Homeostasis: The magic of balance

Homeostasis is one of the most basic concepts of physiology. It refers to balance of conditions within a biological system. Homeostasis is relevant across all of biology irrespective of organism.

Within a physiological system a constant balance is maintained by a network of system to create a pleasurable and happy balance of physical-chemical balance that ensures smooth functioning of the body this is referred to as homeostasis.

Why this is important? Simply because it allows, they body to work at the optimal conditions that are necessary for its survival with the perfect balance of energy expenditure and desired result.

Minimum spending maximum income. Any organism can work within a set range of physical chemical parameters with or without stressors, beyond this limit survival is at risk. These parameters may be ionic balance, temperature, PH, glucose level, Oxygen/Carbon dioxide level, etc.

They body has a capacity to compensate for small changes of these parameters often this is the result of a positive feedback mechanism and sometimes a negative feedback mechanism. This is due to the resistance offered by the body to give in to that change which would affect its survival.

Multiple examples are available to explain the process of homeostasis:

Example:

Thanks to global warming the general temperature in summer easily exceeds the comfortable mark of 25 °C often reaching 40 degrees easily in the central parts of India. This causes our core body temperature to rise above 37°C. Excessive rise in temperature can cause heat stroke and eventually death. Most bodily functions are carried out with good efficiency at 37 °C in our body. To maintain the temperature or resist the change, our hypothalamus signals the body to cool off. It does this by signalling to sweat glands to produce sweat, the excessive sweating cools off the body maintain a temperature of 37 °C.

Another example of this processes is when one exercises there is a rapid build up of lactic acid and thus carbon dioxide in our blood stream. This causes an immediate change in the blood composition (both due to Ph as well as due to the change in gas balance). As a result of this the CNS signals the lungs breath more deeply or heavily to improve the gaseous exchange. This results in better and quicker elimination of CO2 and restoration of the blood chemistry balance.

The process by with the body maintains its blood pressure with the involvement of baroreceptors or mechanoreceptors, vasoconstriction and relaxation is another example of homeostasis.

The importance of understanding this process is to learn its significance in many diseases.

What is diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, glaucoma if not a malfunction of the body’s homeostatic mechanisms?

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