One thing we all have in common are the systems in place which help maintain the day to day running of our bodies. However, not many people are aware at just how complex the human body is and how truly amazing the body is even down to the cellular level.
In the first of a series of posts on the anatomy of the human body, we will be breaking down and going deeper to look at how wonderful the human body is. First of all we will be looking at the various systems the body uses, then after the different types of tissue and try to unravel the complexity of cells.
All Systems Go…
Some of the most basic functions we encounter with the day to day operation of our bodies involve such a complex number of systems to work simultaneously in order for us to be able to do all we do from one day to the next.
The human body as an organism consists of TRILLIONS of cells, which are able to perform various functions through the access to an external environment. What this means, is that over time cells have evolved to specialize in a particular area to enable the smooth running of the machine that is reading this right now (I’m talking to YOU).
A very clear organizational structure has been devised to ensure all basic and complex processes required for us all to function, can be carried out and executed over and over, day after day. Let’s imagine you have just eaten a nutritious meal and you feel full and content, after you have swallowed said meal, here are the various processes involved once you have eaten that fillet steak or plant based dish.
The Wonder Of You
You may be aware of a few of the systems in place as they are self-explanatory which help bind the body and enable a symbiotic relationship for life to exist, some may come as a surprise. There are a total of eleven systems and I will be running through what they are.
The Integumentary System which you may be more familiar with the term known as skin. This acts to protect the body from various kinds of damage, such as loss of water or damages from the exterior. The integumentary system includes hair and nails along with being waterproof and to protect the deeper tissues.
It excretes waste, and regulate body temperature, and is the attachment site for sensory receptors to detect pain, sensation, pressure, and temperature. In the majority of land vertebrates with significant exposure to sunlight, the integumentary system also provides Vitamin D synthesis.
The body system composed of bones, cartilages, ligaments and other tissues is known as the Skelatal System, which perform various essential functions for the human body. Bone tissue is a hard, dense connective tissue that forms the majority of the adult skeleton, the internal support structure our body. In the areas of the skeleton where whole bones move against each other (shoulder joints or knees) cartilages, a semi-rigid form of connective tissue, provide flexibility and smooth surfaces for movement.
The Muscular System is composed of specialized cells called muscle fibers. Their function is contraction. Muscles, attached to bones or internal organs and blood vessels are responsible for movement. The majority of movement in the body is the result of muscle contraction. The integrated action of joints, bones, and skeletal muscles produces obvious movements such as walking and running. Skeletal muscles also produce some more subtle movements that result in various facial expressions, eye movements and respiration.
You’re Getting On My Nerves
The Nervous System is an organized group of specialized cells which not only receive stimuli but also conduct impulses to and from all parts of the body. These cells are long and string like. The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, sensory organs and all the nerves that connect these organs with the rest of the body. Together, these organs are responsible for the control of the body and communication among its parts…fabulous!
Another important part of the puzzle is the Circulatory System, also known as the cardiovascular system, is a vast network of organs and blood vessels that act both as a delivery and waste removal system for the body. Nutrients, oxygen and hormones are delivered to every cell and waste products such as carbon dioxide are removed. Not only does the circulatory system keep our cells healthy, but it also keeps us alive. The heart constantly receives signals from the rest of the body regarding what it requires to pump the correct supply wherever it needs. While sleeping, the body sends electrical signals to the heart that tell it to slow down. When participating in heavy exercise, the heart receives the message to pump harder to deliver extra oxygen to the muscles.
The human Respiratory System is a series of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. Primary organs of the respiratory system are the lungs, which carry out this exchange of gases as we breathe. The lungs work with the circulatory system to pump oxygen-rich blood to all cells in the body. Blood then collects carbon dioxide and other waste products and transports them back to the lungs, where they’re pumped out of the body when we exhale.
The collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism is the Endocrine System, along with growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep and mood among other things. Although the hormones circulate throughout the body, each type of hormone is targeted toward certain organs and tissues. A gland selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them and secretes the finished chemical product for use somewhere in the body. Interestingly, the endocrine system affects almost every organ and cell in the body.
Time To Digest It All
The Digestive System is made up of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) or digestive tract, the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth all the way to the anus. The hollow organs that make up the GI tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are the solid organs of the digestive system.
The Immune & Lymphatic System, are two closely related organ systems that share several organs and physiological functions. Our immune system is the body’s defense system against infectious pathogenic viruses, bacteria and fungi. Our immune system works to keep these harmful agents out of the body and attacks those that manage to enter. The lymphatic system is a system of capillaries, vessels, nodes and other organs that transport a fluid called lymph from the tissues as it returns to the bloodstream. Lymphatic tissue of these organs filters and cleans the lymph of any debris, abnormal cells, or pathogens.
The Urinary System, also known as the renal system or urinary tract consists of the kidneys, ureters (small tubes), bladder and the urethra. The purpose of the urinary system is to discard waste from the body, regulate blood volume and blood pressure, control levels of electrolytes and metabolites and also regulate blood pH. The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for the eventual removal of urine.
Last but not least we have the Reproductive System, also known as the genital system, is the biological system made up of all the anatomical organs involved in sexual reproduction. Many non-living substances such as fluids, hormones, and pheromones are also important accessories to the reproductive system. Unlike most organ systems, the sexes of differentiated species often have significant differences. These differences allow for a combination of genetic material between two individuals, which allows for the possibility of greater genetic fitness of the offspring.
It is quite overwhelming when you realize just how complex the human body is. There are so many processes going on simultaneously without you even knowing it. We will be looking at the human body in more detail moving forward. This is in the thinking that if we understand ourselves better, it will give us better understanding and increase our chances of maintaining and staying healthier for longer. While a number of processes are out of our control, we can help the others with the way we choose to eat, drink and exercise. If this has been helpful to you, please let me know below. I know it’s not the easiest of reads, but hopefully it has given you a better understanding of the human body and its systems.