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Homeostatic Processes

The process of maintaining physiological balance in the body was termed ‘Homeostasis’ by the esteemed Harvard physiologist, Walter Cannon, almost 100 years ago. We all witness this every day in ourselves, our friends, and family. We get sick, sustain an injury, suffer an emotional trauma and yet our body always seems to ‘find a way’ to restore balance and become ‘healthy’ again. The study of the mechanisms that maintain our biological equilibrium is called Physiology.

Doctors study how physiology works in a healthy state. Every system has its own checks and balances that work to keep its particular area in tip top shape. The heart and vascular system has extraordinary ways of altering how fast the heart beats; how high or low the blood pressure should be; and how fast and deep we must breathe in order to keep the correct amount of oxygen in our blood. Doctors then learn what happens when the system does not work correctly, and these are states of disease. This is called Pathology or Pathophysiology.

What are the most basic mechanisms the body uses to maintain homeostasis? What are these processes; how many are there; and how can we measure them? Are the homeostatic health maintenance processes the same for individual cells as for the body as a whole? Can you learn how well you maintain your own body and, if it is struggling, what you can do to help it?

While taking a very detailed, science-based course on biochemical nutrition (how to use basic biochemistry knowledge to find significant problems that either cause or contribute to symptoms/diseases), I met a man, Sam Queen, who quietly supplied the answer to these questions. Sam has spent his life studying laboratory science, medical science, physiology, and investigating all manner of health issues. He is one of the foremost nutritional experts in our country. He specializes in uncovering and reporting on the true “Realities of Health”. He is the man who taught us to evaluate an individual by looking at the 6 Homeostatic Health Processes in the body: Acid Stress; Aerobic/Anaerobic Metabolism; Calcium/Phosphate Metabolism; Healthy Inflammation; Connective Tissue Integrity; and Oxidative Stress.

The body, and these health maintenance processes, are all held together by a web of protein. Every disease process reveals defects in the functioning of these ‘Health Processes’. As the body moves from a state of Health into a state of Dysfunction, these processes become emerging sub-clinical defects. A state of dysfunction will reflect defects in the Health Processes that are less severe than those found in a full- blown disease. These ‘Health Processes’ can be measured through common blood chemistry parameters. They can be followed longitudinally over time. They will reflect improvements, deepening dysfunction, and guide treatment through balancing physiology.

Author: Dr. David Luce

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a innovator and thought leader in the integration of Western medicine with complimentary therapies.

Dr. David Luce | MD

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a medical innovator, educator, public health advocate, and a leader in the integration of evidence-based Western medicine with complimentary therapies. Educated at Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale, Dr. Luce has over 20 years experience designing and implementing innovative treatment programs that restore health and wellness to his ...

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