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University of Ottawa
Anatomy and Physiology
Jacqueline Carnegie

Homeostasishomeostasis the ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions even though the outside world changes continuously indicates a dynamic state of equilibriuma balance in which internal conditions vary but always within limitsthe body is in homeostasis when its needs are adequately met and it is functioning smoothly variable the factor or event being regulatedadequate blood levels of vital nutrients must be continuously presentheart activity and blood pressure must be constantly monitored and adjustedwastes must not be allowed to accumulatebody temperature must be precisely controlled all homeostatic control mechanisms are processes involving at least 3 components that work together1 Receptorsome type of sensor that monitors the environment and responds to changes called stimuli by sending input information to the 2nd component called the control centre along the afferent pathway afferentapproaches the control centre2 Control Centredetermines the set point the level or range at which a variable is to be maintained it analyzes the input it receives and determines an appropriate response output information flows from the control centre to the 3rd component called the effector along the efferent pathway efferentexits the control centre 3 Effectorprovides the means for the control centres response output to the stimulus the results of the response then feed back to influence the effect of the stimulus by either reducing it negative feedback so that the whole control process shuts off or enhancing it positive feedback so the process continues even faster Negative Feedbackassociated with most homeostatic control mechanismsthe output shuts off the original effect of the stimulus or reduces its intensity and causes the variable to change in a direction opposite to that of the initial change returning it to its ideal value basically the output ie a hormone reduces or shuts off stimuluseg hormonal negative feedback mechanism controls the blood volume using the antidiuretic hormone ADH as blood volume drops receptors in the body sense the change and the hypothalamus contains control centre stimulates the release of ADH into the bloodthis change prompts the kidneys to reabsorb more water and return it to the blood streamthe rising blood volume then ends the stimulus for ADH release
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