The human body is a remarkable thing. Together, the cells make up every part of it. Human anatomy is the study of how it all works together. Cells come together to form tissues and then tissues, in turn, come together to form organs. Each organ acts in a slightly different way and has a different responsibility for the whole. Together, when they function successfully, they allow the body to function normally and for us to do all of the amazing things that a human being can do. In total, there are more than 70 organs, and they are all important, indeed vital, in their own way. However, let’s take a look at ten of the most important organs of the human body.
10. The Bladder
When we eat food some is digested and some needs to be removed from the system. These usually contain toxins that would harm the body if they were digested. The urinary bladder performs a vital function in removing this unwanted waste from the body. It can hold between 300ml and 500ml of urine. An overactive bladder is a common problem, with people who suffer from it feeling like they need to empty it regularly. They then feel sharp pains as in actual fact there is nothing to release. When bacteria gets inside the bladder and multiplies it can lead to cancer. Without this organ we would be unable to remove waste efficiently.
9. The Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and many people do not usually think of it as an organ. However, it plays a vital role in regulating the temperature of the body, ensuring it does not overheat. Goosebumps and raised hair will trap heat in the body if it is too cold and similarly sweat will keep the body cool. Oil is the skin prevents it from drying out. It really is a vital organ. On top of everything else it ensures all of your other organs do not escape!
8. The Small and Large Intestines
Strictly speaking these should be counted as two organs but they are being counted together to keep it simple. They are both as vital as each other. Their role is to connect the stomach, where food is broken down, to the anus, where waste is released. They cleverly release gastric juices which separate the wanted from the unwanted nutrients. The large intestine is responsible for absorbing water and the small intestine will absorb specific nutrients that will be useful for the rest of the body. They can be affected by a large number of different diseases, such as Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which can be painful and have a significant impact on how the body can function.
7. The Kidneys
These are usually known to be bean shaped and they are an essential part of the urinary system. They play a key role in filtering water and blood and also maintaining blood pressure. They can be found in the abdominal cavity.
6. The Spleen
The spleen is not often thought about but it is really important. Its job is to remove any old or damaged red blood cells from the blood, break them down and return the usable iron to the body. It can even make new red blood cells, which is particularly important in the last month of foetal life. The average healthy adult’s spleen is about five inches long, three inches wide, and one and a half inches thick and it weighs about 6 ounces.
5. The Stomach
The ‘big five’ are probably the key organs that everybody thinks about when they think of a functioning body system. The stomach is, of course, responsible for breaking food down into smaller pieces, releasing enzymes and acids to help with this process and therefore playing a crucial role in the digestive system as a whole.
4. The Liver
Without an effectively functioning liver, it would be tough for the body to function at all in the first place. It has a range of different responsibilities including synthesis of proteins, producing hormones, breaking down old red blood cells and perhaps the most important which is detoxifying food. It is the liver that everybody thinks of when they think of drinking alcohol but if you think about it logically you are forcing your liver to work overtime by drinking the alcohol, which is a poison, so you are best off not drinking at all if you want a healthy liver.
3. The Lungs
The lungs are the most important organ in the body so far as the respiratory system is concerned. They expand when you breathe in and contract when you breathe out. Their principal role is to exchange oxygen which is inhaled with carbon dioxide found in the blood. Smoking has a particularly negative impact on the lungs as tar builds up and covers them, making it more difficult for them to function effectively. There are many diseases of the lungs, including Pneumonia, Emphysema, Asthma and Acute bronchitis. People who play wind and brass instruments, as well as athletes, tend to have bigger lung capacities.
2. The Heart
The heart pumps blood around the body and without a functioning heart, living would be nearly impossible. It circulates blood to the lungs to allow for the exchange of gasses and to other parts of the body, including critically the brain, through veins. Its functioning can be inhibited or restricted by fluid around the organ. It is also important to maintain a relatively regular heart beat so that circulation is also normal. Common heart problems include Heart Attack, which is responsible for many deaths, Heart Muscle Disease and Atrial Fibrillation (an irregular heart beat).
1. The Brain
At the top of the list comes the brain, without which we cannot function. The brain controls the actions of all of the other organs in the body. The largest part of the brain contains between 13 and 33 billion brain cells called neurons. These can send messages to each other along fibers called axons. It is responsible for all of our senses as well as perception, thought, motivation, arousal, learning, movement, information process and general functioning. You can see that, without it, we are useless. Diseases of the brain can be the most tragic, for both the patient and their loved ones. Vascular dementia is one particular example that many people fear. When blood flow is temporarily halted to the brain, it can result in a Stroke, as brain tissue dies. Brain cancer and Meningitis are further diseases of the brain which have serious consequences.