Homeostasis In The Human Body
The human body is an incredible self-correcting machine that wants to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, and the body continuously works towards accomplishing state.
The human body is constructed to regulate its internal environment in response to fluctuations to the external environment to maintain homeostasis and optimal health. The body works to maintain homeostasis through the liver, kidney, and brain function (hypothalamus, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system).
The liver has numerous jobs like making proteins, but its main job is to filter harmful substances ingested into the body from the blood. These substances can disrupt blow flow and nutrient absorption and delivery, and can disrupt any and everyone of the body’s organs and functions.
The kidneys regulate salt, iron, and water levels in the blood. They re-absorb helpful substances back into the blood, regulate of blood pH, and excrete of urea and other wastes from the body.
The brain (hypothalamus, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system) works to maintain homeostasis in the human body through regulating:
- Fluid matrix of the body (fluid volume regulation, osmoregulation)
- Gas exchange with the environment (regulation of airway resistance and the pulmonary circulation)
- Ingestion and digestion of nutrients (regulation of the gastrointestinal tract, control of energy balance)
- Transport of gases, nutrients and other substances throughout the body to supply organs, including the brain to maintain consciousness (regulation of blood flow and blood pressure by the cardiovascular regulation)
- Excretion of substances (disposal of waste)
- Body temperature (thermoregulation)
- Reproductive behavior (mechanics of sexual organs)
- Defensive behaviors
- Body recovery (control of circadian rhythms, of sleep and wakefulness)
- Development and maintenance of body organs and tissues
- Body protection at the cellular and systems level (regulation of inflammatory processes, control of the immune system)
The body uses nutrients from foods we eat to replenish elements and compounds the body needs to maintain homeostasis, and to keep all of its organs and functions operating at optimal levels. For example, the body takes calcium from the food we eat and uses it keep bones strong, uses carbohydrates to fuel cell metabolism, and uses antioxidants to regulate free radicals to keep cells young.
When we don’t supply the body with enough of the nutrients it needs, don’t supply the body with nutrients in the proper ratios that plant food supply, and when we overwhelm the body with chemicals that are foreign to it, the body will have a difficult time maintaining homeostasis, and pathogens and carcinogens will overwhelm the body and cause illness.