Body Systems

Body Systems
Curriculum Outcomes Addressed
• Explain structural and functional relationships between and among
cells, tissues, organs, and systems in the human body (304-7)
• Describe the basic factors that affect functions/efficiency of the
respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory, and nervous system (304-9)
• Describe the science underlying various technologies used to assist or
replace unhealthy organs or systems (111-5)
• Provide examples of careers that are associated with the health of body
systems (112-10)
• Describe three examples of the interdependence of various systems of
the human body (304-10)
You will learn…
• Main human body systems
– Major organs and tissues
– Diseases and disorders
• Technologies and procedures used to replace and/or
repair body systems and/or their organs
• Careers associated with the maintenance and/or
repair of human body systems
• Organ system interactions (interconnectedness
between two or more organ systems)
Human Body Systems
Circulatory System (Cardiovascular and Lymphatic)
Digestive System
Endocrine System
Excretory System (including the Urinary System)
Integumentary System
Muscular System
Nervous System
Reproductive System
Respiratory System
Skeletal System
1. Circulatory System
Enables the transport of nutrients, gases, hormones, white blood cells and
wastes to and from cells of the body
Heart, Blood Vessels
1) Arrhythmia - Abnormal heart rates and rhythms
2) Angina pectoris – Severe heart pain, often accompanied by shortness of
breath, fatigue, and nausea. It is caused by not enough blood getting to the
heart muscle. One treatment is taking nitroglycerine tablets to relieve the
pain by increasing blood flow to the heart muscle.
1) Cardiologist - a physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of
diseases of the circulatory system, especially, the heart.
2) Cardiovascular Surgeon – carries out heart surgeries
3) Hematologist - a physician specializing in diseases of the blood.
1) Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) – a printout recording of the electrical
Technology activity of the heart; frequently used by cardiologists.
2) Phlebotomist - specially trained nurse or technician who draws blood for
lab tests and may also start IV’s (intravenous fluids).
3) Echocardiography - using ultra high frequency sound waves (sonar) to
form an image of the inside of the heart. This procedure can demonstrate
valve damage, congenital (before birth) defects and other abnormalities.
2. Digestive System
Ingests and breaks down food so that it can be digested by the body
Mouth, Esophagus, Stomach, Liver, Pancreas, Gallbladder, S/L Intestine
1) Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - Severe “heartburn”;
Weakness of the valve between the esophagus and stomach may allow
stomach acid to back up into the esophagus and inflame the lining.
2) Jaundice - Yellowing of skin and whites of eyes from a reflux of bile from
the blood into body tissues; results from blockage of the ducts draining bile
from liver into intestines or excessive breakdown of red blood cells.
3) Crohn’s Disease - a chronic inflammatory disease of the bowel. Typical
symptoms are abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea.
1) Gastroenterologist – a physician specializing in diseases of the digestive
system including esophagus, stomach and intestines. These specialists do
not do surgery. Patients needing surgery are referred to a general surgeon.
2) Proctologist – a physician specializing in diseases of the rectum and
anus. Proctology is a surgical subspecialty.
1) Endoscopy - flexible fiberoptic instrument attached to a video camera
Technology that can be used to visualize the esophagus, stomach and large bowel.
2) Ultrasonography (ultrasound) - using high frequency sound waves to
visualize internal organs.
3. Endocrine System
Secretes hormones into blood stream to regulate body activities such as
metabolism, growth, water and mineral balance, and the stress response
Pituitary gland, Hypothalamus, Thyroid, Heart, etc.
1) Diabetes - condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough of the
hormone insulin or the body does not effectively use the insulin it produces.
Because insulin is important in helping the body convert sugars and starches
into necessary energy, there can be serious consequences if diabetes is left
undiagnosed and/or untreated.
2) Thyroid Disorders - If your thyroid gland is not active enough, it is called
hypothyroidism. It can make you gain weight, feel fatigued, and have difficulty
dealing with cold temperatures. If your thyroid is too active, it makes too many
thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). Too much thyroid hormone can make you
lose weight, speed up your heart rate, and make you very sensitive to heat.
