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The study of body structures and the relationships between these structures.



The study of the functions of the body, that is, how the body parts work.


The four elements used to create medical terms, and what they (usually) indicate:

Root words:
contain the basic meaning of the term. They usually (but not always) indicate the involved body part.
(eg Appendicitis. word root "appendic" means appendix)

always come at the beginning of a word. They usually (but not always) indicate location, time, number or status.
(eg Semi conscious. The prefix "semi" means half)

always come at the end of a word. They usually (but not always) indicate the procedure, condition, disorder or disease.
(eg Appendicitis. The suffix "itis" means inflammation)

Combining forms:
word roots usually have a vowel at the end, so that a suffix can be added.
(eg Erythrocyte)


Name the word elements, and the individual and cumulative meanings


Prefix "heart" (root word "cardio"). Suffix "study of". Therefore, study of the heart.

Prefix "liver" (root word "hepato). Suffix "inflammation"
Therefore, inflammation of the liver.

Prefix "around". Root word "bone". Suffix "tissue or structure"
Therefore, structure (sheath) wrapping around the bone.

Prefix "dark/black". Combining form vowel "o". Suffix "cell".
Therefore, black (cancerous) (skin) cell.

Prefix "large intestine". Combining form vowel "o". Suffix "visual examination"
Therefore, visual (camera) examination of the large intestine.



on top
blood vessels



blood clot



small intestine









ultrasonic waves used
make a cut in
create an opening
not working properly (dysfunctional)



blood condition
disease (pathology = study of diseases)


Three major sectional surfaces:

Other directional terms:
(3 pairs)

Frontal plane (vertical):
anterior (front) and posterior (back)
Median plane(vertical):
left and right
Transverse plane (horizontal):
superior (above/upper) and inferior (below/lower)

Distal (farther from trunk of the body; the ankle is distal to the knee) and
Proximal (closer to the trunk; the knee is proximal to the ankle)

Lateral (away from midline of the body; the ribs are lateral to the lungs) and
Medial (closer to midline; the lungs are medial to the ribs)

Superficial (closer to the surface of the body) and
Deep (farther from surface)


The two major body cavities and their locations:

Dorsal cavity - posterior
Ventral cavity - anterior


Where is the thoracic cavity?
What are its boundaries and contents?

in the upper part of the trunk.
Its boundaries are formed by a bony framework (ribs?) and supporting muscles. The main organs and structures are the trachea, bronchi, lungs, heart, aorta, superior and inferior vena cava, the oesophagus, lymph nodes and the nerves.


What is the largest cavity and what does it contain?

Abdominal cavity (part of abdominopelvic cavity)
Contains the stomach, small intestine, most of the large intestine, liver, gall bladder, bile ducts, pancreas, spleen and kidneys.

Most of the abdominal cavity is occupied by (the organs and glands of) the digestive system. There are other structures such as the adrenal glands and numerous blood vessels and lymph vessels, nerves and lymph nodes that are found in the abdominal cavity.


The pelvic cavity:

extends from the lower end of the abdominal cavity.
It contains the sigmoid colon, rectum, anus, some loops of the small intestine, urinary bladder, lower parts of the ureters and the urethra, and in the female, the organs of the reproductive system.


What cavity includes the cranial cavity (lined space inside skull) and spinal cavity (space inside spine)?

Dorsal cavity


(9) Abdominal regions:

Right hypochondriac region
Epigastric region
Left hypochondriac region
Right lateral (lumbar) region
Umbilical region
Left lateral (lumbar) region
Right inguinal (iliac) region
Hypogastric region (also known as suprapubic region)
Left inguinal (iliac) region


Why is it critical to understand the normal structure and function of each body system?

To obtain and check information relating to a client's physical health status;
and to identify variations from a normal physical health status.


