Physiology II and Anatomy

Cellular Fluids: Intracellular and Extracellular Fluids

Both the exterior and interior of the cells must be in perfect working order for the body to perform its functions at its best. The intracellular fluid is the liquid inside the cell, while the extracellular fluid is any of the body fluids outside the cell. The cytosol, or intracellular fluid, has various properties that ensure that cellular processes operate smoothly. The intracellular fluid is limited to the cell interiors only. The cell membrane marks the boundary; however, it can flow through the film using memorable passages and siphons during inactive and active transportation. The primary composition of the crystal is and it comprises of seventy percent of its total volume; for that case, the pH of the intracellular fluid is approximately 7.0-7.4. There is quite a difference in the concentration of ions in the ICF and the ECF; the concentration of sodium, chloride, and calcium in the cystol is usually lesser in comparison to the external environment. On the other hand, the concentration of the magnesium and potassium ions is always higher within the cystol than in the extracellular fluids. The lower concentration of calcium ions in the intracellular fluids enables the indication of transduction within the cell. Moreover, the ICF has many dissolved proteins, and they are inclusive of microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules which together form the cytoskeleton.

The Components of Extracellular Fluids

The major components of the extracellular fluids are the plasma and the tissue fluids. There is also the inclusion of the cerebrospinal fluid which lays within the brain and the spinal cord cavities in the extracellular fluid. The presence of low potassium ions and high sodium ions concentrations in the extracellular fluids make its composition very different to that of the ICF. The cells in the various tissues secrete the extracellular fluid for the maintenance of the constant environment in the surrounding of the cells to aid the cellular functions of the respective tissues. The ECF's total volume is approximately 15L; the plasma consisting of 3 liters while the tissue fluid takes the remaining 12L (Lakna, 2017).

The Participation of Sodium and Potassium in Electrolyte Balance

The electrolytes are the minerals in the body that do possess the electric charge and are mostly in the urine, body fluids, and blood. The maintenance of the right balance of the electrolytes aids the blood chemistry of the body and the action of the muscles among other processes. People usually get all the electrolytes such as potassium, chlorine, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphate from the foodstuffs eaten and the fluids taken. When the quantity of water in the body changes, then the electrolytes' levels in the body can either get too high or too old thus resulting in overhydration or dehydration respectively.


Sodium is one of the electrolytes of the body and is among the minerals that the body is in demand of, in reasonably large quantities. The location of the majority of the sodium in the body is in the blood and fluids that surround the cells. Sodium assists the body in keeping the proper balance of the fluids and also has a significant role in the standard functioning of the nerves and muscles. Just like other electrolytes, the body receives sodium from the food and drink and eliminates it majorly through sweating and urination. The kidneys, in their healthy states, uphold a steady level of the body's sodium through the adjustment of the quantity excreted through urination. When there is no balance in the consumption and loss of sodium, then there is an effect on its whole amount in the body; its concentration in the blood might be too low or too high. The quantity of sodium within the body has an effect on the volume of fluids in the blood and the cell surroundings. The body incessantly supervises the concentration of sodium and the blood volume, and when either goes high, the sensors in the blood vessels, kidney, and heart perceive the elevations and leads to stimulation of the kidneys to augment the sodium emission. For that case, potassium aids in getting back the blood volume to normal and bringing an electrolyte balance in the body (Lewis, 2017).


The location of the majority of the body's potassium is in the cells; they are essential for the standard operation of the nerves, cells, and muscles. The body has the responsibility of maintaining the level of potassium in the blood in a slight range as too high or low of it can result in the adverse effects, for instance, cardiac arrest and abnormality in the heart rhythm. The body usually utilizes the potassium reservoir in the cells to assist in maintaining a steady level of blood's potassium. The maintenance of the right level of potassium in the body is through the matching of the quantity consumed in the food and drink with that which it loses principally through urination. Moreover, sweating and digestion also lead to the loss of potassium, although in small amounts. The kidneys can offer adjustments for the potassium excreted to match the alterations in amount consumed to bring the body to an electrolyte balanced state.

Homeostasis Disruption

Homeostasis is the attempt of the body to retain a unvarying internal environment, and that is through scrutinizing and making adjustments as the situations alter. In case there is a malfunction of the cells, there is usually no appropriate maintenance of the body fluids' pH and the levels of the electrolytes, and that may eventually lead to the disruption of the homeostasis, and the common ways in which that can happen is nutrition, toxins, and diseases.


If one is on a diet that lacks specific minerals, the body cells will not be in a position to function properly, and there will be no balance in the electrolytes balance and even pH. For instance, when there is insufficient iron, one may lack hemoglobin which will lead to the decreased capacity of the blood to carry oxygen and eventually result in the disruption of the homeostasis.


The substances such as chemicals may interfere with the normal operations of the cells, for example, in the case of drug overdose. Once that happens, the levels of the electrolytes become imbalanced, and one can go into a coma or even die as there is interference with the process of homeostasis.


The disorders such as diabetes can lead to too much accumulation of sugar in the body which can result in the lack of maintenance of the right electrolyte balance and even pH in the body. When the body is in such a state, the eventuality is the disturbance of the process of homeostasis (Khan Academy, 2017).

One of the solutions that can get the body back to homeostasis is taking the recommended medication to assist the body in gaining and retaining homeostasis. For example, the antibodies can help in fighting the diseases and make the body restore back its state of homeostasis. Another solution is physical maintenance which is mainly significant for the proper functioning of the cells and the body. Taking enough rest, exercising, and getting sunlight are some of the physical means of controlling homeostasis to its right state (CK-12 Foundation, 2017).


CK-12 Foundation. (2017). Homeostasis Imbalance (Read) | Biology | CK-12 Foundation. Retrieved from

Khan Academy. (2017). Homeostasis (article) |Khan Academy. Retrieved from

Lakna. (2017, July 14). Difference between Intracellular and Extracellular Fluid | Definition, Types, Function. Retrieved from

Lewis, J. L. (2017). Overview of Potassium’s Role in the Body – Hormonal and Metabolic Disorders – Merck Manuals Consumer Version. Retrieved from

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