1) Endocrinologist - specially trained doctors who diagnose diseases that
affect your glands/endocrine system.; diagnose and treat hormone imbalances
by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones in your system.
1) Insulin Pump - replace the need for periodic injections by delivering rapidTechnology
acting insulin continuously throughout the day using a catheter.
4. Excretory (Urinary) System
Eliminates liquid wastes and regulates water balance
Kidney, Bladder, Urethra, Ureter
1) Kidney stone – small calcium deposits in the kidney caused by accumulation
of minerals from our diet; may cause very painful urination.
2) Urinary tract infection (UTI) - infection of the ureters, bladder, and urethra.
Most often caused by bacterial infection. Urination is painful and difficult. UTI
occurs more often in women than men. Antibiotic is the common treatment.
3) Nephritis - swollen kidney(s) due to the inflammation of the nephron
(kidney’s microscopic filtering unit). Nephritis can be caused by infection, but
mostly by autoimmune disorders which affect major organs.
4) Gout - caused by excess uric acid stored up in the blood. It affects joints and
leads to pain, redness, and inflammation.
1) Nephrologist – a physician specializing in kidney diseases.
2) Urologist - a physician specializing in diseases of the lower urinary tract (the
bladder and urethra) as well as problems with the male reproductive system.
1) Dialysis - a procedure for cleansing the blood of waste products in
individuals with complete kidney failure or who have had kidneys removed by
surgery; the patient’s blood is circulated through a machine that removes
waste products. The blood is recirculated back into the patient.
2) Cystoscopy – looking into the urinary bladder with a fiberoptic instrument.
5. Integumentary System
Protects the body from environment, injury, and infection, and stores fat
Skin, Hair, Nails
1) Athlete’s Foot - common fungus infection in which the skin between the
toes becomes itchy and cracked. It is caused by an infection that is the result
of fungi that grow well in warm, damp areas such showers and locker rooms
2) Skin cancer - the growth of abnormal skin cells - the most common type of
cancer in humans.
3) Acne - skin disease marked by pimples on face, chest, and back; the result
of increased levels of male hormones that cause oil glands to oversecrete.
1) Dermatologist - specialize in treating diseases, disorders and injuries of
the skin, hair, and nails. They treat common diseases that many people get,
such as acne and warts, as well as skin cancer and chronic skin conditions
1) Skin Grafting - transplantation of skin; the transplanted tissue is called
Technology a skin graft; used to treat extensive wounding, burns, areas of extensive skin
loss due to infection Specific surgeries that may require skin grafts for healing
to occur - most commonly removal of skin cancers
2) Laser Treatment - Laser treatments are used to reduce the quantity of
wrinkles, scars, pimples and bruises. It works but shooting short controlled
beams of light on the needed area of the damaged skin.
6. Muscular System
Enables movement, posture & balance by contraction & extension of muscles
1) Muscular dystrophy - a group of inherited diseases in which the muscles
that control movement progressively weaken, often to the point that people
affected cannot control their muscle/movement. The most common form in
children is called Duchenne muscular dystrophy and affects only males.
2) Tendonitis- Repeated strain on a tendon (attachment of a muscle to bone)
can inflame the tendon resulting in pain and difficulty with movement
involving the muscle. Tendons have a poor blood supply; therefore, they
typically take a long time to heal (six weeks or more).
2) Physical therapist – rehabilitation specialists who treat a multitude of
medical problems including patients recovering from joint surgery, limb
amputation, stroke, heart attack and suffering with neuromuscular diseases;
teach patients exercises to strengthen their muscles and increase mobility.
1) Electromyography - a recording of muscle electrical activity; Fine needles
are introduced into muscles in order to make recordings of contractile activity.
Useful in evaluating causes of paralysis and diagnosing muscular dystrophy, etc.
