Physiology Principle in HSC


People working in health and social care need to understand how body work under normal condition. They should also be able to identify abnormality in human body in order for them to delivery effective care. Importantly, they should know the anatomic features of the body and the function of various body systems. Also, they should understand the relationship between body functioning and it physiology. Equally, they should also understand how body functioning is affected by age and diseases. This understanding would enable them explain   various health problem as well as design effective care plan. This essay is centred in advancement of the above highlighted knowledge within health and social care setting.

  • outline the main anatomical features of the human body

There are 11 body systems in every human being each system is made up of several body organs and has unique function in the body. They areas below


  • The skeletal system consists of Bones, tendons, ligaments and cartilages.
  • Muscular system consist four types of muscles namely cardiac, smooth and skeletal muscles.
  • Nervous system is regard as the body’s control centre. It is made of the Brain, spinal cord, and nerves.
  • The Endocrine system is made up of glands that secrete hormones.
  • Circulatory system consists of the heart, blood, and blood vessel.
  • The Lymphatic system consists of Bone marrow, lymph nodes, thymus, and spleen.
  • The respiratory systems consist of oral cavity, nose, nasal cavity, sinuses, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchial tubes within lungs, alveoli.
  • The urinary system consists of kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra.
  • The Digestive system consists of Oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, salivary glands, liver, pancreas, gall bladder.
  • reproductive system consist of testes, epididymis, vas deferens, prostate, seminal vesicle, bulbourethral glands, urethra, penis, scrotum in   male and ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina, labia, clitoris in female(Cambridge training and development 2000, Wright 2000, Tortora and Derrickson 2005).

Each of the above system performs specialised function in the body. The endocrine system coordinates all chemical reaction with the body. It secrete hormone which   control various biochemical reaction in body (Cambridge training and development 2000).

The urinary system performs a number of functions which include; Regulation of blood volume, regulation of blood pressure, regulation of ionic composition of blood, production of red blood cells, Synthesis of vitamin D and finally excretion of waste products from the body (Wright 2000).

The cardiovascular system, also known as circulatory system performs four functions in the body. First, it transports nutrients, gases and waste products around the body. Secondly, it protects the body from infection and blood loss. Thirdly, it helps the body maintain a constant body temperature .i.e thermoregulation. Finally, it helps maintain fluid balance within the body (Cambridge training and development 2000, Wright 2000)

1.2aDiscuss how body systems interact to ensure the body functions and grow

One of the ways in which body systems interact to ensure body function and grow is through metabolism. Metabolism is a biochemical process that occurs with   living organism including human to maintain live. This biochemical process allows the   human being to grow, repair damage and respond to the environment (Nordqvist 2015). Metabolism can be broken down into two sections; the anabolism and Catabolism. Anabolism   refers to the process in which all the compound needed by a cell are synthesized for optimal use (Saladin 2014). In other words, anabolism is a process that involved building things up out of small molecules. The entire process consumes energy but is very necessary as it allow the body to grow new cell and maintain tissues (Nordqvist 2015). Contrary, catabolism is a process where compounds are broken down to give energy. Catabolism provides the body with energy it needs for physical activity from a cellular level to the whole body (Nordqvist 2015).

Body cell needs energy to grow, repair damage and carry out their specialised function. And as we have seen above, metabolism produces energy. Therefore certain metabolism must take place within cells for the production of energy to be utilised by it. This kind of metabolic process is known as cellular respiration. In a more precise definition, Cellular respiration is a metabolic process that takes place with the cells to convert nutrients into biochemical energy known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and at the same time releasing waste (Bailey 2016).

The entire process of cellular respiration takes place in mitochondria. For the mitochondria to work effectively in this process, three body systems are needed. They are digestive, circulatory and respiratory.  The digestive system is need as it is the only way individual acquire food needed to fuel the cells. In the digestive system, once foods are acquired, they are broken down and absorb into the small intestine to release glucose molecules. These glucose molecules are then transported through circulatory system   to the cell where they are taken up by mitochondria (Kahana, n.d).

