500 Words – Day 007 – Our Inner Sea and Its Environmental Impact on Health

Our Inner Sea and Its Environmental Impact on Health

I am no doctor or scientist by any means but have been studying human physiology for 4.5 years as of January 2022, with a special interest in kidney function. This is because of two surgeries on my bladder and kidneys as a child.

Kidneys as I understand their function combined with the purpose of dialysis leads me to conclude that our kidneys are our body’s blowoff valves or wastegates if you will. They are in place to maintain the fluid or plasma levels of our body. This would be the primary function. Second, they also filter out excess electrolytes and other components like hormones from our plasma that would disturb fluid homeostasis. And third, they allow for excess hydration consumed to be released. We all know this because it happens when we drink too much of any good thing be it water, alcohol, Gatorade, etc.

Then there is our spleen. This organ is found in almost all animals classified as vertebrates. It is the body’s largest lymph node and as such, it is a key player in what we call our immune system. It fights disease, synthesizes antibodies, and produces white blood cells all while acting as a filter for the purification of our blood, removing all manner of microbes and red blood cells that are damaged or simply worn out.

Next in the lineup of our filter organs is our liver. The largest of all our internal solid organs it filters almost all of the blood in our body. 70-80% of total liver blood flow is fed by the hepatic portal vein with blood from the spleen, gallbladder, gastrointestinal tract, and pancreas. It breaks down complex compounds in our blood, such as over-the-counter, prescription and street drugs, alcohol, caffeine along with the nutrients from the foods we eat.

The lungs are also a filter of sorts. A two-way filter if you will. They do more than move oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of the body. They also act as filters. Mucus in your lungs catches and holds dust, germs, and other things that have entered the lungs. As far as their filtration function, carbon dioxide is the most important component that they remove from our plasma to keep the blood from becoming too acidic. In that sense, the lungs control your body’s pH balance by releasing carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a slightly acidic compound. It’s also a waste product produced by cells in the body as they use oxygen. The cells release it into your blood, and it’s taken to your lungs for clearance.

So, our kidneys are just one part of many functions of many organs in our body that maintain the overall homeostasis of our internal terrain and its body of water, stored primarily in our largest organ; our skin.

Our skin is important in maintaining body water levels and preventing water loss into the environment. It contains approximately 30% water, which contributes to plumpness, elasticity, and resiliency. The overlapping cellular structure of the stratum corneum and lipid content of the skin serves as “waterproofing” for the body. -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/

So as you can see, our body dedicates a lot of energy, effort, and organ tissue to maintaining a healthy circulatory system that is facilitated by our body’s inner sea, by a fluid we call plasma, spinal cord fluid, tissue fluid, or urine depending on where we find it. A fluid that our body makes at the rate of about 1/2 a liter per day.