An understanding of anatomy and physiology is not only fundamental to any career in the health professions, but it can also serve you well in many aspects of your life and benefit your own health.
Familiarity with the human body can help you make healthful choices and prompt you to take appropriate action when signs of illness arise. Your knowledge in this field will help you understand news about nutrition, medications, medical devices, and procedures and help you understand genetic or infectious diseases. At some point, everyone will have a problem with some aspect of his or her body and your knowledge can help you to be a better parent, spouse, partner, friend, colleague, or caregiver.
8.1 Homeostasis: Homeostasis refers to the relatively stable state inside the body of an animal. Animal organs and organ systems constantly adjust to internal and external changes in order to maintain this steady state.
8.2 Body Tissues: The different types of cells are not randomly distributed throughout the body; rather they occur in organized layers, a level of organization referred to as tissue. The variety in shape reflects the many different roles that cells fulfill in your body.
8.3 Digestion and Nutrition: The ability to digest food is essential to an organism’s survival. Humans have a highly specialized digestive system which allows selective absorption of a wide range of nutrients. The body utilizes these nutrients to produce energy. Excess and waste materials are excreted.
8.4 Respiratory System: Animals are complex multicellular organisms that require a mechanism for transporting nutrients throughout their bodies and removing wastes. The human circulatory system has a complex network of blood vessels that reach all parts of the body. This extensive network supplies the cells, tissues, and organs with oxygen and nutrients, and removes carbon dioxide and waste compounds.
8.5 Circulatory System: The mammalian circulatory system is a closed system with double circulation passing through the lungs and the body. It consists of a network of vessels containing blood that circulates because of pressure differences generated by the heart.
8.6 Immune System: Organisms have a wide array of adaptations for preventing attacks of parasites and diseases. The vertebrate defense systems, including those of humans, are complex and multilayered, with defenses unique to vertebrates. These unique vertebrate defenses interact with other defense systems inherited from ancestral lineages, and include complex and specific pathogen recognition and memory mechanisms.
8.7 Musculoskeletal and Nervous System: The muscular and skeletal systems provide support to the body and allow for movement. The central nervous system and associated nerve cells transmit electrochemical signals to and from the musculoskeletal system. These signals initiate a broad range of responses, including movement.
8.8 Endocrine System: The endocrine system produces hormones that function to control and regulate many different body processes. The endocrine system coordinates with the nervous system.
8.9 Reproductive System: In the animal kingdom, each species has its unique adaptations for reproduction. Humans reproduce by sexual reproduction. A male sperm combines with a female egg to form genetically unique offspring. Male and female anatomies are adapted to produce sperm or egg respectively. Sperm and egg maturation is tightly regulated by hormonal signals.
8.10 Osmotic Regulation and Excretion: The daily intake recommendation for human water consumption is eight to ten glasses of water. In order to achieve a healthy balance, the human body should excrete the eight to ten glasses of water every day. This occurs via the processes of urination, defecation, sweating and, to a small extent, respiration.