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Human biology - Assignment Example

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The maintenance of a constant internal environment of an organism is called homeostasis, a process of utmost importance for the body, failure at which would lead to disastrous, if not fatal, consequences (Taylor, Green, & Stout, 1984). The basis of homeostasis lies in the…
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Download file to see previous pages The normal level of glucose in the blood is about 90 mg per 100 cm3 (Taylor, Green, & Stout, 1984). To have a very low level of glucose (hypoglycemia) or a very high level (hyperglycemia) are, both, serious problems disturbing the osmotic equilibrium of the body.
Pancreas is the regulatory organ which helps control glucose levels. It has glucose receptor cells which measure the concentration of glucose in the blood stream together with endocrine cells called the islets of Langerhans which secrete glucagon or insulin depending on which is needed by the body at that particular time.
When a person eats a meal, the glucose level in the blood stream tends to rise. This is detected by the pancreas. Consequently, the -Cells in the Islets of Langerhans release the hormone: insulin. The hormone enters the blood stream and its target organs are mainly liver and muscles. The respiration rate is increased (break down of glucose to release carbon dioxide and water). Moreover, it is converted into storage forms i.e. glycogen and fats. Hence, this causes the glucose level to fall. On the other hand, during fasting or starvation, the glucose level is decreased. Detected by the pancreas (-cells), the hypothalamus in brain and adrenal glands (adrenal medulla), hormones like glucagon, adrenaline, cortisol and thyroxin are produced that hasten the conversion of glycogen to glucose. Furthermore, proteins in the body are converted to glucose, which in turn increases the glucose levels in the blood (Saul, 2004).
What if this control mechanism fails? The consequence would be in the form of diseases like Diabetes Mellitus. It has two forms. Either the insulin receptors do not function properly or the insulin is not produced at all. This leads to symptoms like high thirst since water moves from the cells into the blood stream, copious urine production, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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