Essential Understandings for Physiology
Essential Understanding #1:
Interaction of Systems: Systems of the human body interact in order to maintain homeostasis and survival.
- Nervous system: interprets stimuli and controls responses
- Skeletal system: supports, protects, forms blood, and stores minerals
- Digestive system: breakdown of macromolecules to molecules that the body can use for energy, storage,
tissue synthesis and repair
- Muscular system: locomotion (voluntary and involuntary), heat production
- Respiratory system: gas exchange (O2, CO2) between blood and body tissues
- Circulatory system: transport, immunity, temperature regulation
- Integumentary system: protection, temperature regulation, sense reception
Essential Understanding #2:
Homeostasis: The ability of the body to maintain a level of constancy in response to
internal and external stimuli.
- Nervous system: controls rate of respiration in response to exercise
- Skeletal system: provides attachment for muscles used during exercise
- Digestive system: provides the fuel needed for energy expenditure during exercise
- Muscular system: contraction of muscles creates movement during exercise
- Respiratory system: provides necessary oxygen and removes waste CO2 during exercise
- Circulatory system: transports the necessary oxygen, waste CO2, and nutrients during exercise
- Integumentary system: perspiration allows for cooling during exercise
Essential Understanding #3:
Disease: An abnormality in body function that threatens well-being
- Nervous system: epilepsy, stroke, glaucoma, color-blindness, cataracts, refraction errors,
multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, deafness, etc.
- Skeletal system: osteoporosis, fractures, leukemia, scoliosis, arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, etc.
- Digestive system: Irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, diarrhea,
constipation, gallstones, appendicitis,
- Muscular system: bursitis, tendonitis, muscular dystrophy, sprains, strains, myasthenia gravis,
- Respiratory system: asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, rhinitis, sinusitis, etc.
- Circulatory system: congestive heart failure, hypertension, sickle cell anemia, stroke, heart attack,
atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia, murmur, congenital heart defects, aneurysms, anemia, leukemia, etc.
- Integumentary system: skin cancer, psoriasis, eczema, ringworm, tineae, acne, burns, alopecia, nail fungi, etc.
Essential Understanding #4:
Levels of Organization: The human body is a complex system requiring coordination
from the chemical level up through the system level.
- Chemical level: atoms form molecules
- Anatomical level: cells, tissues, organs, systems, organism
Essential Understanding #5:
Nutrition: The body requires a specific level of assimilated vitamins, minerals, other inorganic
and organic molecules in order to maintain good health.
- The roles of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in the human body
- Various eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, etc.
- Sources of nutrients
- Deficiency diseases
- Over-consumption of certain nutrients