What Is Homeostasis
What is Homeostasis

What is Homeostasis: Definition, and Biological Homeostasis

What is Homeostasis? When the weather is hot the body will sweat and make us feel thirsty. While the weather is cold, the body will not sweat at all and make us want to eat and drink something warm.

This is done naturally by the body to maintain its natural temperature. When the body temperature is too hot, it means the body has a fever.

When the body temperature is too cold, it means that the body has hypothermia. Both conditions are dangerous for the body because it leads to death.

What is Homeostasis?

The body’s way of maintaining its natural temperature is called homeostasis.

The term homeostasis comes from the Greek “homio” which is similar to and “stasis” which means standing still. Homeostasis is a condition in which living things maintain stable conditions.

Homeostasis were first used by an American physician and physiologist named Walter Bradford Cannon in the book The Wisdom of the Body (1930).

Biological homeostasis

Living things have a variety of physiological mechanisms that help them maintain internal balance. The body has sensors that detect the operation of each part. When these sensors pick up altered values, they warn the brain that as a result, it will try to activate certain functions that offset those values. In this way, the body becomes stable.

In humans, all of these processes are automatic and internal while the body is fully functional. However, there are some organisms that use external factors to maintain homeostasis. An example is thermoregulation. In humans, the ideal temperature is 37 °C. But this does not mean that your environment is always at the same temperature. A person can be at a temperature of 10 °C and also at a temperature of 40 ° C in a certain region and his body will be between 36 and 37 ° C. If the body of the individual tries to match the temperature of the environment, it will probably die.

High temperature regulation

In an environment with too high a temperature, the sensor warns the brain that it has to cool down because of its excess temperature. The organism activates the bloodstream and causes it to enlarge so that the blood vessels enlarge. When it expands, it is possible to make a better transfer of heat to the environment to cool the body. In addition to blood flow, sweat begins. Evaporation of sweat from the skin causes a decrease in temperature.

Low Temperature Regulation

In very cold environments, sensors remind the brain to tell that the body must be heated. This type of thermoregulation seeks the temperature to rise to normal levels. One of the methods that the body has is shivering. When a person shrugs is because there are involuntary muscle contractions. The reason behind these small seizures is to move the muscles to radiate heat.

“Goosebumps” or hardened hair, also contribute to the process of homeostasis self-regulation, as they make it harder to release heat from the body.

Thermoregulation of behavior and autonomy

Humans have two thermoregulation methods: behavioral and autonomous. The first is given consciously, for example, removing excess clothing when the temperature is high and covering the body when there is a low temperature. The second is what happens automatically like the example given above.

Regulation of ectothermic creatures

Humans maintain a constant temperature due to their internal activity. Therefore, they are endothermic. However, there are certain creatures whose internal temperature depends on the temperature around them. In this case, homeostasis have been always conscious and not automatic. To be able to regulate its temperature, ectothermic creatures such as reptiles, must move to a place that has the desired temperature.

If their internal temperature is very low, they should move to a sunny location. There they will achieve homeostasis by regulating their temperature. Conversely, if their temperature is very high, these animals will look for shade.


Last Updated on December 10, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team