The respiratory system is responsible for supplying the body with oxygen. As people inhale, oxygen is allowed in the body. This oxygen is then transported to cells. Once it enters the cells, the mitochondria   take it and use it in the cellular respiratory (Kahana n.d)


The endocrine system also plays a very huge role in coordination of body activities. Unlike the Nervous system which is responsible for coordinate Motor control, endocrine system coordinates all chemical-based activities such as growth. It does this through secretion of hormone in the blood. Hormones are then transported to various body cells and tissues from which the intended activities are initiated (Marieb and Hoehn 2015, Shier 2015, Tortora, and Derrickson, 2015). One of the hormones released by the endocrine system is the growth hormone. Growth hormone is released in the blood stream by the pituitary gland. Once released, it stimulated the growth of almost every tissue in the body. As such growth hormone is very important for physical growth especially in children (Utiger 2016).

2.1 explain normal body responses to everyday activities

The process of breathing in and out   is simply due to changes of pressure within thorax in comparison with external environment.  During in inhalation, the intercostal muscles which are located in between ribs and diaphragm contract to expand chest cavity.  During the process, the intercostals muscle Flatten the diaphragm and move it downward. At the same time, it also moves the ribs cages up and out. This increase the size of thoracic cavity which decreases the internal air pressures so the air outside which has high pressure   enters the body to equalize the pressure.

During exhalation, the intercostals muscle relaxes so the diaphragm and rib cages return to their resting position. This decreases the size of thoracic cavity and as result the internal air pressure is increased forcing the air out of the body.

The rate at which an individual inhale and exhale is known as breathing rate. The breathing rate   usually increases with the level of everyday activities. For instance,    when the college student is in class, his breathing rate is at normal rate. However, when he engages in college sport, such as football, the breathing rate may increase to increase intake of oxygen needed by the body.

2.2 discuss how body responses are explained by cellular and tissue structure and physiology

As mentioned earlier in this paper, cellular and metabolism reactions in the body produces energy that lead to some body responses such as growth of cells and tissues, etc. Both the cellular and metabolic reactions require gas (oxygen) and also produce gas as by-product (carbon dioxide). Therefore, the gaseous exchange in the body is very important.

Cellular and tissues structure play very important role during gaseous exchange. When oxygen is inhaled, it goes direct to air sacs in the lung knows as alveoli. This oxygen must be transported into the cell in order to support cellular and metabolic reaction. They are transported through red blood cell in the blood. However, the oxygen must first move from alveoli into the blood. This happens through diffusion. Here, the cellular and tissues structure play important role. The inner cells lining the alveoli and those that surround blood capillary are only one cell thick to facilitate the diffusion of oxygen from alveoli to the blood. Similarly, carbon dioxide move from blood to alveoli and then it is exhaled. At a normal rate, three tenths of a litre of oxygen is transferred from the alveoli to the blood each minute but this might increase if the everyday of activity of an individual increases (Lechtzin 2016). For instance, assuming the college student is exercising, the amount of litre of oxygen that moves from alveoli to the blood in one minute may increase significantly.

2.3 explain how the body coordinates its internal activities

The internal activities on human body are controlled through a process called homeostasis. Homeostasis is physiological process that regulates the various variables such as temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood oxygen level, and stretch in muscle among others in the body to remain at constant level necessary to maintain life (Sumner et al 2000).

Since homeostasis attempt to reduce fluctuation of internal environment, it works through two feedback mechanism namely positive and negative feedback loop. Positive feedback loop occurs when upon sensing the fluctuation of a certain variable; the body stimulate its fluctuation even further. On the other hand, Negative feedback loop occurs when upon sensing fluctuation of the variable, the body react by reversing the fluctuation. For instance, let look at how body control temperature. When the environment becomes cold, the body temperature decreases below normal. The sensory receptors in the skin sense this cold and send temperature information to the brain in form of nerve impulse. Upon receiving the information, the Hypothalamus of brain sets body temperature at 37 degrees C and also sends some response to some body parts. These include blood vessel which is instructed to constrict, the sweat gland which is instructed to become inactive and skeletal muscle which is forced to shiver in order to generate heat. In that way, the body temperature is restored to normal rate (Adam 2007).

