Monday, April 25, 2011

Objective 54: Address how erythropoietin regulates red blood cell production

The texbook does an amazing job at describing how erythropoietin regulates red blood cell production. It explains this process alot better than it does other, if I may add, because for some of the objectives I would have to search and search for something the soundeds somewhere near the answer. The process isn't extremely complicated and there aren't too many difficult words, which is why it was alot easier for me to comphend the first time I read it. The book also provides a great photo that summerizes the process, using a seesaw to demonstrate whether the body is in homeostasis or is imbalanced. The diagram shows the list of stimuluses that could distrub homeostasis in the body, and then shows step-by-step how the body reacts to bring itself back to normal homeostasis again. An example that helps me remember how important this process is to the body is athletes. Healthy athletes will inject EPO to provide them with increased stamina and performance, and will bring their normal hematocrit from 45% to almost as much as 65%. This could be deadly when the athlete dehydrates during a race, which will cause the blood to concentrate further and could cause the blood to because a thick, sticky "sludge". Then the athlete could have blood clotting, stroke, or even heart failure. With this example in mind and a very useful diagram, I am able to understand how important it is that erythropoietin regulates RBC production and how important it is not to tamper with our amazing body processes.

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