Homeostasis Case Study

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The term homeostasis was coined by Walter Cannon in 1932 derived from two Greek words, homeo (meaning similar to) and stasis (meaning balance). Homeostasis is the ability of different parts of the body working in harmony to maintain a stable environment. However not only do they have to maintain the environment they also must adapt and evolve to changes within their environment in order to survive.
What sort of things can affect homeostasis in the body?
Various things can affect the bodies suitability to sustain life, such as the bodies temperature, the PH level of the blood, carbon dioxide concentrations as well as the concentrations of waste products and nutrients. These things can impact the system’s ability to keep the body
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The reason that the body can do this is because of sensors – predominantly nerve cells that end in your skin and brain – relaying messages to a region of your brain known as the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus being the temperature regulation centre of the brain then sends signals to the mechanisms in the body that can then help in the rising or lowing of the bodies temperature for example if you have been running your bodies temperature can rise above its ideal point these triggers nerve cells to send a signal to your hypothalamus and activate mechanisms to aid in cooling your body down. These mechanisms can be tiny muscles in your skin that can lay the hairs in your body “flat to increase heat loss” (, 2017) they could also trigger the sweat glands just under your skin to activate this helps with heat loss through evaporation, sweat secretion stops as soon as the bodies temperature goes back to its normal state. Heavy breathing can Increase the heart rate as well as the oxygen levels in the blood this causes blood vessels carrying blood to the skin to dilate (vasodilation) by doing this more blood is carried “to the skin where it can be” (, 2017) cooled quicker by the air, again when the bodies temperature returns to its optimum state the “blood vessels can shrink down again” (, 2017)…show more content…
These contractions need energy from respiration and some of this energy is released as heat. Vasoconstriction also occurs, this cause the skins capillaries to constrict allowing less blood flow through the skin and preserving heat in the body. As our bodies get cold the hairs that cover us rise, the reason they do this is to trap a layer of air between the skin which then helps to insulate the skin against heat loss finally the body will also release hormones that act to increase heat
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