Physiological Principles for Health and Social Care


Human Body are complex but it is important for professional within healthcare to understand how they work so as to be able to recognise diseases. This paper will explore the anatomic features and the physiological of human body in the context of health and social care practice.

  • Outline the main anatomical features of the human body

Our body are made of a number of biological systems which carry out specific function necessary to maintain life. Each biological system consist several body organs as highlighted below.

Digestive system consists of mouth, stomach, intestine, anus, oesophagus, rectum, teeth, tongue, liver and pancreas

Urinary system consists of kidneys, ureters, the bladder, two sphincter muscles and the urethra.

Circulatory system consists of heart, blood vessels, blood

Respiratory system consist of the trachea, the diaphragm, nose, bronchi and the lungs

Reproductive system differs according to gender. The male productive systems consists of Penis, testes and sperm

Endocrine system consists of the following organs pituitary gland, pineal gland, thymus, ovaries, testes, and thyroid gland

Muscle system consists of the body muscle which are smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle

Skeletal systems consist of bones

Integumentary system consists of the following organs; skin, nails, hair, sweat glands

Lymphatic system consists of lymph nodes, lymph ducts and lymph vessels

Nervous system consists of brain, spinal cord, and nerves (Bailey 2016).

  • a) Discuss Cellular metabolism and explain how Digestive and Respiratory system interact in cellular metabolism

Cellular metabolism  is the sum of all chemical reaction that takes place in the cell through which energy is produced for essential process in the body (Maders 2004). Cell metabolism involves sequences of controlled chemical reaction   which are known as metabolic pathways. There are two metabolic pathways which are catabolism pathway and anabolism Pathway. Catabolism pathway is a metabolic process in which cells breakdown complex molecules to produces energy. Anabolism pathway is a constructive metabolism process in which the cells use energy to construct complex molecules such as enzymes and nucleic acids (Tocris 2016).   For cellular metabolism to take place, food substances are required in the body. The digestive system through the mouth allows the food to enter in the body to be used in the entire cellular process.

Closely related to cellular metabolism is cell respiration. Cell respiration is a series of metabolic process which is used by living cell to produce energy in form of ATP. Cell respiration can either be aerobic or anaerobic. Aerobic respiration utilizes oxygen and glucose to produce ATP. It is during Aerobic Respiration that cellular metabolism interact with respiratory system. The respiratory system through the breathing mechanism provides oxygen to the cellular metabolism allowing aerobic respiration to take place (Seamons 2007).

  1. b) Discuss function of growth hormone (production of more cells e.g. during development) which ensure our body to grow.

Growth hormone is a 190 amino acid synthesized and secreted by cells called somatotrophs in the anterior pituitary. It is involved in a numbers of physiological process including Growth and metabolism (Bowen 2006).

Growth hormone   is inspires body growth. It stimulates the liver and other body tissues to secrete Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 in turn stimulates the production of cartilage cells resulting to bone growth. IGF-1 also   play key role in muscle growth.  Both bone growth and muscle growth result to physical growth of the body (Bowen 2006).

In addition, Growth hormone is also a key player in metabolism. Specifically, Growth hormone affects Protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. In protein metabolism, it increases amino acid uptake, increased protein synthesis and decreased oxidation of proteins. Also, growth hormone stimulates utilization of fat in the body by triglyceride breakdown and oxidation in adipocytes (Bowen 2006).

2.1) Explain normal body responds to everyday physical activities

To facilitate everyday physical activities, human body need energy. Energy is produced by the body from food. Therefore,   in our case study, the student will need food to support his daily physical activities in the college. For the raw food he consumes to be used by the body, digestion has to take place. Digestion is a process in which raw food is breakdown into a form that the body can absorb and use as energy (Rinzler and DeVault 2016). Digestion of food in the body is partly mechanical and partly chemical (Cyber Surgeon 2016).

Mechanical digestion Involves physical breakdown of food into smaller pieces. It starts in the mouth as the food is chewed. This process continues in esophagus. The contraction of muscle in the Oesophagus pushes the food along, breaking it further to smaller size (Cyber Surgeon 2016, Rinzler and DeVault 2016).

