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A Discussion on the Principle Ways in Which Heat Is Gained and Lost by the Body, Explaining the Various Mechanisms Involved in the Regulation of Body Temperature
Since evolution began Man has spread to all areas of the globe, his ability to regulate his body temperature independently of his external surroundings contributes significantly to this success. This assignment will discuss the methods by which heat is exchanged, the effect of this exchange on the body and how it is utilised in thermoregulatory mechanisms. The importance of these regulatory measures will be demonstrated by a brief description of the effects on the body when they do not function properly.
Body temperature is not constant, as discussed by Heath (2003), it fluctuates in accordance with endogenous and exogenous variables, such as metabolism and ambient temperature. Regulatory mechanisms help keep the core (internal) temperature within a narrow range of 36.1°C to 37.8°C (the 'set point'). To keep within this narrow range a balance must be maintained between heat loss and heat gain. The body has three mechanisms it can draw on to achieve this: generating its own heat, gaining heat from the environment and loosing heat to the environment. This movement of heat between the body and surroundings occurs by conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation.
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