Six levels of the body's structural organisation:

Chemical (atoms and molecules, eg DNA);
Cellular (molecules grouped into cells, eg. blood cells);
Tissue (cells grouped into tissues, eg. muscle tissue);
Organ (structures composed of 2 or more types of
tissue, eg. lungs);
System (related organs with a common function, e.g.
respiratory system);
Organism (all systems are integrated and function as a
whole, eg. a human being)


The "ingredients" of blood:

55 % Plasma (91% water, 7% protein, 2% gasses and
<1% White blood cells and platelets (leukocytes and
45% Red blood cells (erythrocytes)


Blood is:
Its purpose is:

a connective tissue, although in a liquid form.
Its purpose is to transport oxygen and nutrients, aid in removal of metabolic wastes and helps distribute hormones


Blood serum:

Plasma after clotting factors are removed



A pale yellow fluid containing protein, gases and salts.

Proteins include albumin, antibodies and clotting factors. The proteins assist the body to regulate fluid volume, protect itself from pathogens and prevent excessive blood loss.


Blood serum:

Plasma minus the clotting factors


Red blood cells:
(name, purpose and life cycle)

Erythrocytes transport oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from body tissues
Haemoglobin is the substance that carries oxygen and gives blood its red colour.

Erythrocytes' average life span is ~120 days (4 months)
Initially created by bone marrow as an immature form called "reticulocytes". These mature into RBCs in about a day. The old RBCs are filtered and removed by the spleen.


White blood cells:
(name, purpose and "workplace")

Leukocytes come in 5 different types. They all participate in the body's defence and immune system.
Although carried by the blood stream, leukocytes act mainly in the tissues outside the blood vessels.


(name and function)

Thrombocytes are small colourless fragments split from cells in bone marrow.
They initiate contraction of damaged blood vessels to minimise blood loss;
form haemostatic plugs in injured vessels;
and accelerate blood coagulation.


The eleven body systems are:

Integumentary (skin, hair, nails, glands, nerves);
Muscular and
Skeletal (bones, tendons, ligaments,
skeletal muscles, nerves, cartilage)
Urinary (kidney, ureters, bladder, urethra)
Cardiovascular (heart, arteries, veins, capillaries)
Respiratory (airways, lungs, diaphragm and other
muscles of respiration)
Digestive (mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine,
pancreas, liver, large intestine)
Reproductive (F: ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix,
vagina. M: prostate, penis, urethra, testicles,
Lymphatic (tonsils, lymph nodes, thymus, spleen)
Endocrine (in brain: pituary gland, pineal gland,
hypothalamus. elsewhere: thyroid/parathyroid
glands, adrenal glands, thymus, pancreatic
islets, gonads [testes or ovaries] )
Nervous (central nervous system [brain and
spinal cord], peripheral nervous system [nerve
fibres] eyes, ears, sensory organs of taste and of
smell, sensory receptors located in skin/joints/
muscles/other parts of the body)


Muscular and Skeletal Systems:
(Musculoskeletal System)

Skeletal muscles;
Smooth muscles;
Cardiac muscles.

Its functions are:
Support and protection;
Enable movement;
Mineral storage;
Fat and blood cell formation


Nervous System:
(2 min-systems)

Central nervous system:
Spinal cord.
Peripheral nervous system:
Nerve fibres.
Sensory organs of taste
Sensory organs of smell
Sensory receptors located in the skin, joints, muscles, and other parts of the body

Its functions are:
Help all parts of the body communicate with each
other to make things in your body 'happen';
React to changes both outside and inside the body;
Send and receive messages by both electrical and
chemical means.


Endocrine System includes:
Its functions are:
Major body functions controlled by hormones:

Pituary and pineal glands and hypothalamus (all in brain);
Thyroid and parathyroid glands;
Adrenal glands;
Pancreatic islets;
Gonads (testes or ovaries).

Its functions are:
Co-ordinate and direct the activity of the body's cells
Release and use hormones in the blood (then
transported to the appropriate parts of the body).

