A human being is shaped by millions of cells that are working together for the maintenance of all organs in a human body. All cells require quite the similar metabolism but they perform different functions. For the well-being of the entire human organism, every individual cell needs to maintain the internal environment like glucose, oxygen, mineral ions and waste removal.

This process that a body maintains internally is collectively called as homeostasis. The theory of homeostasis was first introduced by a French Physiologist Claude Bernard in the year 1865, and the term was first used in 1926 by Walter Bradford Cannon.

What is Homeostasis?

Homeostasis is a property of a human biological system where the self-regulating process tends to maintain the balance for the survival. The regulation takes place in a defined internal environment. For example- the presence of glucose in blood plasma, regulation of body temperature, extracellular fluids of an animal despite changes- what the animal has eaten or what it is doing. Every variable is controlled by homeostasis together to maintain life.

In simple terms, it could be referred as a balance in a system to maintain a stable internal environment for the survival of the animal. If the homeostasis regulates successfully, life continues or if unsuccessful, death or disaster occurs.

The regulation of homeostasis consist of three mechanisms:

  1. Receptor
  2. Control Center
  3. Effector

Receptor: The receptor acts as a receiver. It receives the changes in the environment.

Control Center: The Control Center is also known as integration center. It receives all the information that the receptor has collected from the changes in the environment.

Effector: As the name suggests, it responds to the commands of the control center. It could either oppose or change the stimulus.

The entire process continuously works to maintain the homeostasis regulation.                    For instance – The regulation of body temperature- The blood vessels (effector) and sweat glands in our skin maintains the temperature. There are receptors in the skin that communicates information to the brain which acts as the control center.

Examples of physiological homeostasis

  1. Arterial blood pressure homeostat
  2. Blood glucose homeostat
  3. Blood oxygen content homeostat
  4. Blood partial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide homeostasis
  5. Core body temperature homeostat
  6. Extracellular fluid pH homeostat
  7. Extracellular potassium concentration homeostat
  8. Extracellular sodium concentration homeostat
  9. Plasma ionized calcium homeostat
  10. Volume of body water homeostat

Homeostasis Breakdown

The failure of homeostasis function in an internal environment will result in many diseases.A functional component of homeostasis can malfunction due to an inherited defect or by affected disease. A small number of homeostasis has the ability to ensuring safer life and inbuilt redundancy even if a homeostasis component malfunction. However, in other cases, the malfunction in any component of homeostasis leads to severe disease or death.

Body Systems and Homeostasis

The body system participates in maintaining homeostasis regulations. The purpose of body system is to describe several controlling mechanisms where every system is contributed to homeostasis.

Listed below are the tables which describe the function of every organs homeostasis.

Formed Elements
Name Function
Platelets It assist blood clotting.
Red blood cells Helps in transporting hydrogen and oxygen ions.
White blood cells It fights against infections.
Component Function
Nutrients Required for cellular metabolism.
Proteins Create osmotic pressure, aids clotting, and helps buffer blood.
Hormones Known as chemical messengers.
Water Provides fluid environment.
Salts Helps in metabolic activity and aids buffer blood.
Wastes Produced by cellular metabolism.
Nervous System
Central Nervous System
Cerebrum Consciousness, creativity, thought, morals, memory,etc.
Lower portions Reception of sensory data, coordination of muscular activity, homeostasis.
Spinal cord Automatic reflex actions.
Peripheral Nervous System
Autonomic system Those cranial and spinal motor nerves that control internal organs.
Cranial nerves, spinal nerves Carry sensory information to motor impulses from the CNS.
Major Endocrine Glands and Their Major Hormones
Name Hormone Function
Adrenal medulla Epinephrine and norepinephrine Stimulates fight or flight reaction.
Adrenal cortex Glucocorticoids           (e.g., cortisol) Promotes gluconeogenesis.
Mineralocorticoids (e.g., aldosterone) Promotes sodium reabsorption by kidneys.
Anterior pituitary Thyroid-stimulating Stimulates thyroid  gland.
Adrenocorticotropic Stimulates adrenal cortex gland.
Gonadotropic Stimulates gonads.
Gonads Androgens (male) Estrogens and progesterone (female) Promotes secondary sexual characteristics.
Hypothalamus Synthesizes and secretes Hypothalamic-releasing hormones Regulates anterior pituitary hormones
Posterior pituitary Antidiuretic Promotes water reabsorption by kidneys.
Parathyroid Parathyroid Maintains blood calcium and phosphorus levels.
Thyroid Thyroxin Increases metabolic rates.
Pancreas Insulin Lowers blood sugar level.
Glucagon Raises blood sugar level.

Stay tuned with Byju’s to learn more about homeostasis.

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