Chemical digestion involves breakdown of food into smaller pieces using chemical. As the food is pushed by the Esophagus, it reaches the stomach. Stomach performs three important function related to digestion. First, it mixes and store food for further digestion, secondly, it secrete chemical that breakdown down food further into smaller molecules. Finally, the stomach controls the passage of food into the intestines (Cyber surgeon 2016). Therefore, from stomach, food molecules are passed into the small intestine. In the small intestine, the gallbladder realise bile, a chemical produced by liver and stored by gallbladder. The bile acts as emulsifier helping fat mix with water for easier absorption (Bowen 2001). The inside surface of small intestine is covered by finger-like substance known as microvilli. MicroVilli absorb food molecules that have been broken down   by the chemical digestion process (Cyber Surgeon 2016).

From the small intestine, there is large intestine. Large intestine received the left-over food molecule from the small intestines. However, these food molecules contain no nutrient since all of them were absorbed in small intestine. These foods are the eliminated form body   through the anus in form faeces (Rinzler and DeVault 2016).

2.2 In relation to the above response, discuss how body responses are explained by cellular and tissue structure and physiology

We have clearly seen that,   body respond   to everyday physical activities through digestion where food is broken down to produce energy. However,   for digestion to release energy,  absorption of   nutrient has to take place. Absorption involves filtering of nutrients such as fat, protein and carbohydrates from food molecules.  Food absorption takes place in the small intestine. Once the food reaches the small intestine from stomach, a chemical know as bile which is produced by liver and stored by gall Bladder is released into the food molecules. This chemical acts as emulsifier, a compound that mixes fat with water which eases absorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins. The inside   surface of small intestine is covered by finger-like substance known as microvilli. MicroVilli absorb nutrients in the food that have been broken down   by the chemical digestion process. Once nutrients are absorbed, they enter into the bloodstream through the blood cell membrane where there are transported to the target cells where they enter the cells through membrane to facilitate metabolism. Metabolism is a series of chemical reaction perfom by cells for maintenance of life as people engage in their daily activities (Cyber surgeon 2016, Rinzler and DeVault 2016).

2.3 Explain how his body will coordinate its internal activities

The internal environment in human body is a delicate one which needs to be maintained in a stable condition for maintenance of life. For instance, the temperature level, glucose level,   water level, etc must be maintained at optimal level in order for individual to remain healthy and alive.  All these are maintained through homeostasis. Homeostasis is a process of maintaining a controlled and stable environment in our body (Clancy and McVicar 2002). Homeostasis comes as result of coordination of activities of various body systems. Homeostasis is achieved either through negative or positive feedback mechanism.   For homeostasis to work, three component work together these are receptor, brain and effectors. Receptor notifies the brain of changes in environment by sending stimuli to it. In response the brain send   stimuli to organs (they are known as effectors) that are supposed to respond to the changing environment. If the stimuli send by the brain oppose the original stimuli is known as negative feedback. Contrary, stimuli from brain which support the original stimuli are known as positive feedback (Clancy and McVicar 2002, Jenkins 2000).

The body regulated most of it internal activities through negative feedback. For instance, when an individual eat food high in glucose, the blood sugar in the body increases. Upon realizing the increase, the brain send stimuli to the pancreas to release hormone known as insulin which inhibit the excess sugar in the blood leaving blood sugar at the normal level (ABPI 2016).

3.1 Explain how routine measures are recorded

The health and social care is evidence-based practices. The care professional needs to collect as much evidence as possible before care planning. This requires care professional to perform appropriate routine measures such as physical examination, blood test and x-rays on service users.

In the case of the 65 year old with hypertension and who has developed a chest pain, there are several routine measures that the GP should recommend to him.    Chest x-rays is one of the routine test essential in his case. Chest x-ray is a non-invasive and painless test that generates pictures of structures such as lung, heart and blood vessels that are inside the chest (National institute of health 2010). Through the chest x-ray, the GP would be able to understand   any abnormality in his organs inside his chest that might be causing the pain.

