The first week in July seems an appropriate time to consider the subject of the body and how it regulates and reacts to heat. Rush University Medical Center offered the following extensive discussion of heat and the body.
A close look at the complex systems that keep us functioning can inspire awe. Such is the case with the body’s complicated temperature-regulating mechanism.
This intricate apparatus balances heat production with heat loss, keeping the body at a temperature just right for optimal function. This balancing act is directed automatically and seamlessly by the hypothalamus, a small portion of the brain that serves as the command center for numerous bodily functions, including the coordination of the autonomic nervous system.
Much like a thermostat regulates the temperature inside your home, the hypothalamus regulates your body temperature, responding to internal and external stimuli and making adjustments to keep the body within one or two degrees of 98.6 degrees. Continue reading