Homeostasis

Claude Bernard“The concept of the regulation of the internal environment (homeostasis) was described by French Physiologist Claude Bernard (12 July 1813 – 10 February 1878)  in 1849. Walter Bradford Cannon coined the word homeostasis in 1926 and in 1932, a British Physiologist named Joseph Barcroft, was the first to say that higher brain function required the most stable internal environment. Thus, to Barcroft homeostasis was not only organized by the brain—homeostasis served the brain. Homeostasis is an exclusive biological term, concerning the constancy of the internal environment in which the cells of the body live and survive of an organism, including humans and animals. This is a narrow scope of conditions within the living creature, such as temperature and pH balance, and it is separate from the external environment. If the homeostasis conditions needed for a certain organism are not met, disease or death may occur. If homeostasis refers to the entire internal environment, equilibrium is narrowed to specific mechanisms. The word has been used in a variety other contexts.” (Wiki)

Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment in the body. This is achieved by various mechanisms that keep the bodys internal conditions within a normal range. The bodys internal environment includes factors such as temperature, pH, and concentrations of dissolved gases and nutrients. Homeostasis is vital for the proper functioning of the bodys systems. For example, the nervous and endocrine systems both rely on homeostasis to function properly. The nervous system uses homeostasis to maintain a balance between the excitatory and inhibitory signals it receives. The endocrine system uses homeostasis to maintain the correct levels of hormones in the blood. There are many different mechanisms that contribute to homeostasis. Some of these mechanisms are controlled by the nervous system, while others are controlled by the endocrine system. The mechanisms that control homeostasis can be divided into three main categories: negative feedback, positive feedback, and feedforward mechanisms. Negative feedback mechanisms work to maintain a constant internal environment by countering any changes that occur. For example, the bodys temperature is kept within a normal range by negative feedback mechanisms that cause the release of sweat when the body gets too hot, and the constriction of blood vessels when the body gets too cold. Positive feedback mechanisms work to increase the magnitude of a change that has already occurred. For example, the release of oxytocin during childbirth is a positive feedback mechanism that helps to increase the contractions of the uterus, which helps to expel the baby. Feedforward mechanisms work to anticipate changes that might occur and take steps to prevent them. For example, the release of insulin in response to rising blood sugar levels is a feedforward mechanism that helps to prevent the development of diabetes. Homeostasis is a vital process that helps to keep the bodys internal environment within a normal range. Without homeostasis, the body would be unable to function properly.” (TEWAI)

References:

Homeostasis. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/homeostasis
Homeostasis. (2018, July 19). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeostasis
How Does Homeostasis Work? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/53748homeostasis.html
Maintaining Homeostasis. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.boundless.com/physiology/textbooks/boundlessanatomyandphysiologytextbook/regulationandintegrationoftheanimalbody14/maintaininghomeostasis74/
Types of Homeostatic Mechanisms. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/53750typesofhomeostaticmechanisms.html

The word homeostasis isn’t used much in every-day conversation outside specialized areas of study and practice. Words like equilibrium and balance are used to imply the same meaning. The Eclectic Way uses the word homeostasis in the broadest sense inclusive of equilibrium and balance. Words do have exact meaning but they also get morphed.

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