Our Marvelous Bodies: An Introduction to the Physiology of Human Health

By Gary F. Merrill | Go to book overview

11
Integrated Physiological Responses

At the turn of the twenty-first century, all things physiology were about integration. This means understanding mechanisms from molecular to whole animal levels. Such knowledge allows science to be quickly transferred from the laboratory bench to the hospital bed (translational physiology). Regulation of circulating blood volume is one such topic.


Hypovolemic Hypotension

Hemorrhagic shock such as occurs in combat or in automobile accidents reduces the circulating volume of blood and causes hypovolemic hypotension. This has far-reaching consequences for the body and survival. It also exemplifies how multiple organs and systems respond in a coordinated fashion when the physiological homeostasis of the cardiovascular system is upset. In the experimental physiology laboratory, hemorrhagic shock and hypovolemic hypotension have been among the time-tested classic experiments used to teach advanced students about the integration of organ systems physiology.

Imagine an adult whose organ systems are in the physiological steady state under resting conditions. Assume his heart rate, cardiac output, and mean systemic arterial blood pressure are 75 beats per minute, 5 liters per minute, and 100 mmHg. All is well because his cardiovascular system is in a state of homeostasis. Now consider the same person after an emergency crisis brought on by the precipitous loss of 30 to 40 percent of his circulating blood volume. There are two phases of response to the crisis. The first could be characterized in the early seconds to minutes after the onset of hypovolemia. The second, a considerably different picture, would take place hours to days later and only if the victim was still alive.

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Our Marvelous Bodies: An Introduction to the Physiology of Human Health
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables xi
  • Preface xiii
  • 1: The Foundation 1
  • 2: Understanding the Mammalian Nervous Ystem 18
  • 3: The Endocrine System and Physiological Communication 35
  • 4: The Cardiovascular System and the Blood 53
  • 5: Health and the Respiratory System 76
  • 6: Kidneys and Renal Physiology 94
  • 7: The Gastrointestinal System 109
  • 8: The Reproductive System 128
  • 9: The Immune System 138
  • 10: Muscle Function 151
  • 11: Integrated Physiological Responses 162
  • 12: For the Record 170
  • Glossary 185
  • Notes and Suggested Reading 199
  • Index 209
  • About the Author 221
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