Another essential routine measure to be recommended on him is Pulse pressure test. Pulse pressure is the differences between the maximum pressures exerted by heart when beating (systolic pressure) and the minimum pressure exerted by heart (diastolic pressure). This test is done A high pulse pressure is a stronger indicator of heart problem especially to on hypertensive patients or elderly (Sheps 2016) individual just like the man in our case study.

It is also important to also conduct Urinalysis on him. Urinalysis is screening test that uses urine to detect some common diseases such as diabetes, kidney disorder, and liver problem among others. For instance, when   blood is spotted in the urine during urinalysis, it may be an indication of diabetes and necessary diabetes test would be necessary (Mayo clinic 2016).

It would also be crucial to conduct the Body mass index (BMI) test on the 65 year old man. BMI test is a measure of body fat based on individuals’ weight in relation to their height (NHS Choice 2016). BMI test is conducted by measuring individual height and then dividing it with their height. A healthy individual should have a BMI within 18-25 range. Any figure above that range indicated overweight and obesity. BMI is a good primary test that shows potential risks of diseases. Overweight and obese individual are at high risks of various health problem such as diabetes, cancer etc (NHS choice 2016). It is therefore important that this test is conducted on the 65 year old man to ensure there his health condition does not deteriorates

(3.2)Assess how these routine measures provide the GP with information about the body functioning of this person

The reason for conducting routine measures is to gather information. Various routine measures provide   information that help GP or care professional evaluates the functioning of body organs and systems.

In connection to the case study which include pulse pressure, chest-x-rays and blood test would generate   paramount information for the GP. The Pulse pressure Provide the GP with information relating to functioning of heart and the condition of artery.  Through this information, The GP can be able to determine whether the patient has or is at risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The chest x-ray is an imaging test that uses small radiation to produce picture of organs inside the chest. Through the x-ray pictures produced, abnormalities or diseases in the heart, lung, airways, bones and blood vessel can be spotted (Krans 2015).

3.3 Examine how such information about the body functioning may inform care planning for this person

In health and social care, it is important for professional to always make well informed decision relating to patients care (Moonie 2005). The information generated by routine Measures are therefore crucial as they enable professional within health and social care to make well informed decision in care planning.

In connection to the case study, the information generated by the routine test including x-rays, pulse rate and blood test would helps in several ways. First, it would help determine the medicine appropriate to the man. Secondly, it would help Professional identify and work to eliminate all possible health risk factors. Thirdly, It would help unearth health problem that might be causing chest pain if there is any, hence proper intervention to improves the old man health and wellbeing. Generally, the information from routine measure would helps understand the health and wellbeing needs of the 65 years old man hence development of better intervention and approach to his care.
4.1 Explain how age affected body structure and functioning

Ageing do affects body structure and functioning. Generally speaking, the more an individual age, the more their body organs loss their function. Almost all the body systems are affected by the ageing but inhere only two systems   namely respiratory and nervous will be discussed.

The nervous system consists of several organs which are the brain, spinal and the nerves.   Ageing affects all of these organs.     One effects of ageing on the nervous systems is the loss of Neuron. Neuron is a specialised cells used to transmit information in the body. Loss of neuron results to slow processing of information. In addition,  Voluntary motor movement also slow down. Excessive loss of neuron in the brain lead to decrease in production of a chemical knows as dopamine which help coordinate   and balance muscle movement.  When the production of this chemical decrease, it become impossible to coordinated or balance muscle movement and this results to Parkinson’s disease (Boundless 2016). Another effect of ageing on nervous system is reduction of brain sizes and weight due to decrease in volume of cerebral cortex. Furthermore, ageing also decreases the blood flow into the brain as are results of accumulation of fatty substance in the walls of arteries. Decrease flow of blood into the brain  increases the changes of stroke and other health problems such as dementia, memory loss, and cognitive ability among others (Bondless 2016).