Along with the nervous system, the endocrine system co-ordinates and directs the activity of the body's cells. Similar to how the nervous system is the 'rapid response' part of the body - using electrical impulses to generate messages - the endocrine system uses chemical messages (called hormones) which are released into the blood and transported to the appropriate parts of the body.

Major body functions controlled by hormones:
Growth and development
Mobilise body defences
Maintain water/electrolyte/nutrient balances in blood
Regulation of cellular metabolism and energy balance


Lymphatic System:

Lymph nodes, ducts and vessels;

Its functions are:
Help in fighting disease;
Maintain homeostasis (self-regulation to maintain
stability) balance in the body.


Reproductive System:

Fallopian tubes;

Its functions are:
Produce hormones;
Produces egg or sperm cells;
Transport and sustain these cells;
Nurture the developing foetus.

The reproductive cycle in bothmales and females is regulated by several different hormones including testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone. The endocrine system controls the release of these hormones, which in turn fuels the onset of puberty and enables growth to maturity and human reproduction.


Digestive System:

Small intestine;
Large intestine;

Its functions are:
Take in food 'nd break it down into nutrient molecules;
Absorb them into the bloodstream;
Rid the body of the indigestible remains.


Respiratory System:

Diaphragm and other muscles of respiration.

Its functions are:
Work with the Cardiovascular System to obtain oxygen
necessary to create energy for body functions;
Work with the Cardiovascular System to eliminate
carbon dioxide produced during cellular


Cardiovascular System:


Its function is to:
Move blood around the body, transporting oxygen,
nutrients and hormones to cells, and cellular waste
(CO2) to organs for removal from the body


Urinary System:


Its function is to:
Remove nitrogenous wastes from the blood

While several organ systems are involved in the excretory process, the urinary system bears the primary responsibility for removing nitrogenous wastes from the blood. The kidneys filter blood and return most of the water and many solutes to the bloodstream. The remaining water and solutes constitute urine


Integumentary System:


Its functions are:
Protect deeper tissues from damage;
Help regulate body temperature;
Synthesize Vitamin D;
Allow the body to excrete uric acid and urea via


Pathway of blood through the heart:
(start coming in from the rest of the body)

Superior/Inferior vena cava
Right atrium
Right AV valve
Right ventricle
Pulmonary valve
Left/right pulmonary artery
Left/right pulmonary veins
Left atrium
Left AV valve
Left ventricle
Aaortic valve
Aorta (to body)


Tiny airsacs in the lungs are called:



Its cause:

Chest pain/discomfort caused by insufficient blood flow and oxygen to the heart.


Most common case of death in Australia:

Coronary Heart Disease.
It is also a major cause of disability, with many people reporting problems or needing assistance with daily activities.


Blood pressure disorders:

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a risk factor for heart disease. If blood pressure remains high, it can lead to serious problems like heart attack, stroke, heart failure or kidney disease.

Hypotension (low blood pressure)


How is blood pressure recorded?

As two numbers, systolic pressure first then diastolic.
The systolic blood pressure (larger number)
indicates the pressure in the arteries as the
heart pumps out blood during each beat. The diastolic blood pressure (lower number)
indicates the pressure as the heart relaxes
before the next beat.


Is there a normal/ideal blood pressure range?

No, but the following figures should only be used as a guide:
Low blood pressure - below 90/60
Normal blood pressure - generally
between 90/60 and 120/80
High-normal blood pressure - between
120/80 and 140/90
High blood pressure - equal to or more
than 140/90
Very high blood pressure - equal to or
more than 180/110


High Cholesterol:

Cholesterol is used for many different things in the body, but causes health problems when there is too much of it in the blood.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced naturally by your body and found in your blood. You can also get cholesterol from some foods.


Varicose veins:
(appearance, location aand treatment. also spider)

Knobbly, twisted and darkish-blue in appearance.
Most commonly found on the legs.
Caused by faulty valves within veins that allow blood to
(Spider veins are smaller, visible veins and are closer to
the skin surface. They are mostly found on the legs or
Treatments for varicose veins and spider veins include sclerotherapy and surgery.


