2-Respiratory Blood pH Regulation: The respiratory system can lower blood pH by eliminating CO2 from the blood. When blood flows through the pulmonary capillaries of the lungs, chemical processes occur that control the amounts of CO2 and carbonic acid. The net result is a decrease in blood pH. This mechanism is important in preventing sudden changes in blood pH that could cause injury to brain cells or other tissues exposed to low blood pH.
3-Respiratory System Role in Regulating Blood Pressure: The respiratory system also has an important role in regulating blood pressure. As you know, the heart pumps blood through the body by expanding and contracting its chambers. Each time the heart contracts, it pushes blood into smaller arteries and veins, which increases blood flow to major organs such as the brain and kidneys. However, some small arteries do not have much muscle around them; therefore, they are more likely to collapse during contraction of the heart. These narrow places in the artery are called arteriole. The force of the heart pushing against these walls causes them to stretch, which results in increased blood flow through these vessels.
4-Respiratory System Role in Eliminating Toxic Substances: The respiratory system removes toxic substances from the body via urine and feces. Emphysema, for example, is caused by a loss of lung tissue due to chronic inflammation.
The respiratory system contributes to the body's acid-base balance by controlling carbonic acid levels in the blood (Figure 26.4). The removal of CO2 from the body lowers blood levels of carbonic acid, causing the pH to rise toward normal levels. An increase in respiratory rate can have a rapid effect on acid-base balance due to increased CO2 clearance from the body.
The respiratory system also plays an important role in regulating temperature. Warm air drawn into the lungs increases respiratory rate and deep breaths are used to release heat from the body. Cold air causes the opposite response. The muscles that control breathing are stimulated by hormones released during fever or cold exposure. These same hormones may be used as a treatment when someone has bronchitis or pneumonia to help them get better faster.
Respiration is the process of taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. This process occurs throughout the life of every organism. In humans, the average person lives about 80,000 hours - that's 20 years! - so it's no surprise that respiration plays an important role in our daily lives and health concerns. Respiration is also interesting because it requires action by both the voluntary and involuntary muscles. We will discuss how this movement is controlled later in the biology course.
Acidosis is a condition where there is too much acid in the body.
How do the lungs and kidneys keep the pH stable? By releasing carbon dioxide, the lungs regulate your body's pH equilibrium. Carbon dioxide is a mildly acidic gas. It's also a waste product created by the body's cells when they consume oxygen. The kidney regulates the amount of acid in the blood by removing some hydrogen ions from the filtrate that flows into it from the proximal tubules. These ions are replaced because the filtrate also contains sodium bicarbonate which buffers the acidity of the urine.
The respiratory system and the urinary system work together to maintain the acid-base balance in our bodies. If there is an imbalance between these two systems, we will either have too much acid or too much base. Imbalances can occur due to changes in environmental conditions such as high temperatures, low humidity, and poor air quality. These factors can cause people to breathe in more CO2 than they should, resulting in hypercapnia, or too much acid in the blood. On the other hand, imbalances can be caused by problems with the way you use these organs. For example, if you drink too much alcohol or take drugs that contain caffeine after performing physical activity, this will affect how well the lungs and kidneys function.
When you breathe in, carbon dioxide moves from the atmosphere into the bloodstream through the alveoli in the lungs.
As the pH of the blood decreases (becomes more acidic), the regions of the brain that regulate breathing are activated, resulting in quicker and deeper breathing (respiratory compensation). The quantity of carbon dioxide expelled rises as you breathe quicker and deeper. This increase in CO2 levels stimulates more secretion of acid from the pancreas and bone marrow.
In conclusion, low blood pH causes you to breathe faster and deeper to compensate for the reduced amount of oxygen in your blood. This increased ventilation increases the concentration of carbon dioxide in your blood which triggers more acid production by the pancreas and bone marrow.
By modulating [CO2], the respiratory system regulates plasma pH. Carbonic anhydrase accelerates the equilibrium between dissolved CO2 and H2CO3. As the major problem, hyperventilation causes respiratory alkalosis. A type of respiratory correction for metabolic acidosis is hyperventilation. This response mechanism promotes urine production and increases blood pH while it decreases plasma CO2 concentration.
For learning purposes: Respiratory system modulates carbon dioxide (CO2). Hyperventilation causes respiratory alkalosis.
Transport of Oxygen As blood approaches the lungs, the carbon dioxide content declines, causing the pH to rise. Through the Bohr effect, this increase in pH enhances hemoglobin's affinity for oxygen, prompting hemoglobin to take up oxygen entering your blood from your lungs and deliver it to your tissues. As you breathe out, carbon dioxide levels in your blood rise, causing the pH to fall. Again through the Bohr effect, this decrease in pH reduces hemoglobin's affinity for oxygen, forcing it to release its bound oxygen back into your lungs where it can be exhaled with each breath.
In conclusion, pH affects oxygen-binding to hemoglobin because as acidity increases so does the ability of hemoglobin to bind with oxygen.