Similarly, when the body temperature rises above the body normal rate, the skins detect the fluctuation and send information to the brain. Upon receiving the information, Hypothalamus of brain sets body temperature at 37 degrees C. And also send some instruction to various body parts know as effectors. These include blood vessel in the skins which is instructed to dilate and sweat glands which is instructed to secrete sweat which evaporate to cool the skins surface hence lowering the body temperature up to normal rate (Adam 2007).

3.1 explain the recording and use of routine measures in health and social care

Routine measures conducted on patients are important in health and social care practices. Without them, it impossible for professionals working in health and social care understand and monitoring the wellness of body systems. There are several common routine measures that are conducted. These include weight, height, blood test, fluid and food intake, glucose level, memory tests among other (Walsh 2011). When recording these routine measures, it is important that ethic and principle of support be applied. Patient privacy must be upheld and as such the test record should be kept confidential. Also, during the entire process patient need to be respected and treated with dignity they deserve.

The routine measures that professionals in health and social care decide to conduct on a patient, depended on her/his prevailing health condition (National institute of Health 2016a). For instance, in order to monitor the wellness o the body systems and organ for the 65year old man in the case scenario, the following routine test would be necessary

Blood pressure test- This is test conducted to determine whether a patients is suffering from high blood pressure. Through this test, the care staffs can be able to tell whether the blood pressure of the 65 year old man is bumping at normal or not. If not, then appropriate measure should be taken to avoid deterioration of his health.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) test-   this is test conducted to patient with chest pain to find out whether the pain is associated with heart attack. This test is necessary for the 65 year old man not only because of the chest pain but also because of hypertension which is known to interfere with the circulatory system hence causing heart attack.

Blood test- Blood test is simple method of measuring the amount of component such as protein, Mineral, fat and glucose in the blood (Blood pressure association 2008). It is important to conducted routine test on the 65 year old man in our case scenario in order to known the cholesterol level in their body, assess whether they have any other health problem associated with hypertension such as kidney problem and also determine the medicine that should work best for them.

Chest X-ray – this is an X-ray of chest which allows the doctor   the doctor to check condition of the lung, heart and Blood vessels (Blood pressure association 2008).   In relation to the 65 year old man with chest pain, X-rays is one of the primary tests that must conduct on him. This would help explain the source of pain his chest.

3.2 assess how routine measures provide information about body functioning

Routine measures are great sources of information on body functioning. When Professional working in health and social care conduct and record routine measures, they are able to analyze the record to understand how various body organ or systems of a patients are working (Adams 2007). In the given case scenario, routine measures can help assess the functioning of the various body organs or systems that are put at risks by the hypertension and chest pain suffered by the 65 year old man. For instance, the blood test can help the care professional understand the cholesterol level in the blood. This would be necessary since too much cholesterol level couple with hypertension condition is a high risks factor for cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, conducting this test would help the care professional determine whether the man is at risk of cardiovascular diseases and if so, necessary step can be taken to minimize the risks. In addition, the blood test would also assess the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood hence determining the effectiveness of the body in control diabetes. A consistent increase in glucose in blood can be a symptom of ineffectiveness of body system. Furthermore, Blood test can help determine which medicine work best for the patients (Blood pressure association 2008).

Blood pressure test which is conducted   by listening the flow of the blood in the body using stethoscope; help determine the nature of blood pressure in the body (Blood pressure association 2008). Information relating to blood pressure would help care professional understand, whether the 65 year old man is under attack of hypertension or not hence take necessary step where necessary.


