Homeostasis - What's That!?

The following is taken from my Homeostasis Report which I completed as a very small part of my Reflexology Course. The full essay is almost 1500 words long and goes on to compare and contrast the way the body responds to the pathogens which cause tonsillitis and cystitis. The full essay is available upon request, however no part of it may be used or reproduced without prior permission.

Put simply homeostasis is the innate ability of the body to maintain its internal balance within a normal and healthy range using metabolic systems to produce a negative feedback reaction. Negative feedback has several stages, firstly a change is detected in the body which triggers the mechanisms required to correct that change. The change is corrected, and balance restored which triggers the corrective mechanism to cease, thereby restoring homeostasis. An example of this is the maintenance of water levels in the body. When we become dehydrated the pituitary gland in the brain detects this change and releases anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). ADH travels from the brain to the kidneys where it causes more water to be conserved in the body, concentrating the urine. this causes the water concentration levels in the body to rise, causing in turn the pituitary gland to release less ADH. Homeostasis is then restored. When homeostasis is disrupted, and the body cannot restore it, disease occurs and health and wellbeing are compromised. Our bodies are incredibly good at trying to restore homeostasis though, with the endocrine system being key in achieving this.

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