Deep vein thrombosis:
(what it is; symptoms; risk factors; treatment)

Occurs when blood clots form in one of the deep veins -- typically the thigh or calf.
Often symptomless, but may have leg pain, swelling or
skin discoloration in the affected area.
Can be life-threatening if the clot travels to the lungs
(called pulmonary embolism). This condition causes
shortness of breath and pain with deep breathing.

Risk factors for DVT:
Being bed ridden;
Prolonged sitting (such as on a long plane flight);
Trauma to the area;
Pregnancy and obesity

Medication is typically used to break up clots.


6 steps to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system:

Avoid smoking;
Eat a well-balanced diet;
Maintain a healthy BMI;
Undergo regular health checks (e.g. blood pressure
and cholesterol levels);
Engage in regular physical activity;
Minimise alcohol intake.


The organs and components of the Respiratory System are:
(10 points)

Nose and nasal cavity;
Sinuses, tonsils and adenoids;
Bronchioles and smaller air passages;
Lungs and pleura;
Diaphragm and intercostal muscles.


The nose and nasal cavity are composed of:

Its functions are:

External nares (nostrils);
Internal nares (nasal cavity);
Ciliated mucous membranes (line nasal cavity);

An airway for respiration;
Warms, moistens and filters inspired air;
Resonating chamber for speech;
Contains receptors for smell.


Sinuses, Tonsils and Adenoids:

Paranasal sinuses and nasolacrimal ducts drain into the nasal cavity;
Sinuses include:
frontal, sphenoid, ethmoid and maxillary,
and hollow chambers for speech sounds
Eustachian tubes connect the nasopharynx to middle ear;
Tonsils and adenoids found in the pharynx and nasopharynx


The pharynx is:
Its three parts are:

A muscular tube, lined with mucous membrane.

It has three regions:


The Larynx is:

The larynx is made of cartilage and it contains our vocal cords, together with connecting the pharynx to trachea below.
The laryngeal opening (glottis) is hooded by the epiglottis and prevents food/ liquid from entering trachea.
The larynx also helps to produce sound as air passes the vocal cords.



The trachea is the air passage from the larynx to the bronchus.
It is a smooth muscle tube lined with ciliated mucosa.
It has C-shaped cartilage to keep the trachea open and divides to form right and left bronchi.



There are two bronchi (one bronchus to each lung):

right and left primary bronchi
result from subdivision of trachea
enters hilus of lung on each side
right side less angled – foreign bodies more likely to
enter right side


Lungs and the Pleura:

Right and left lung (occupy entire thoracic cavity except
where heart and great vessels lie in the mediastinum
[central part of thoracic cavity] )
Right lobe (divided into 3 lobes:- superior, middle and
Left lobe (divided into 2 lobes:- superior and inferior)
The Pleura (closed sac of serous membrane – one for
each lung) which contains a small amount of serous

The structures entering and leaving each lung at the hilus are:
pulmonary artery
two pulmonary veins
bronchial artery
bronchial veins


How age affects the respiratory system.

Decrease in lung capacity, with fewer alveoli which
means less ability to take in oxygen.
The chest wall becomes rigid and due to the
consequences of age-related changes in the
cardiovascular system, there is a decrease in blood
flow to the lungs.



Inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the airways that carry air to your lungs. It causes a cough that often brings up mucus, as well as shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness.



Common disease of the airways.
During an asthma attack, the airways narrow, reducing the flow of air in and out of the lungs. This may lead to wheezing and coughing.

Pollen, cigarette smoke, colds and flu can trigger an asthma attack.
About one in ten Australians have asthma. A range of programs and services are available to support people with asthma.


Lung cancer:

When abnormal cells in one or both lungs grow in an uncontrolled way. Most lung cancers are caused by cigarette smoking.


