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Role And Significance Of Homeostasis In Human Body

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Homeostasis according to Colbert et al (2012) is a control system that corrects any discrepancies found in the body, it then works to keep the levels balanced and any variations that are recognised are then brought back to their baseline. Waugh and Grant (2006) also stated that control systems inside the body are required to have an original ‘tightly controlled’ boundary (Waugh and Grant, 2006:4), This boundary is likely to be different with each person Hendry et al. (2012).

Hendry et al. (2012) explained that homeostasis can only be maintained and sustained by other mechanisms within the body. These then work to even out any differences by using positive and negative feedback loops to detect, change and implement ways to correct and return the fluctuations to the original baseline. (Toole and Toole, 1995). The two feedback loops that are used within homeostasis are positive feedback where there is temporary control in a single body system moving it rapidly away from the baseline intensifying the original stimulus (Tortora and Derrickson, 2017) whereas, negative feedback which works to reverse the detected change and return it to its baseline to maintain homeostatic control and prevent ill health in an individual. (Waugh and Grant, 2008).

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The homeostatic regulation consists of a sensor to acknowledge any fluctuation in levels, which then signals the control centre situated in the hypothalamus. The control centre then determines the level of alteration required and responds to the appropriate system to adjust accordingly to bring levels back within range to the pre-determined values set (Modell et al, 2015). The effector then implements the change needed to return the control system back to its baseline, once corrected then the feedback loop reports back to the detector informing it of the changes made to the system by the effector, which then switches off the feedback system until the next time it is activated this is known as negative feedback Toole and Toole (1995). (321/1000)

The homeostatic process that takes place in response to stress or anxiety, activate two parts of the brain: the cerebral cortex and amygdala. The Cerebral cortex is the decision maker to determine if the situation is threatening, then the amygdala will monitor the body’s reactions to the situation. Then the amygdala sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus (Harvard Health, 2011). This is known as the ‘flight or fight’ response which is the reaction the body makes when faced with perceived dangerous situations (CHERRY,2019). The nervous system and endocrine system work simultaneously to respond to stress. The two control systems responsible for adapting to the increased response to the physical or mental activity is the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which consists of sympathetic and parasympathetic and the endocrine system which is responsible for regulating hormone changes. (Cherry,2019)

When a stressor is detected that threatens to disrupt homeostasis the hypothalamus then stimulates the adrenal medulla producing the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, which then release into the bloodstream from the stimulated adrenal medulla to get ready for a short-term flight or fight response. It does this by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure (Waugh and Grant, 2008)

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Role And Significance Of Homeostasis In Human Body. (2021, September 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from
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