Homeostasis: what it is, definition, meaning, disorders

In this article, I answer questions about a key process of every living organism, which is the continuous process of dynamic maintenance of the organism's equilibrium - homeostasis. Among other things, you will find answers to such questions about homeostatic equilibrium as what is homeostasis and what is it by definition? Why is it crucial for human life and health? In which other fields is homeostasis discussed? What does homeostasis have to do with quantum mechanics and artificial intelligence? What are the risks of long-term disruption of homeostasis? What is the role of the endocannabinoid system in maintaining the body's internal balance? Do cannabinoids and cbd oil have a role to play? And finally: the difference between homeostasis and homeodynamics?

Read in: 5 minute(s)

Homeostasis - what is it?

Word homeostasis derives from the Greek words homoíos - equal, equal and stásis - fixed, permanent.

Definition of homeostasis explains precisely that:

Homeostasis is a set of coordinated optimisation processes in living organisms of a continuous nature aimed at keeping the physiological parameters within the organism as constant as possible in a dynamically changing external environment, with the primary goal of maintaining life and procreation.

If you are wondering what is homeostasis then consider these few facts as well:

  • Every system in a state of dynamic equilibrium strives for equilibrium by resisting the influence of external forces. When the equilibrium is disturbed, the mechanisms built into the system are activated. Their task is to establish equilibrium in the new, changed conditions.
  • Every organism is a system and can consist of many subsystems. A subsystem of the human organism is, for example. the endocannabinoid systemThe body is a single cell of our body. It is also the individual cell of our body.
  • The contemporary view is that Maintaining homeostasis is one of the basic functions of intelligence.
  • In the case of living organisms, this process begins at conception and ends at death.
  • The pursuit of balance occurs over time and is dynamic in nature.

Term "Homeostasis" forged in 1926 and popularised in a book published in 1932 The Wisdom of the Body American physiologist, psychologist and neurologist Professor Walter Cannon. The same man is the author of the term 'Fligh or fight response'. In his scientific work, Prof. Cannon used the assumptions of the French medical researcher Claude Bernard, who lived in the 19th century.


Other areas where homeostasis is mentioned

You will also find the concept of homeostasis in philosophy, psychology, social sciences, ecology, earth and climate sciences and ... cybernetics, classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and among the basic tasks discussed in theory before the coming era of artificial intelligence:

  • In a psychological context means, among other things, the ability to maintain a person's psychological equilibrium in the face of stress, conflict but also strong positive stimuli,
  • In the social sciences is associated with the phenomenon of the collective drive of living organisms to maintain the optimum possible environmental conditions for life,
  • In earth and climate sciences Homeostasis involves considering the earth as a living organism striving to self-regulate in order to maintain the possibility for life to thrive (Gaia hypothesis),
  • The Quantum Homeostasis Hypothesis by Antoine Suarez as developed by Sergey Sekatsky is at once philosophical, theological and, at the very least, interesting from the point of view of future scientific research based on data and evidence,
  • Deep learning models are designed to provide gigantic amounts of data to, among other things, 'equip' artificial intelligence algorithms with 'knowledge'. On the basis of these, AI will be able - if it is not already so - to accurately model homeostatic states at basically any level from cellular homeostasis in the bodies of living organisms, to the homeostasis of the functional systems of these organisms, to ... The limit and quality of the simulation/modelling of homeostatic states of any level seems to depend solely on the quantity and quality of the input data and the computational capacity that AI will have at its disposal.

So now the question: what happens when an evolutionary algorithm-equipped artificial intelligence is connected to the computational resources of quantum computers?

Example of homeostasis in the human body

When considering a detailed answer to the question posed in the introduction "what is homeostasis?" it is worth looking at an example of the homeostatic process and the essential elements of this process.

Parameter control is via receptors, and information about the value of a parameter is transmitted to the appropriate place in the central nervous system (the interpreter) on a continuous basis. Interpreter makes a comparison between the detected value and the optimal value (setting point which is usually an interval of values from/to).

If the value deviates from the range - the parameter is too high or too low - the integration centre sends a signal and forces a response to the effectors appropriate to the situation. A process of rebalancing is triggered, which can manifest as a physiological or behavioural response.

Physiological mechanisms operate on a feedback basis. Behavioural ones, on the other hand, involve a specific behaviour/action, e.g. stepping into the shade, drinking water.

Homeostasis - Mechanism of action - Feedback - Example

Examples of homeostasis in the human body

Among the most commonly mentioned homeostatic processes is regulation:

  • Body temperatures in warm-blooded organisms
  • Optimum pH level of blood and body fluids
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood oxygen saturation (saturation)
  • Carbon dioxide saturations in the blood
  • Quantities of water in the body
  • Appetite
  • Metabolism
  • Emotional mood and psyche
  • Intracellular sodium concentration
  • Immune response
  • Reactions to pain
  • Energy management of the body
  • Hormone management

The list is not complete. I mention only a dozen key examples of functional areas subject to homeostasis. All these processes take place in the organism at the same time, place and conditions. From the point of view of the organism as a whole, homeostasis is the sum of the processes taking place in individual functional, physiological or mental areas.

