Aims of this Episode:

  • Define Homeostasis,
  • Describe how your body maintains water content, temperature and blood sugar;
  • Compare the two types of Diabetes.

What is Homeostasis?

Simply put, Homeostasis is the group of processes that maintain your body’s conditions. Think Homeo (human) and Stasis (status) – Human Status.

There is a great number of things that need to be kept constant in the body. Three of the most important are Water Content, Temperature and Blood Sugar.

Water Content

Around 60% of your body is made up of water, so keeping that level constant is really important. The main organ responsible for this is the Kidneys; they filter excess water out of the blood and release this as Urine.

You also lose water through sweating.

Temperature

Controlling temperature is the process you’re most likely to see yourself.

Your body can lose heat by dilating the blood vessels in the surface of the skin (making you blush) and making you sweat.

In reverse, the body can keep the heat in by constricting the blood vessels (making you look pale) and lifting the hairs on your body to reduce the amount of heat lost to the air. In addition, when you shiver your body is trying to generate heat by moving your muscles.

Blood Sugar

The amount of Glucose (sugar) in the blood is controlled by a hormone called Insulin, which is produced in the Pancreas. Insulin removes Glucose from the blood and stores it in the Liver, ready for when it is next needed.

Diabetes is a condition that means your body is unable to control the amount of sugar in the blood by itself. Some people will have to inject enough Insulin, whilst others will be able to control their blood sugar levels by not eating too much sugary food.

What now?

There’s a lot of information that links to Homeostasis. Here are a couple of links to help you explore these areas further:

Endocrine System: Video & Revision Page

Kidney Structure: Video & Bitesize Page

S@S 020: Homeostasis
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