Feedback Loops Essay

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The first negative feedback loop I’ll be looking at is how the body maintains the water concentration of the body. ADH (Antidiuretic hormone) is regulated by the hypothalamus. If a person isn’t taking in enough water or sweating too much, sodium levels rise in the body. The hypothalamus detects high concentrations of sodium and sends a signal to the pituitary gland to release ADH. ADH is then moved throughout the body via blood to the kidneys. This causes the kidney tubules to reabsorb more water into the blood stream making the sodium concentration to lower. This results in water being able to move easier through the tubule membrane back into the blood and causes the person to urinate less. If a person is taking in too much water, ADH becomes inhibited because the blood becomes too dilute. This lack of ADH allows less water to be reabsorbed back into the blood. The kidneys then release more urine in order to get the water concentration back to normal. If homeostasis fails, say in the instance of a lack of sodium, the blood cells would simply keep reabsorbing water to help get it back to normal. They would continue to do so until they burst and the person would die. If the homeostasis fails in the instance of an excess amount of sodium, the blood cells would shrivel up because there is less water for them to absorb. The second negative feedback loop I’ll be looking into is more about emotions. When a person becomes frightened, the hypothalamus releases CRH (corticotropin releasing hormone) which tells the parasympathetic system to shut down. Doing this directs energy away from the digestive track and immune system and puts it toward heart rate and things that activate the body, including breathing. The hypothalamus then influences the brain stem and spinal cord and stimulates the adrenal glands to release catecholamine which stimulates the nervous system. With

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