4 ways to maintain a healthy respiratory system:

Stop smoking:
The biggest factor.
Cigarette smoke contains tar and thousands of
chemicals which damage lungs and cause
inflammation. There are many different methods used
to assist with smoking cessation which include
nicotine replacement therapy, medication and
When you begin exercising, an increased need for
oxygen to your muscles causes your brain to stimulate
your respiratory system to increase ventilation or
Also beneficial are exercises that incorporate specific
breathing exercises such as yoga and Pilates.
Eat healthily:
Your body requires vitamins and other nutrients to
effectively build and maintain all tissues, including
those that make up your respiratory system.
Practice good hygiene:
Viral or bacterial infection, illnesses (eg influenza and
pneumonia) can cause short and longer term damage
to the respiratory system, seriously decrease your
lung capacity and ability to absorb oxygen.
Maintaining proper hygiene is the best way to
minimise chances of contracting microbial
One of the main ways you can do this is by regular


How many bones in (an adult) human skeleton?



Bones are:
Their 5 major functions:
How are they classified?

Living tissues that require oxygen, nutrients and the disposal of wastes in order to remain alive and functional.
Five major functions:
Storage of minerals (calcium, phosphorus) and fat;
Blood cell formation.

Bones are classified based on their shape:
Long bones, such as the humerus and femur;
Short bones, such as the bones of the wrist;
Flat bones, such as the bones in the skull;
Irregular bones, such as the vertebrae.


Requirements for healthy bones:

Vitamin D;
Vitamin A;
Vitamin C;


How many muscles in the human body?

Over 600.
They make up about half of the body's weight


Skeletal muscles:

Generally attached to bone.
Their function is to produce movement and maintain body posture.
They also produce considerable heat and therefore help maintain body temperature.
These muscles are also known as voluntary muscles - as we have conscious control over the use of these muscles - we choose to walk etc.


Smooth muscles:

Located in the walls of internal organs such as the digestive tract, blood vessels and ducts leading from glands. Their function is to move and control the flow of fluids through these structures
They control the actions of our stomach, bladder and blood vessels.
These muscles are also known as involuntary muscles as they are under the control of the autonomic nervous system and they move ‘automatically’ during body functioning.
They are also referred to as the visceral muscles.


Cardiac muscle:

Only in the heart.
This type of muscle is classified as involuntary - we do not have to 'think' about our heart beating.
It is the contraction and relaxation of this muscle that causes the heart to beat.


4 major functions of muscles:

Posture- skeletal muscles allow us to maintain body posture despite the downward pull of gravity;
Stabilization of joints - as the skeletal muscles pulls on bones to cause movements they also stabilize the joints;
Generation of body heat through muscular activity .

Skeletal muscle accounts for at least 40% of body mass so is the muscle type most responsible for heat generation.



The muscle that contracts to generate the main force of an action. Also called the "prime mover"
Muscles that perform the opposing action are called antagonists.
These are "paired muscle actions"


Types of paired muscle actions:

Flexion and extension;
Elevation and depression;
Pronation and supination


What are joints?

An area where two or more bones are in contact with each other - almost every bone in the body joins or articulates with another bone.
Joints allow movement and are held together by ligaments.


7 types of joints:

Hinge joints (elbow);
Ball and socket joints (shoulder);
Condyloid joints - allow for circular motion, flexion and
extension (wrist);
Gliding joints (spinal vertebrae);
Pivot joints - allow for rotation (Atlas and axis [at the top
of the spine. rotates head] )
Saddle joints (base of thumb - allows it to be opposable);
Sutures (non-moving joints of the skull. Serrated edges for strength)



A loss of bone tissue leaves bones less dense and more likely to fracture. Can result in a loss of height, severe back pain, and change in posture.
Osteoporosis can impair a person’s ability to walk and can cause prolonged or permanent disability.


