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What Are the Different Types of Homeostatic Functions?

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  • Written By: A. Reed
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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Homeostatic functions control the internal surroundings in such a way that a balance is achieved and sustained. The human body includes 11 organ systems all working together to regulate various homeostatic functions including thermoregulation, pH modification, and fluid-electrolyte balance. Thermoregulation allows for temperature control, while the steady balancing of acidity or alkalinity is maintained by the pH buffering system. Excretion of excess water is necessary for precise fluid content within the body, as the contents of liquid is also kept if needed. Normal functioning of the organism is determined to stay within sure ranges of values, otherwise serious issues and disease may result.

Most animals in the world have homeostatic activities that are essential for regulating temperature, which is given the term thermoregulation. It refers to the ability to maintain relative body temperature within a definite range, although the temperature in the outside surroundings is different. Human homeostatic functions necessary for effective controlling of temperature aims to maintain a steady balance around 98.6° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius). The body produces heat due to the processes of metabolism, such as through sweating which is an evaporation mechanism. Body temperature is determined by the rate at which heat is produced and lost or gained by outside means.

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Processes of homeostasis operate in order to keep a suitable pH, which is simply a measure of acidity in a solution based on a value scale of 0 to 14. Measurements below 7 indicate acidity, while values above 7 are indicators of alkalinity. Values in pH out of the normal limits can cause serious problems, or even death. For example, the pH of human blood is tightly confined to a value of 7.40 and fluctuations in either direction can be dangerous. The pH in human systems is kept stabilized via the introduction of substances called buffers.

​Important homeostatic functions such as osmoregulation and excretion permit the body to make use of osmotic pressure to regulate liquid concentration, while disposing of excess water, toxins, and waste. The human urinary process can adjust the concentration of salts and other substances in the blood, lymph, and interstitial fluid. By collecting liquid from the body, the urinary process can alter the parts in the liquid and return essential substances back to the body. Water excess and toxins are excreted in urine, a liquid containing metabolic waste byproducts such as urea, ammonia, and uric acid. Located in the pelvic cavity, organs important in the urinary process encompasses kidneys, ureters, the bladder, and urethra.

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