Homeostasis refers to the ability of an organism or environment to maintain stability in spite of changes. The human body is full of examples of homeostasis.
Common Homeostasis Examples
Here are some homeostasis examples:
- Humans’ internal body temperature is a great example of homeostasis. When an individual is healthy, his or her body temperature retains a temperature 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The body can control temperature by making or releasing heat.
- Glucose is a type of sugar that is found in the bloodstream, but the body must maintain proper glucose levels to ensure that a person remains healthy. When glucose levels get too high, the pancreas releases a hormone known as insulin. If blood glucose levels happen to drop too low, the liver converts glycogen in the blood to glucose again, raising the levels.
- When bacteria or viruses that can make you ill get into your body, your lymphatic system kicks in to help maintain homeostasis. It works to fight the infection before it has the opportunity to make you sick, ensuring that you remain healthy.
- The maintenance of healthy blood pressure is an example of homeostasis. The heart can sense changes in the blood pressure, causing it to send signals to the brain, which then sends back signals telling the heart how to respond. If blood pressure is too high, naturally the heart should slow down; while if it is too low, the heart wants to speed up.
- A human’s body contains chemicals known as acids and bases, and a proper balance of these is required for the body to function optimally. Lungs and kidneys are two of the organ systems that regulate acids and bases within the body.
- More than half of a human’s body weight percentage is water, and maintaining the correct balance of water is an example of homeostasis. Cells that have too much water in them bloat and can even blow up. Cells with too little water can end up shrinking. Your body maintains a proper water balance so that neither of these situations occurs.
- Calcium levels in the blood must be maintained at proper levels. The body regulates those levels in an example of homeostasis. When levels decrease, the parathyroid releases hormones. If calcium levels become too high, the thyroid helps out by fixing calcium in the bones and lowering blood calcium levels.
- Exercising causes the body to maintain homeostasis by sending lactate to the muscles to give them energy. Over time, this also signals to the brain that it is time to stop exercising, so that the muscles can get the oxygen they need.
- The nervous system helps keep homeostasis in breathing patterns. Because breathing is involuntary, the nervous system ensures that the body is getting much needed oxygen through breathing the appropriate amount of oxygen.
- When toxins get into your blood, they disrupt your body’s homeostasis. The human body, however, responds by getting rid of these toxins by use of the urinary system. An individual simply urinates the toxins and other nasty things from the blood, restoring homeostasis to the human body.
Now you have lots of different examples of homeostasis and you can recognize homeostasis in your own body.