2) Muscle biopsy – Cutting out a small tissue sample of muscle in order to
examine it under a microscope; to diagnose neuromuscular disorders.
7. Nervous System
Senses environment; communicates with and activates parts of the body
Brain, Spinal Cord, Nerves
1) Multiple Sclerosis – a disease of unknown cause that causes multiple hard
plaques of degeneration of the insulation of nerve fibers in the central nervous
system; patients may suffer paralysis, sensory disturbances or blindness.
2) Epilepsy - a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of
mental and physical functions; may be controlled with medication, or if
unresponsive to drugs, may require surgery.
3) Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) - the fancy name for a “stroke”. A blood
vessel in the brain may burst causing internal bleeding or a clot may arise in a
brain blood vessel which deprives brain tissue of oxygen; the patient may
suffer paralysis, loss of speech, or loss of vision.
1) Neurologist - physician specializing in diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves.
2) Neurosurgeon – carry out surgeries related to the brain and spinal cord
1) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – a medical imaging technique used to
Technology visualize internal structures of the body in detail; MRI can create more detailed
images of the body than X-rays (i.e., identify soft tissue tumour in kidneys)
2) Spinal tap - introducing a needle into the spinal column to sample the fluid
around the brain and spinal cord in order to test for bacteria or disease
3) Pacemaker - a medical device that uses electrical impulses, delivered
by electrodes contacting the heart muscles, to regulate the heart beat.
8. Reproductive System
Produces new life; produces eggs and supports the development of offspring
(female); produces and delivers sperm and associated fluids (male)
Ovary, Uterus, Fallopian Tubes, Cervix, Testes, Vas Deferens, Prostate Gland
1) Hydrocele - a fluid filled sac partially surrounding the testis. Manifests
itself as a swelling on the side of the scrotum. Can be surgically corrected
2) Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) - swelling of the prostate gland which
surrounds the base of the male bladder and urethra causing difficulty
1) Obstetrician - physician specializing in the diagnosis and management of
pregnancy and delivering babies.
2) Gynecologist - a physician specializing in diseases of the female
reproductive system and surgery of this area.
1) Transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) - the surgical cure for BPH. An
Technology instrument inserted through the penile urethra is used to partially cut away
the prostate to relieve obstruction of the urinary tract.
2) Colposcopy - using a magnifying instrument to inspect the interior of the
vagina and cervix, the entrance to the uterus.
3) Mammoplasty – Surgical reconstruction of the breast may involve breast
enlargement or reduction or cosmetic reconstruction after mastectomy.
9. Respiratory System
Supplies oxygen to the blood and removes carbon dioxide
Lungs, Larynx, Pharynx, Trachea, Bronchi
1) Bronchitis is an inflammation/swelling of the the bronchi (the airways that
carry airflow from the nose/trachea to the lungs); can be caused by viruses,
bacteria, or smoking; stops air from entering lungs, causing wheezing and pain
2) Emphysema - results in progressive destruction of the air sacs in the lungs
and loss of respiratory membrane for oxygen exchange (i.e., in smokers).
3) Cystic fibrosis - an inheritable disease that affects the lungs and other
systems producing mucus such as the digestive system. Patients suffer
frequent lung infections that are hard to treat because mucus is thick; results
in increased scarring of the lungs.
4) Epistaxis – a fancier name for a “nosebleed”
1) Pulmonologist - a physician specializing in diseases of the lungs.
2) Respiratory Therapist - a specially trained technician who administers,
among other treatments, inhalation therapy to patients with lung disease.
1) Pulmonary angiography - special X-rays of the vessels of the lungs.
2) Laryngoscopy - visual examination of the larynx.
