how the body works
Before we can talk about keeping the body healthy, we first of all need to know what constitute it, because it’s these individual components of the body that we need to take care of. We are going to take you round the human body and talk about the various parts briefly. Links to more detailed descriptions are provided in each section.
The human body is conveniently divided into about eight (8) systems. Each system is in turn made up of a variable number of organs. Each organ is composed of several small tissues, which are in turn made up of billions of tiny cells. We are going to concern ourselves with just the systems and their organs for simplicity’s sake. The systems are:
Heard about “nerves”? Well, this system is made up of the brain (the centre of control), the spinal cord (that delicate structure everyone is scared of hurting in an accident), and millions of ‘nerves’. This system is responsible for the coordination of all the other systems, from the simple blink of an eye to the complex activities of the heart and lungs. The wonders of this system are indeed fascinating, but you sure don’t want to conclude it’s the most important, yet!
Learn more about the nervous system and diseases that affect it here.
Replace “cardio” with “heart” and “vascular” with “vessels”, and we are talking about that system of your body that comprises the heart (a pumping organ) and the blood vessels (channels through which blood being pumped by the heart gets to every part of your body.
Learn more about the cardiovascular system and diseases that affect it here.
This is concerned with getting foods and fluids right from your mouth into the stomach through your intestines (long coils of tubes) where they are digested (broken down) and absorbed (taken into your body), and the remnants passed out as faeces. Other organs that make up the digestive system are the liver (the big brown organ), the gall-bladder (which produces the green bitter liquid), and the pancreas (which produces digestive juices that help to breakdown food).
Learn more about the digestive system and diseases that affect it here.
From the nose through the trachea and larynx (wind pipes) into the lungs (two sacs filled with air), this system is concerned with breathing. During the breathing process, oxygen is taken into the body and carbondioxide produced by the body is removed.
Learn more about the respiratory system and diseases that affect it here.
This comprises the two kidneys (two bean-shaped organs), the bladder (a sac for storing urine), the ureters (tubes that convey urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and the urethra (a tube through which urine passes outside the body). Urine contains waste products from the body.
Learn more about the urinary system and diseases that affect it here.
The name says it all. It’s composed differently in males and females. In the former, we have a pair of testes (where sperms is produced), a pair of vas deferens (a tubes through which sperms are conducted), the prostate and a pair of seminal vesicles (organs that add fluid to the sperms) and the penis (through which semen flows out). In females, there are a pair of ovaries (where eggs are produced), the uterus (or womb), a pair of fallopian tubes (through which fertilized egg enters the uterus), and the vagina.
Learn more about the reproductive system and diseases that affect it here.
Heard of hormones? This is the system that produces them. These hormones are produced in specialized organs called glands. These glands are controlled by the nervous system to produce the hormones whenever they are needed. An example of glands are the adrenal glands sitting on top of the kidneys (which produce adrenaline and some other hormones).
Learn more about the endocrine system and diseases that affect it here.
You guessed right…this system is about movement. It’s made up of bones and muscles. The bones are held together by strong whitish ligaments, and the muscles are attached end-to-end to bones by thick shiny tendons. The points where the bones meet are called joints. This arrangement brings about movement under the control of the nervous system.
Learn more about the locomotor system and diseases that affect it here.
This simply comprises of the skin, hairs and nails. Now before you run off to disregard this system, you might want to know that the skin alone is the largest body organ by surface area (the liver is the largest by mass). Again, being covered in skin, many of the diseases going on in the other systems are manifested on the skin and identifying these signs saves both treatment time and cost.
Learn more about the integumentary system and diseases that affect it here.