(2 types, of more than 100)

A painful, degenerative joint disease
Often involves hips, knees, neck, lower back, or small
joints of the hands.
Usually develops in joints that are injured by repeated
overuse (from performing a particular task, playing a
sport, or from carrying excess body weight). Eventually this thins or wears away the cartilage. Then the bones rub together, causing a grating sensation. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs develop, and the joint swells.
Usually, the first symptom is pain that worsens with
exercise or immobility.
Treatment usually includes:
analgesics, topical creams, or NSAIDs;
appropriate exercises/physical therapy;
joint splinting;
joint replacement surgery for seriously damaged larger joints, such as the knee or hip.

Rheumatoid arthritis:
Autoimmune inflammatory disease that usually involves various joints in the fingers, thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, feet, and ankles. An autoimmune disease is one in which the body releases enzymes that attack its own healthy tissues. In RA, these enzymes destroy the linings of joints. This causes pain, swelling, stiffness, malformation, and reduced movement and function.


Bone cancer:
(location and types)

May be due to a primary cancer that begins in the bone,
or secondary cancer that spreads to bone from
another body part such as lungs, breast or prostate.
Several types of primary bone cancers, such as:
Ewing sarcoma;
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma;



A break in the continuity of the bone.

Can be the result of:
High force impact or stress; or
A minimal trauma injury as a result of certain medical
conditions that weaken bones (osteoporosis, bone
cancer, or osteogenesis imperfecta). This fracture is
then properly termed a pathologic fracture.


Myalgia is caused by:


The most common causes of muscle pain are:
Minor injuries.
This type of pain is usually localised.

Spasms may affect many different types of muscles in the body, leading to many different symptoms.
Spasms of skeletal muscles are most common, and often due to dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. The spasm occurs abruptly, is painful, and is usually short-lived. They may be relieved by gently stretching the muscle.



Inflammation of the muscle can be caused by:
Some medicines;
Chronic disease.


Infections (in regards to muscle pain):

Systemic muscle pain is more often the result of an infection, an illness or a side effect of a medication. Illnesses such as malaria or the flu can cause muscle pain.


Neuromuscular disorders:

Affect the nerves that control your voluntary muscles. When nerve cells become unhealthy or die, communication between your nervous system and muscles breaks down.
As a result, your muscles weaken and waste away.
The weakness can lead to twitching, cramps, aches and pains, and joint and movement problems.
Examples: Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy.


Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms:

Fairly common.
Symptoms include numbness, tingling and a burning pain in the hand.
The symptoms start off by occurring at night, often waking the patient, later they may also be experienced during the day and in some cases be so severe they can interfere with the normal use of the hand.



A chemical defect causes the accumulation in the
bloodstream of uric acid (a waste product of
Gout is the deposition of crystals of uric acid in the skin,
joints and kidneys



Excessive use of a joint, or stress on a bursa may cause
The bursa between the heel bone (calcaneus) and the
Achilles tendon may become inflamed as a result of a
sudden increase in physical activity involving use of
the feet.
Similarly, a form of bursitis called tennis elbow affects
the bursa between the olecranon process and the
Bursitis is treated with rest. Medical attention may be



Also called luxation.
The articulating bones of a joint are displaced.
Usually results from a fall or other unusual body
The joints of the shoulders, knees, elbows, fingers, and
jaw are common sites for this type of injury.

Obvious deformity of the joint;
Some loss of ability to move the articulated bones;
Localized pain, and swelling.


Ways to maintain or improve musculoskeletal health:

Doing muscle strength training;
Being physically active at least 30 minutes a day;
Deciding your healthy weight and setting a plan to
reach and maintain that weight
Avoiding joint injuries
Get medical advice about supplements such as
vitamin D, calcium and glucosamine

Muscles, bones and joints are affected by the ageing process.
Exercise to increase muscle and bone fitness can reduce or reverse the risk of disability and disease.
At least half of the age-related changes to muscles, bones and joints are caused by disuse.