3) Endotracheal intubation - passing a special air-tube into the trachea so
oxygen can be reliably supplied directly to the lungs without risk of inhaling
vomit from the stomach (i.e., during surgery or during general anesthesia)
10. Skeletal System
Provides mechanical support for the body, protects internal organs, stores
minerals until needed, and produces red blood cells
Bone (i.e., vertebrae, skull, rib cage), Cartilage
1) Osteoporosis – The hard, rock-like quality of bone is dependent upon
calcium. When too much calcium is dissolved from bones or not enough
replaced, bones lose density and are easily fractured. Women are at higher
risk of developing osteoporosis. A collapse of bony vertebrae of the spine
results in loss of height and stooped posture. Hip fractures commonly result.
2) Carpal tunnel - People whose job involves repeated flexing of their wrist
(i.e., typing) may develop pain in thumb, index, middle fingers and weakness of
movements of the thumb (i.e., grasping an object). Repetitive movements may
inflame and thicken the ligament near the wrist bone and compress the nerve.
1) Rheumatologist – treat joint diseases such as arthritis and evaluate and
treat osteoporosis, tendonitis, gout and lupus among many other chronic
musculoskeletal pain disorders.
2) Orthopaedist – treat children with spine and limb deformities and adults
with bone fractures, damaged tendons, or surgery to replace hip or knee joint.
1) Arthroscopy - A fiberoptic instrument used to visualize surfaces of bones
Technology entering into a joint, find tears in joints, and evaluate sources of inflammation.
2) Bone scan – A radioactive element is introduced into the blood stream; used
to diagnose potential bone tumors among other bone pathologies.
Body System Interconnections
The human body has been referred to as “the incredible machine.” The
body’s systems are interconnected. Each organ system has a different
function and yet, they are constantly working in harmony to keep a
person alive.
Each body/organ system is connected with each other body/organ system
in some way – whether they work together, depend on each other, or
affect one another in some small way, they are all interconnected and
necessary for a healthy, long life.
Systems rarely work alone. All of the systems in an organism are
interconnected. A simple example is the connection between the
circulatory and respiratory systems. As blood circulates through your
body, it eventually needs fresh oxygen (O2) from the air. When the blood
reaches the lungs (part of the respiratory system), the blood is reoxygenated. Your stomach, part of the digestive system, constantly
interacts with your endocrine system and spreads hormones throughout
your body.
Body System Interconnections
• The Skeletal System…
– Supports the body and gives skeletal muscles something to pull
against so that the skeletal muscles can move (MUSCULAR)
– Protects the mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, and
gall bladder (DIGESTIVE)
– Protects trachea, vocal cords and diaphragm (RESPIRATORY)
– Protects the heart (rib cage) and the skeletal system’s bone
marrow produces red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout
the body (CIRCULATORY)
– Protects the kidneys (URINARY)
– Protects the brain (skull) and spinal cord (NERVOUS)
– Bones provide calcium that is essential for the proper function
of the nervous system (NERVOUS)
Body System Interconnections
• The Muscular System…
– Muscles move bone and tendons connect to bone (SKELETAL)
– Smooth muscle found in the esophagus, stomach, small and
large intestines, and rectum help along digestion (DIGESTIVE)
– Smooth muscle is found in the diaphragm which helps with
respiration because of its movement (RESPIRATORY)
– Cardiac muscle is found in the heart and allows the heart to
expand and contract (CIRCULATORY)
– Smooth muscle is found in the bladder (URINARY)
– Provides protection for impulses sent down through the body
from the brain (NERVOUS)
– Smooth muscle surrounds your circulatory and lymph system.
