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How does the body keep itself working properly?

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How does the body keep itself working properly? Millions of chemical reactions take place in the body, and because they can influence one another, they all need to be kept in balance. This process is called homeostasis, and it ensures that the whole complicated system works smoothly, and that problems are usually overcome before they can cause illness.

The brain monitors what happens within the body and controls everything by means of nerves and chemical messengers called hormones that switch chemical reactions on and off as needed.

What is excretion?

Excretion is the removal of waste material from the body. Most of this material is removed from the blood by the kidneys, but waste carbon dioxide produced by the activity of the cells is removed by the lungs, and other waste is excreted as sweat, through the skin. The liv er gets rid of many poisonous materials by making them harmless and passing them on to the kidneys.

What is urine?

Urine is the liquid produced in the kidneys and discharged from the bladder when we pass water. It contains waste materials.

Blood containing waste products is filtered in the kidneys, where waste is removed. Urine containing this waste drains into the bladder where it is stored before being discharged.

What job do the kidneys do?

Kidneys are very effective at removing most of the waste from our blood.
Blood is pumped through groups of tiny tubes inside the kidneys, and harmful waste material passes out through the walls of these vessels and down a long tube called the ureter, into the bladder.

Here it is stored until ready to be discharged from the body as urine. The kidneys have a very important function in controlling the amount of water in the body. Water balance needs to be kept at exactly the right level if the body cells are to remain healthy.

What is a kidney machine?

If the kidneys become diseased and stop working, it is necessary to use a kidney machine to remove waste from the blood. This machine process is called dialysis. It involves pumping blood from a tube in the person's arm into thin tubing that runs through a tank of sterile liquid. Waste passes from the blood through the walls of the tubing, and the cleaned blood is returned to the body.

This has to be done throughout the person's life, unless a new kidney can be provided in a transplant operation. Dialysis needs to be carried out frequently - several times a week - to stop wastes from building up to dangerous levels.

A kidney machine takes blood from a patient and filters out waste. It passes the clean blood back into the vein.

How does the body keep at the proper temperature?

The body has several systems to keep itself at the right temperature. Heat is produced by the breakdown of food substances stored in the body. The chemical reactions in the body will only take place properly if the body is kept at the ideal temperature, so any extra heat has to be removed.

Heat leaves the body through the lungs, as you breathe out warmed air, and also through the skin. If you are very hot, the blood vessels near the skin's surface open wider to increase the blood flow, so you look a bit pink. The extra blood means more heat leaves the skin surface, so cooling your body.

Vigorous exercise means the body needs to generate extra energy. Some of this is produced as heat. Excess heat is removed by sweating.

Tags: body, human, lungs, kidney

Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 22 December '11

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