Ageing has several effects on the respiratory system. First,  with ageing, there is a gradual increase in rib calcification. This change increases the rigidity of chest wall which make it laborious for individual to breathe (Janssens 1999). Secondly, the Lung tissues and the airway losses their elasticity with ages. In addition, the alveoli also losses their surface area due to ageing. All these changes affect the functioning of the lung. Specifically, the tidal volume i.e. the amount of air exchanged in normal breathing declines. An old person   spends 20 percent more energy for tidal volume as compared to young person. Also, the Viral Capacity i.e. the total volume of air exhaled during respiration also decline   with ages (Knight and Nigam 2008).

4.2. Assess the impacts of the above mentioned conditions on her body structure and functions

Diabetes is lifelong condition which causes the blood sugars to become too high beyond the optimal level (NHS choices 2016). Diabetes has a numbers of effects on body functioning and structure. First of all, it affects the heart, it increases blood pressures and as such it contributes to   high blood pressures. Therefore, unless proper care is provided to the 85 year old with diabetes and other condition, she is likely to develop hypertension. Also, Diabetes can damage the kidney thereby affecting their ability to secrete waste form the body. In additional, diabetes also contributes to the formation of fatty deposits in blood vessel walls. This restricts the flow of blood and also results to hardening of Blood vessels. This therefore put the old woman in our case study at the risk cardiovascular diseases (Pietrangelo 2014).

Osteoarthritis is lifelong condition that affects joint (Arthritis foundation 2016). It causes pain, stiffness, tenderness in almost all body joint.  Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage. Cartilages are slippery tissues that cover the ends of the bone. The work of cartilages is to allow bone to glide over each other. It also helps absorb shock during movement.   Arthritis cause breakdown of Cartilage, allowing bones to rub each other. This makes movement of joint to be painful. This slows down the movement and can limit mobility (National institute of Health 2016). Therefore, the 85 years old woman in the case study who is suffering from Osteoarthritis is not experience Pain in the joint, but slow movement with may gradually lead to limitation of movement.


Non- healing ulcers are open wound that does not improve despite various interventions (Kerstein 1998). Non- healing ulcers can be caused by many factors but in our case scenario, they are probably caused by the ageing of the patients. They not only cause pain but can also limit mobility. In connection to our case study, the non healing ulcers on the old woman legs are probably causing her pain and immobility.

4.3 Relate the effects of common disorders and infection to the care routinely given to individuals affected by them

In order to improve the life of the 85 years old woman with three long life condition  care must be developed to control and manager these disease.

In connection to diabetes,  the old women need to be given appropriate medicines that will increase the production of insulin to control the high Blood sugar level. This will help prevent worsening of her health. She will also need to be advice and provided with the appropriate food that are low in glucose to avoid further increase of Blood sugar in her body.

In regard to Osteoarthritis, the old woman needed to be relieved of the pain. Relieving of pains can be done through administering medicines or through the use of non-medicine techniques.  In addition,    Joint care, exercises and loss weight will also be required in order to improve the functioning of her joint hence preventing possible immobility (Arthitis foundation 2016).

Finally, in regard to Non- healing ulcers,    cleansing and changing of the dressing will needed to be done frequently not only to prevent infection but also odour (Hickey 2006). The level of pain associated with ulcers also needs to be assessed. Too much pain  is a strong indicator of infection or arterial disease. This would therefore help determine the next course of action including referral that should be taken. In addition, appropriate therapies should be used to manage the ulcers where necessary (Adeyi et al 2009).


In conclusion,   the body consists of numerous organs which are then group to form biological system. Each biological system performs specialised task.ver, all the systems work together to maintain a life.

The body is designed to respond to various everyday activities through breathing rate, metabolism etc.

To have a better understanding of body function, routine measures are recorded by professional within healthcare. These routine measure provide wide ranges of information that help professional make informed decision as far as care planning is concerned

Finally, ageing affects the body structure as well as lead to decline functioning of the body. This can give rise to health problems. It therefore, important that proper care is given to the elderly   with health and social care.












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