Those muscle tissues are spread throughout your body and are
involved in controlling your body temperature (CIRCULATORY)
Body System Interconnections
• The Digestive System…
– Provides nutrients for bone growth and repair (SKELETAL)
– Provides nutrients for muscles to do work (MUSCULAR)
– Provides the diaphragm with nutrients in order to facilitate
breathing (RESPIRATORY)
– Provides the heart with nutrients so that the heart can
continue beating (CIRCULATORY)
– Provides nutrients so that the kidneys can clean your blood of
wastes produced by all of the other systems (URINARY)
– Provides energy for the brain in order for it to continue
controlling all of the other systems (NERVOUS)
Body System Interconnections
• The Respiratory System…
– Provides oxygen in order for bones to do work and removes carbon
dioxide and water that skeletal cells produce as waste (SKELETAL)
– Provides oxygen for muscles to do work and removes carbon dioxide
and water that muscles produce as a waste product (MUSCULAR)
– Provides oxygen for the digestive system and removes carbon
dioxide and water as waste products by digestive system (DIGESTIVE)
– Your mouth and pharynx are used to swallow and to breathe. There
is a branching point where you will find the epiglottis that directs
food to your stomach and air to your lungs (DIGESTIVE)
– Provides the oxygen that is carried by red blood cells to all parts of
the body and removed CO2 & H20 created by heart (CIRCULATORY)
– Provides oxygen so the urinary system can clean the body of waste
products (URINARY)
– Provides oxygen to the brain so that the brain can continue to
function properly; connects in your nose for smell (NERVOUS)
Body System Interconnections
• The Circulatory System…
– Moves oxygen and glucose around to skeletal cells (SKELETAL)
– Moves oxygen and glucose around to muscle cells (MUSCULAR)
– Moves oxygen and glucose around for cells and moves wastes
so that they can be disposed of (DIGESTIVE)
– When you breathe, the circulatory system carries oxygen to
your cells and carries dissolved carbon dioxide back to the
– Moves oxygen and glucose around for use in the cells of all
– Hormones create by the endocrine system travel through the
body via the circulatory system (ENDOCRINE)
Body System Interconnections
• The Urinary System…
– Cleans the blood of waste products produced by the cells in all
– Blood that circulates through the body passes through one of
the two kidneys. Urea, uric acid, and water are removed from
the blood and most of the water is put back into the system
– Greatly controlled by the endocrine system; As levels of
compounds and fluids are monitored, kidney function must be
constantly altered to provide the best internal environment for
your cells. If you drink too much water, hormones are released
that allow for more urine production. If you are dehydrated, less
urine will be produced (ENDOCRINE)
Body System Interconnections
• The Nervous System…
– The cerebrum and cerebellum in the brain control movement,
balance, thinking, etc; the brain regulates the position of bones
by controlling muscles (SKELETAL, MUSCULAR)
– The spinal cord delivers messages from the brain to the rest of
the body (ALL SYSTEMS)
– The medulla in the brain stem controls involuntary muscle
movement during digestion (DIGESTIVE), during respiration or
breathing (RESPIRATORY), and in order to keep a regular heart
– The nervous system regulates the speed at which food moves
through the digestive tract (DIGESTIVE)
– Baroreceptors send information to the brain about blood
pressure (CIRCULATORY)
– The medulla in the brain stem involuntary movement that
occurs during the cleaning of blood and urination (URINARY)
Body System Interconnections
• The Integumentary System…
– Skin is an important defense barrier against foreign invaders
such as bacteria (ENDOCRINE)
– Receptors in the skin send sensory information to the brain
– Nerves control muscles connected to hair follicles (NERVOUS)
– Sweat glands and peripheral blood flow are regulated by the
autonomic nervous system (NERVOUS)
– Capillaries near the surface of the skin open when your body
needs to cool off and close when you need to conserve heat
Body System Interconnections
• The Endocrine System…
– The endocrine system is everywhere and the chemicals
produced by the system act in a variety of ways on every cell of
your body (ALL SYSTEMS)
– The circulatory system is the transport system for endocrine
information such as hormones and chemicals (CIRCULATORY)
– You have a pituitary gland in the base of your skull that releases
hormones that control blood pressure and your excretory system
– You have a thyroid gland in your neck that controls your bone
growth rate and metabolism (SKELETAL)
Helpful Resources
Nervous System Interactions with Other Systems
• Organs Systems of the Body – Biology For Kids
• An Owner’s Guide to the Cell
• Games and Quizzes Dealing with Body Systems and Organs

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