Many endocrine responses keep the body’s internal environment stable. What term describes how the body maintains constant conditions, such as blood glucose
and water concentration?
The human body requires certain conditions in order to function properly and to
survive. For example, temperature must be kept constant to provide enzymes in the body with
the right conditions to function properly. The levels of water and mineral salts in the blood must be controlled. Changes in the levels of water and salts can affect the osmotic balance of cells and
fluids in the body. If the levels of water and salts is not kept under control, the level of water within
cells can be disrupted, causing them to swell or shrink, which can have devastating
There are two main systems of communication that detect and respond to changes in the
internal and external environments. They are the nervous system and the endocrine system. When receptors detect that something is not at an optimal level, these communication
systems will send messages to the responsible organs and glands. The effects of the nervous system and the endocrine system return conditions back to
their optimal level.
One example of this is the secretion of hormones by the pancreas in order to regulate
blood glucose concentration. When the concentration of glucose in the blood is too high, the pancreas secretes
more of the hormone insulin. Insulin lowers blood glucose concentration, bringing the levels back down towards the
optimum. When blood glucose concentration is too low, the pancreas releases a different
hormone, called glucagon. Glucagon causes the blood glucose concentration to increase back towards the optimum
Now we have reviewed some of the ways in which the internal environment is kept
stable, let’s have another look at our question.
We are asked for a term that describes how the body maintains constant conditions,
such as blood glucose and water concentration. The term homeostasis is used to describe the maintenance and regulation of a constant
normal internal environment that allows the biological processes to function
properly within an organism. It comes from two Greek words: homeo-, which means similar, and -stasis, meaning
stable. So, to answer our question, the term that describes how the body maintains constant
conditions, such as blood glucose and water concentration, is homeostasis.