3.3 examine how information about body functioning may inform care planning for individuals

The main motive behind routine measures is to gather information that will help professional in health or social care develop effective care plan.   Through the information produced by routine measures, care workers are able to determine what should go in and what should be lefts out of the care plan for a patient (Adam 2007).   According to national institute of health (2016a), routine measures help identify problems before they arises. It also help find health problem in their earlier stages which give the care professional the opportunity to develop effective care plan to address those problem. In the case scenario, the 65 year old man is at risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack. He is also at risk of kidney problem and   diabetes due to his hypertensive condition. Therefore, it is important to use the routine test to monitor risks factor for the health problems and take appropriate measure to eliminate or minimize them.  The 65 old man also need to be advice on adaptation to his lifestyle such as smoking Cessation if he smokes and diet to eat to reduce risks. Also, using the information generated through the routine tests, he should also be give necessary medicine to control hypertension so as to reduce risks of other health problems.

4.1 explain how age may affect body structure and functioning


All the organs in human body start to loss function as individuals’ age. This is because ageing take, place in cells, tissues and organs and as results the functioning of the various body system is affected.

In the respiratory system, there are a number of changes associated with ageing. The lung and it surrounding become stiffer, the respiratory muscle become weaker and the airways shrunk. Also, as ageing progress the chest walls lose it elasticity hence becoming rigid. In addition, the air sac i.e. alveoli   where the gaseous exchange take place become flatten losing it surface area. All these change lead to breathing problems (Basaul-Olson 2010). The old woman in our case scenario is therefore likely to experience labored breathing as due to the above changes to her respiratory systems.

Ageing also affect the nervous system. Nervous system is the control center of the body and it is made up of brain, spinal cord and nerves cells. As the ageing progress, the brain and the spinal cord loses nerves cells and weight. As results nerves cells start passing message very slowly. Due to the reduction of nerve cells, waste products start building up in the brain tissues forming a plague called lipofuscin. This cause further breakdown of nerve cells and as result and individual   may start losing some of their senses. Also it leads to slowing of thought   and loss of memory (Laura 2014).

4.2 assess the impact of common disorders on body structure and functioning

Common disorders affect both the structure and functioning of the body. In relation to the given case study, the common disorder   suffered by the old woman, affect the structure and functioning of her body in many ways. For examples, diabetes increases the high blood sugar and blood fat in individuals. This led to formation of Plague in blood vessels which decrease blood flow in the body. A decreased blood flow put the body at risk of cardiovascular diseases (Mikesh 2016). Therefore, the functioning of the cardiovascular system in the old woman in the given case scenario is likely to lose some of it ability due to her diabetic condition.

The unhealing wound in her leg and the arthritis are causing pain in the limb making it hard for her to walk. The wound on her leg is taking too long to heal. This put her at risks of infection causing further deterioration of her health. Arthritis causes   pain in the joint. This is due is because the ligament   and fluid that facilitate joint move decreases with ageing making it painful for join movement as bone grid with each other during movement. As a result disability can arise at any time (NHS choice 2016). She may lose her ability to walk forever.

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

The lady in our case scenario has three conditions that are affecting her health. These are arthritis, un-healing wound and type 2 diabetes. This put her in a situation where health conditioning is deteriorating and such it is important that necessary support and care is provided to her. To avoid further deterioration of her health, there are several things that need to be done. First, the un-healing wound needs to be washed, dressed and cleaned routinely to   prevent infections. Also, she needs to be assisted in taking medicine to eliminate pain that might be related to the wound.

Secondly, due to her arthritis condition, Proper pain management is required. Arthritis is a painful condition (NHS choice 2016) and such the care should be centered on reducing the patient so as to ensure quality life.

Thirdly, due to her diabetes condition,    her blood sugar needs to be monitored routinely. Also,   when developing her care plan, the care worker should consult with her to make changes to her lifestyles more important her diet so as to regulate the blood sugar in her body. It is also essential to ensure she is taking prescription for diabetes at the right time and in the right way.


This essay has advanced the understanding of how human body work. It has specifically,   advanced knowledge relating to the various anatomic feature of the body and their function, the relationship between body function and physiology and the impacts of diseases and ages on body functioning. From this understand, it can be concluded that human physiology play an important role in determine people health and therefore, people working in health and social care setting need to have a better understanding of how the human body work.






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