas.

Problems with Homeostasis

Homeostasis is a regulatory system similar to a home thermostat. When your home temperature cools, your thermostat will pick up this information and turn on the heating system. When the home stabilises the set thermostat temperature, the heating system shuts off. This is how homeostasis controls our body systems to keep our bodies regulating at set normal ranges. In some cases, homeostasis may not receive correct information, like a broken thermostat. Sometimes our body may not respond to homeostasis such as in the case of disease and cell mutation, or toxins and nutrition. Medications also influence homeostasis, and although medication may benefit a body function, it always interferes with homeostasis. Homeostasis is the natural regulatory method to control your body's mechanisms, therefore using any medications, whether natural or synthetic, will always affect the body's natural ability to use its own resources.

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