Human System Homeostasis and Disease Pathology


HumanSystem Homeostasis and Disease Pathology

Thehuman body systems contain cells that work in unison to ensure thatthe maintenance of the entire body exists. The system of coordinationwhere balance occurs in the internal environment of the body is whatdefines homeostasis. Homeostatic regulation, which takes note ofthree processes that involve the receptor, the control center, andthe effector, facilitates the achievement of the balance that wasmentioned earlier. The chain of command starts when the receptoracquires information from the changes that are notable in theenvironment. The information is channeled to the control center whichprocesses the information and as a result, transmits a command to theeffector. The effector responds to the control center either byenhancing a stimulus or by rejecting the command. It is critical tonote that there are pathways that have been seen to alter homeostasiswhich as a result interferes with the coordination of the bodysystems which are essential to the homeostatic process. The pathwaysthat alter the homeostatic balance may be drawn from nutrient uptake,toxins, psychological factors, physical elements, genetic issues andmedical factors. This paper will seek to address the homeostaticfactors that surround the diabetes disease.

Diabetes:A result of a loophole in homeostatic balance?

Regulationof blood glucose concentration

Maintenanceof blood glucose level is an example of how homeostasis is regulatedin the human body. Regulation of glucose is necessary given the roleit plays as both an energy source and as a valuable material inbiosynthetic reactions. An imbalance in the glucose concentrationpromotes the development of metabolic disorders where an example ofdiabetes is considered. Diabetes, therefore, is a disease that comesabout as a result of excessive glucose which is present in the bloodcirculation. In an effective homeostatic control, such an occurrenceought not to be present however, when a loophole exists in thecontrol system, management of glucose in the body becomes impaired.It is imperative to acknowledge that the process of glucosemetabolism incorporates input from multiple organ systems.

Thehuman organ systems play a significant role in glucose metabolism.The circulatorysystemprovides the internal environment where movement of materials thatoffer nourishment and purification to the body occurs. The digestivesystemprovides the blood with nutrients (e.g. glucose). The endocrineand nervous systemprovides the ultimate homeostatic control given that they coordinatethe functions of the other organ systems. Theexcretory systemwhose major organs are the kidneys, play the role of glucosereabsorption.

Thecoordination between the nervous and endocrine systems governs thesecretion of hormones in specified glands. The coordination of thehuman body systems as mentioned earlier plays the role of determininghow specific organs and the cells function. In the case of diabetes,the gland that is of critical importance is the pancreas whichregulates blood glucose by the secretion of either insulin orglucagon. Secretion of insulin reduces blood glucose concentrationwhile glucagon, on the other hand, functions to increase the saidconcentration. The process of glucose regulation is well maintainedin healthy individuals i.e. in people without diabetes.

Inhealthy individuals, the following process regarding glucose controltakes place: after a meal, the blood glucose levels rise rapidly(Nolan, Damm, and Prentki, 2011). On the contrary, after periods offasting, blood glucose levels drop. Insulin transports glucose to thecells, which is a source of nourishment (Nolan, Damm, and Prentki,2011). In the case where excess glucose is present, the cellstransform it into a storage form called glycogen. When the glucoselevel in the body is low, the hormone glucagon facilitates thetransformation of glycogen to glucose thus stimulating a processdubbed gluconeogenesis. When this happens, insulin is secreted toprevent instances of hyperglycemia. It is imperative to note that amechanism referred to as negative feedback that exists between thelevels of insulin and glucagon is what maintains the homeostasis ofglucose (See Appendix 1 on the normal glucose homeostasis).

Pathophysiologyof diabetes

Inindividuals with diabetes, the body may not respond to the insulinthat is secreted or in other instances the body does not secreteenough insulin to cater for the glucose in the body. The aftermath isan imbalance in the effects that are associated with the roles ofinsulin and glucagon. Type 1 diabetes arises when the body does notproduce insulin in adequate amount, an occurrence that promotes anincrement in glucose in the blood circulation. Type 2 diabetes occurswhen the body is insensitive to insulin secretion, a scenario thatalso promotes an increase in glucose levels that is found incirculation. In both cases, medical intervention is vital to ensurethat a homeostatic control of blood glucose is regained and thatorgan damage that is permanent does not occur.

Type1 diabetes

Thepathophysiology of this kind of diabetes identifies how thepancreatic beta cells (vital in insulin production) are attacked bythe body’s immune system (Mandal, 2016). Beta cell deficiencyresults in insulin deficiency, a condition that is termed to beautoimmune in the sense that antibodies that function against bothinsulin and beta cells production are present in the blood (Rydén,2014). The aftermath is the occurrence of lymphocytic infiltration,a condition that destroys the pancreatic islets, which results in theprogression of diabetes. Mediation of this disease requires insulininjection therapy.

Type2 diabetes

Deficiencyof the beta cells and instances of insulin resistance that isperipheral are the conditions that predispose an individual todiabetes (Rydén, 2014). Changes in insulin receptors are linked tothe occurrence as mentioned earlier. Obesity is at times linked tothe insulin resistance.


Theexistence of excessive pregnancy hormones that counter the activityof insulin result in the development of insulin resistance, acondition that increases glucose concentration in the blood of themother (Mandal, 2016). Gestational diabetes may also arise fromdefective insulin receptors may be present as well.

Thesymptoms associated with diabetes have a pathophysiologicalexplanation: examples include an increment in thirst denotes highblood osmolarity, increased urination being promoted by excessglucose in circulation, the presence of polyphagia, Poor healing ofwounds, diabetic foot and heart disease are associated with highglucose levels in blood circulation. Other symptoms like kidney, eyeand nerve damages occur due to changes that are present in the bloodvessels. Ketoacidosis, a symptom of type 1 diabetes arises when thereare instances of uncontrolled lipid breakdown for energy, a conditionthat increases ketone circulation in the blood.


Thepathophysiological issues surrounding diabetes as well as theirsymptoms indicate a failure in the homeostatic function of therelevant human body systems which, in turn, promotes the developmentof the disease. Interventions that address diabetes disease are aimedat restoring balance to the glucose homeostasis which is paramountfor the proper functioning of the body.


Mandal.,A. (2016). Diabetes Pathophysiology. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from

Nolan,C. J., Damm, P., &amp Prentki, M. (2011). Type 2 diabetes acrossgenerations: from pathophysiology to prevention and management. TheLancet, 378(9786), 169-181.

Rydén,L., Grant, P. J., Anker, S. D., Berne, C., Cosentino, F., Danchin,N., … &amp Marre, M. (2014). ESC Guidelines on diabetes,pre-diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases developed in collaborationwith the EASD. European heart journal, 34(39), 3035-3087.


Source:(Nolan, Damm, and Prentki, 2011). Normal glucose homeostasis