Homeostasis in Human Body Systems How does the human body respond to internal and external changes in its environment? How do body systems interact to maintain a dynamic equilibrium? LE 1 Key Idea 1:
This one herb and its variety of therapeutic compounds seem to affect every aspect of our bodies and minds. How is this possible? At our integrative medical clinics in Maine and Massachusetts, my colleagues and I treat over 18, patients with a huge diversity of diseases and symptoms.
In one day I might see cancerCrohn's diseaseepilepsychronic painmultiple sclerosisinsomnia, Tourette syndrome and eczema, just to name a few. All of these conditions have different causes, different physiologic states, An introduction to the homeostasis system vastly different symptoms.
The patients are old and young. Some are undergoing conventional therapy. Others are on a decidedly alternative path. Yet despite their differences, almost all of my patients would agree on one point: As a physician, I am naturally wary of any medicine that purports to cure-all.
Panaceas, snake-oil remedies, and expensive fads often come and go, with big claims but little scientific or clinical evidence to support their efficacy. As I explore the therapeutic potential of cannabis, however, I find no lack of evidence.
In fact, I find an explosion of scientific research on the therapeutic potential of cannabis, more evidence than one can find on some of the most widely used therapies of conventional medicine. At the time of this writing Februarya PubMed search for scientific journal articles published in the last 20 years containing the word "cannabis" revealed 8, results.
Add the word "cannabinoid," and the results increase to 20, articles.
That's an average of more than two scientific publications per day over the last 20 years! These numbers not only illustrate the present scientific interest and financial investment in understanding more about cannabis and its components, but they also emphasize the need for high quality reviews and summaries such as the document you are about to read.
How can one herb help so many different conditions? How can it provide both palliative and curative actions? How can it be so safe while offering such powerful effects? The search to answer these questions has led scientists to the discovery of a previously unknown physiologic system, a central component of the health and healing of every human and almost every animal: What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
The endogenous cannabinoid systemnamed after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health.
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular, to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond.
While this process keeps normal cells alive, allowing them to maintain a balance between the synthesis, degradation, and subsequent recycling of cellular products, it has a deadly effect on malignant tumor cells, causing them to consume themselves in a programmed cellular suicide.
The death of cancer cells, of course, promotes homeostasis and survival at the level of the entire organism. Endocannabinoids and cannabinoids are also found at the intersection of the body's various systems, allowing communication and coordination between different cell types.
At the site of an injury, for example, cannabinoids can be found decreasing the release of activators and sensitizers from the injured tissue, stabilizing the nerve cell to prevent excessive firing, and calming nearby immune cells to prevent release of pro-inflammatory substances.
Three different mechanisms of action on three different cell types for a single purpose: The endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and all of the body's organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system we begin to see a mechanism that explains how states of consciousness can promote health or disease.
In addition to regulating our internal and cellular homeostasis, cannabinoids influence a person's relationship with the external environment.
Socially, the administration of cannabinoids clearly alters human behavior, often promoting sharing, humor, and creativity.
By mediating neurogenesisneuronal plasticity, and learning, cannabinoids may directly influence a person's open-mindedness and ability to move beyond limiting patterns of thought and behavior from past situations.
Reformatting these old patterns is an essential part of health in our quickly changing environment. What Are Cannabinoid Receptors?
Sea squirts, tiny nematodes, and all vertebrate species share the endocannabinoid system as an essential part of life and adaptation to environmental changes. By comparing the genetics of cannabinoid receptors in different species, scientists estimate that the endocannabinoid system evolved in primitive animals over million years ago.
While it may seem we know a lot about cannabinoids, the estimated twenty thousand scientific articles have just begun to shed light on the subject. Large gaps likely exist in our current understanding, and the complexity of interactions between various cannabinoids, cell types, systems and individual organisms challenges scientists to think about physiology and health in new ways.
The following brief overview summarizes what we do know.Introduction to homeostasis Homeostasis is the maintenance of a relatively constant internal environment.
Factors that are maintained within the body through exchanges with the external environment processes food in the digestive system, absorbing nutrients into the. In this lesson, we'll look at how the body uses hormones to maintain homeostasis of blood glucose levels, what happens in people who have diabetes.
Homeostasis is the activity of cells throughout the body to maintain the physiological state within a narrow range that is compatible with life.
Homeostasis is regulated by negative feedback loops and, much less frequently, by positive feedback loops. By Dawn M.
Ewing, RDH, PhD, ND, & Li-Chuan Chen, PhD. Originally published in Carolina Health & Healing (Summer , p. 3- 7).
Einstein convinced the world that energy is matter and matter is energy. Introductory Human Physiology from Duke University. In this course, students learn to recognize and to apply the basic concepts that govern integrated body function (as an intact organism) in the body's nine organ systems.
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Learn how organisms maintain homeostasis, or a stable internal environment.