Homeostatic imbalanceMany diseases are a result of disturbance of homeostasis, a condition known as homeostatic imbalance. As it ages, every organism will lose efficiency in its control systems. The inefficiencies gradually result in an unstable internal environment that increases the risk for illness. In addition, homeostatic imbalance is also responsible for the physical changes associated with aging. Even more serious than illness and other characteristics of aging is death. Heart failure has been seen where nominal negative feedback mechanisms become overwhelmed, and destructive positive feedback mechanisms then take over.
Diseases that result from a homeostatic imbalance include diabetes, dehydration, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, gout, and any disease caused by a toxin present in the bloodstream. All of these conditions result from the presence of an increased amount of a particular substance. In ideal circumstances, homeostatic control mechanisms should prevent this imbalance from occurring, but, in some people, the mechanisms do not work efficiently enough or the quantity of the substance exceeds the levels at which it can be managed. In these cases, medical intervention is necessary to restore the balance, or permanent damage to the organs may result.
According to the following quote, every illness has aspects to it that are a result of lost homeostasis:
- "Just as we live in a constantly changing world, so do the cells and tissues survive in a constantly changing microenvironment. The 'normal' or 'physiologic' state then is achieved by adaptive responses to the ebb and flow of various stimuli permitting the cells and tissues to adapt and to live in harmony within their microenvironment. Thus, homeostasis is preserved. It is only when the stimuli become more severe, or the response of the organism breaks down, that disease results - a generalization as true for the whole organism as it is for the individual cell." (Pathologic Basis of Disease, third edition, S.L. Robbins MD, R.S. Cotran MD, V.K. Kumar MD. 1984, W.P. Saunders Company) http://www.hypnosis.edu/webtv/