If you’re wondering what the word homeostasis means, look no further! Read on to discover our complete guide on the meaning of homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a word that you probably came across once or twice back in biology class, but do you remember what it means? Or how to use it in a sentence? Not to worry — we’re here to help.
In this guide, we’re exploring the term homeostasis to uncover its definition, origin, and more. If you’ve ever wondered about the meaning behind homeostasis, keep reading!
What Is the Definition of Homeostasis?
Homeostasis refers to a cell’s base state if everything that regulates it is working correctly. It’s often called a cell’s “home state” in biology.
Though the theory of homeostasis was first introduced in 1865 by the French physiologist Claude Bernard, it was not until close to 100 years later that homeostasis was first used as a term. In the year 1926, Walter Bradford Cannon combined two Ancient Greek words to make homeostasis: ὅμοιος and ἵστημι, meaning “similar or standing still.”
Homeostasis does not stray from the range of the body’s ideal conditions. This maintenance of these homeostatic conditions must be maintained by all living organisms to survive — not just us humans.
Disease is the leading cause of the disruption of homeostatic mechanisms; however, one can work with nature and re-establish these ideal homoeostatic conditions with effective therapy.
How Does the Body Maintain Homeostasis?
A great example of how our body maintains homeostasis is something that surely our grandfathers or dads have yelled at us about once in our lives — thermostats. For instance, once you set the thermostat in your house to your ideal temperature, the furnace and air conditioner work together to maintain this ideal, preset temperature.
Our bodies have set points for various states — including hunger, thirst, sleep, temperature, and weight. Even if only slightly too large or perhaps just a hair too small, homeostasis will begin to correct any action immediately if any of these setpoints are off in any direction.
Below you will find a list of the primary components of homeostasis in our bodies:
- Stimulus — This refers to something that causes part of the body to react, usually referring to a change in the environment that causes the body to be unbalanced.
- Receptor — A receptor’s sole purpose is to inform the control unit of any stimulus.
- Control Unit — Once the information is received by the control unit, it then communicates with the needed parts of the body to begin the process of homeostasis and bring the body back into balance.
- Effector — Acts on any changes the control unit has communicated needs to be done.
There are also varying types of homeostatic regulation, such as thermoregulation, osmoregulation, and chemical regulation. Behavioral responses and psychological responses are involved regarding homeostasis.
Related Phrases, Antonyms, and Synonyms for Homeostasis?
Now that we have a clearer view of the meaning behind the word of the day — homeostasis. We believe now is as good of a time as any to dive deeper into the meaning behind homeostasis, wouldn’t you agree?
A great way to do so is by reviewing a few example synonyms, antonyms, and related phrases for homeostasis.
Synonyms and related phrases:
- Level pegging
- Status quo
- The tendency of a system to maintain internal stability
- Equal footing
- State of psychological equilibrium
- Symmetrical balance
- Evenness of form
- State of equilibrium maintained by self-regulating processes
- Stable balance
- Maintenance of equilibrium
- Delicate balance
- Lack of proportion
- Lack of harmony
- Seasonal variations
- Ebb and flow
- Lack of relation
- Crests and troughs
- Evolution in the structure
Example Sentences of Homeostasis
As we near the end of our journey, one of our last methods to help memorize the definition of homeostasis is using the word in a sentence.
Try quizzing yourself, or feel free to explore our example sentences listed below. See how many sentences you can write on your own and try to memorize your newly acquired knowledge of the word of the day — homeostasis.
With regular exercise and an improved diet, I finally maintained blood glucose homeostasis.
Blood pressure homeostasis simply refers to the process of maintaining blood pressure in the heart and vessels.
Did you know that the plural of homeostasis is homeostases, which can be defined as the ability or tendency to adjust to a stable internal environment?
Thanks to homeostasis, the human body’s temperature is regulated at an average temperature of 98.6 degrees.
A simple example of homeostasis is the body’s ability to maintain a steady temperature.
We hope we were able to convey to all of you reading at home that homeostasis refers to a state of balance — a balance among all the various body systems that one may need daily to function correctly and survive.
If your body is in a state of balance or, more aptly, homeostasis, body levels of blood sugar, energy, temperature, oxygen, and protein (just to name a few) are constantly adjusted in response to all sorts of changes.