Introduction to Physiology

All organisms are made up of cells. Various chemicals reactions occur in living organisms that keep cells living. So in physiology, we deal with the functions and normal body mechanisms.

What is Physiology?

Physiology is the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.

Physiology is the science of studying the functional activities and mechanisms in the biological body.

Physiology is derived from two Greek words physis means nature

Logos means study.

Fields of Physiology

Physiology can be divided into viral physiology, bacterial physiology, plant physiology, human physiology, and cellular physiology.

  • Viral physiology - viral physiology deals with the investigation of biological processes and activities of viruses.

  • Bacterial physiology - Bacterial physiology deals with the life-supporting functions of bacteria, which allow the bacterial cell to grow and reproduce.

  • Plant physiology - plant physiology concerns the study of plant function and behavior including all the processes of growth, reproduction, metabolism, and defense.

  • Cellular physiology - deals with the study of physiological processes occurring within and among the cells and intracellular communication and behavior.

Human Physiology

It is the science of how the human body functions in fitness and illness. It describes the chemistry and physics behind the basic body functions. It helps in knowing the basic body functions, and to find the treatment of disease. It helps us comprehend what occurs in a healthy body and normal life and what goes on when someone gets sick.

Types of Humans Physiology

Human physiology can be divided into various types.

  • Cell physiology - This is the main field of human physiology, in which we study the functions of cells.

  • Special physiology - in this branch of physiology we study the functions of specific organs

  • Systemic physiology - deals with the functions of the body system such as cardiovascular physiology, respiratory physiology

  • Pathophysiology - deals with the study of the effects of disease on the human body or the organ system.

Biological System

The main systems covered in human physiology are as given below-

  1. Endocrine system - This system includes endocrine glands and hormones which carry messages from one body part to another.

The pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, hypothalamus, parathyroid, and pancreas are the main endocrine glands in the human body.

  1. Circulatory system - This system includes the heart, blood vessels, and blood.

  2. Digestive Systems - Digestive systems start from the mouth and up to the anus. It also includes the liver, pancreas, and spleen.

  3. Integumentary system - This system includes skin, nails, hairs, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands.

  4. Musculoskeletal system - This system includes bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.

  5. Renal/ urinary system - this system includes the kidney, ureters, and bladder.

  6. Respiratory system - This system includes the nose, trachea, nasopharynx, and lungs.

Branches of Physiology

There are various branches of physiology:

  • Cell physiology

  • System physiology

  • Evolutionary physiology

  • Defense physiology

  • Exercise physiology

Who are Physiologists?

Physiologists are medical professionals who study the human body and how organs and organ systems work together under abnormal and normal conditions.

Types of Physiologist

There are various types of physiologists depending on the field of specialization.

  • Clinical physiologist

  • Animal physiologist

  • Viral physiologist

  • Plant physiologist

  • Exercise physiologist

Interesting Facts about Human Physiology

  • One of the largest organs in the body is the skin

  • Skin revives itself after 28 days

  • The human brain provides to 2%of total weight

  • Each day the human heart pumps approximately 71 liters of blood

  • The rhythm of the heart is controlled by electrical impulses.

Important Questions

1. What is an example of physiology?

Ans: Human physiology is the branch of physiology that deals with the study of humans. It deals with the activities and functions of living matter.

2. What are the topics of physiology?

Ans: There are various topics in physiology

  • Body and fluids

  • Biochemistry

  • Endocrine system.

  • Environment physiology

  • Clinical physiology

  • Cardiovascular system

Practice Questions

  1. What are different systems in the body?

  2. What is the physiology of the human body?

  3. Who is the father of physiology?

  4. Why is physiology important?

  5. What is a physiology test?

Key Features

  • Physiology is the study of normal and abnormal functions and mechanisms of the human body.

  • There are various types of branches and fields of physiology.

  • Branches of Physiology are according to the biological system

  • Physiologists are the persons who deal with physiology.

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FAQs on Physiology

1. Why is physiology so important?

Physiology is very important for us because

It is the foundation of life on which we build our knowledge about 

  • Life

  • how to treat disease

  • How to cope with stresses

  • How to deal with the various abnormalities of our body

Physiology is a practical scientific profession and it is of core importance to medicine and health sciences. It provides a thorough understanding of normal body functions and allows for more effective treatment of abnormalities and diseases. It is useful to know the basic principles of body functions.

2. What are the five key themes of physiology?

The five key themes of physiology are as given below:

  • Homeostasis and regulation- homeostasis is maintaining a constant internal body temperature. 

  • Structure and function relationships- this study is about the relation of anatomic structure with their functions. 

  • Compartmentation- is defined as the way organelles are present in the eukaryotic cells. 

  • Biological energy and transformation- the process of converting one form of energy to another form.

  • Communication and information flow - the process of transferring the message takes place through chemicals.

3. What are the two major goals of physiology?

There are many goals of physiology. But the two major goals are: 

  • To understand and anticipate the response of human beings or may organisms to a particular stimuli

  • To understand homeostasis which is the constant maintenance of the internal body environment in presence of a constantly changing external environment, such as maintenance of constant body temperature in Antarctica as well as in any deserted area


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