Homeostatic disorders and their consequences for health

Disruption of dynamic equilibrium a.k.a. homeostasis may have a genetic basis. Disturbances in homeostasis may also result from abnormal development or structure of any of the organs. What disrupts homeostasis?

Homeostatic disorders factors can also cause:

  • pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites),
  • environmental (e.g. air pollution)
  • unhealthy lifestyle (poor diet, little physical exercise)
  • excessive stress from any source
  • psychological (excessive pressure, negative emotions, awareness of another illness)

The consequences of long-term homeostatic imbalance can be, among other things, permanent:

  • dysfunction and damage to internal organs
  • other diseases
  • mental disorders and diseases
  • loss of cognitive abilities as well as manual skills
  • accelerated ageing process and reduced life expectancy

Knowing this will give you a completely different perspective on the saying 'In a healthy body, a healthy spirit'.

Homeostasis versus the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids

The endocannabinoid system is a specific system with a control and signalling role. It plays a key role in homeostatic processes. It uses the CB1 and CB2 receptor network and endocannabinoids produced by the body to work.

One might be tempted to say that homeostasis and the endocannabinoid system are inextricably linked.

Long-term exposure to factors that disrupt homeostasis can lead to depletion of available endocannabinoid stores. The body produces too few of them and, over time, even fewer (e.g. anandamide is produced during exercise - no exercise -> deficiency or lack of anandamide). As a result, the work of the system is hampered and, in extreme cases, impossible.

In medical theory, there is a condition called persistent endocannabinoid deficiency.

Those struggling with such a problem may decide, after consulting their doctor, to supplement with cannabinoids from cannabis, a good source of which is, for example, cannabis. cbd oil.

The cannabidiol contained in such a preparation has proven, among other things, to inhibit the breakdown of anandamide by increasing its concentration and available resources. This is not the only area where cannabinoids may prove to be a solution.

It is worth considering using such preparations purely supplementally in microdoses.

Cannabinoids can support homeostatic processes by helping the system to maintain proper function. This is one of their best recognised properties.

Nature gives us, in various forms, everything we need to keep our bodies functioning properly. Let us make use of it, albeit sensibly.


OK, but what then is homeodynamics, as mentioned, for example, by the author of the entry on homeostasis on Wikipedia (link in sources)?

Homeodynamics is an extension of homeostasis theory. Such a peculiar level up, which will mean little to most, and some will treat it as pseudo-scientific 'Woo'.

The definition of homeodynamics postulates, in the words of Professor Martha E. Rogers, a view of human life and nature as a dynamic and holistic process. Changes proceed in ways that are irreversible, unique and rhythmic in nature. Experiencing them expands the complexity of perceived patterns in the energy fields of people and the environment in which they live, taking the form of invisible waves resonating and reflecting the continuous relationship between them at any point in space-time.

I did not make this up. I am translating the definition from the source: https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/homeodynamics

In simple terms: Human nature is dynamic, constantly changing and an integral whole governed by three principles:

  1. resonance principle,
  2. integrity principle,
  3. the principle of continuous, innovative, unpredictable and ever-increasing diversity in the energy fields of people and their environment.

Wikipedia continues to indicate that this theory is being challenged by scientists in many fields. Perhaps this will change, and Prof Rogers' theory, which has been initiated and is probably full of errors and scientific inaccuracies, will nevertheless live to see development, refinement and scientific evidence.

This may be indicated, for example, by this study: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/Why_Homeodynamics_Not_Homeostasis

It appears that homeodynamic processes in all their chaotic nature, which is difficult to capture even in words, are in fact the dynamic self-organisation of extremely complex structures under homeodynamic conditions that we used to call life (or nature).

I quietly hope that I have managed to cover the topic comprehensively and that the content of the article has provided a simple and precise answer to the question "what is homeostasis?". Did you like the article on homeostasis? Share it. You are bound to know at least a few people for whom a valuable insight into what homeostasis is will not only be interesting, but useful.


  1. https://www.polityka.pl/tygodnikpolityka/nauka/1926316,1,hipoteza-gai-wedlug-lovelocka.read
  2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-homeostasis/
  3. https://www.britannica.com/science/homeostasis
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29337208/
  5. https://europepmc.org/articles/pmc1879618/pdf/canmedaj01507-0012.pdf
  6. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2018.0373
  7. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2020.00200/full
  8. https://davidfmarks.com/2020/05/14/homeostasis-in-philosophy/
  9. https://www.pdcnet.org/jis/content/jis_2015_0027_0001_0082_0098
  10. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/Homeostasis_as_self-organized_quantum_criticality
  11. https://www.sciencenews.org/article/will-to-survive-might-take-artificial-intelligence-next-level
  12. https://medium.com/intuitionmachine/homeostasis-and-a-definition-of-intelligence
  13. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/homeodynamics
  14. https://pressbooks.uiowa.edu/rogeriannursingscience/chapter-5-introduction-to-the-principles/
  15. https://ane.pl/pdf/5414.pdf
  16. https://wou.edu/
  17. https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeostaza
Pure Hemp Shop - Trusted
SEMIKO sp. z o.o. Reviews with ekomi-pl.com

We use cookies to continuously improve the quality of our services, our commercial offer and to enrich our content. You can find out more about this and how we process your personal data in our PRIVACY POLICY.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.