The major integrating link between the nervous and endocrine systems.
The hypothalamus releases at least nine different hormones. It also produces oxytocin and ADH which are stored in the posterior pituitary gland.
Oxytocin stimulates the uterus during labour and causes the let-down reflex when breast feeding.



Problems with insulin production (produced in
pancreatic islets) causes too much sugar in the blood.
Without insulin, the body’s cells cannot turn glucose
(sugar), into energy. The body burns its own fats as a
substitute which releases chemical substances in the
blood. If not properly managed, the dangerous
chemical substances will accumulate and can be life
threatening if it is not treated. This is a condition called ketoacidosis.
Type 1 diabetes (deficiency of insulin) and type 2
diabetes (initially excessive, then deficiency, of insulin)


Menstruation abnormalities

irregular, excessive, or lack of menstruation



Overactive/underactive thyroid gland



High calcium levels in the blood caused by an enlargement or one of more of the parathyroid glands


Pituitary adenomas:

Tumors of the pituitary gland can make excessive or deficient amounts of hormones


Type 1 Diabetes:

An auto-immune condition that destroys the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin.
We do not know what causes this auto-immune reaction, however it has a strong family link. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors. There is no cure and it cannot be prevented.

Pancreas does not produce insulin
Represents around 10% of all cases of diabetes and is
one of the most common chronic childhood conditions
Onset occurs most frequently in people under 30 years,
however new research suggests almost half of all
people who develop the condition are diagnosed over
the age of 30.
Onset is usually abrupt and the symptoms obvious.
Is managed with insulin injections several times a day or
the use of an insulin pump.

excessive thirst/urination;
unexplained weight loss,
weakness and fatigue,
always hungry,
itchy skin infections,
slow healing,
mood swings,
leg cramps,
blurred vision


Type 2 Diabetes:

A progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas.
We do not know what causes type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors. Type 2 diabetes also has strong genetic and family related risk factors.

Pancreas does not produce enough insulin (reduced
insulin production) and/or the insulin does not work
effectively and/or the cells of the body do not respond to insulin effectively (known as insulin resistance)
Represents 85–90 per cent of all cases of diabetes
Onset occurs most frequently in adults over the age of
45 years, but is increasingly occurring in younger age
groups (children, adolescents and young adults)
Is more likely in people with a family history of type 2
diabetes or from particular ethnic backgrounds
Develops over a long period of time (years)
For some the first sign may not be until a complication of diabetes such as a heart attack, vision problems or a
foot ulcer
Is managed with a combination of regular physical
activity, healthy eating and weight reduction.
As type 2 diabetes is often progressive, most people
will need oral medications and/or insulin injections in
addition to lifestyle changes over time.

During initial period of time insulin resistance starts (insulin is increasingly ineffective at managing the blood glucose levels). As a result of this insulin resistance, the pancreas responds by producing greater and greater amounts of insulin, to try and achieve some degree of management of the blood glucose levels.
As insulin overproduction occurs over a very long period of time, the insulin producing cells in the pancreas wear themselves out, so that by the time someone is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they have lost 50 – 70% of their insulin producing cells. This means type 2 diabetes is a combination of ineffective insulin and not enough insulin. When people refer to type 2 diabetes as a progressive condition they are referring to the ongoing destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas.

Risk factors:
Insufficient physical activity,
Poor diet
‘Apple shape’ body (weight carried around waist)
A family history of diabetes
Over 55 years of age - the risk increases as we age
Over 45 years of age and overweight
Over 45 years of age with high blood pressure
Over 35 years of age and from an Aboriginal or Torres
Strait Islander background
Over 35 years of age and are from Pacific Island,
Indian subcontinent or Chinese cultural background
Women who have given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs
(9 lbs), or had gestational diabetes when pregnant,
or had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Mother had gestational diabetes while pregnant with

Symptoms same as Type 1 but SLOW, and gradual weight gain rather than weight loss.


Gestational diabetes mellitus:

Sometimes referred to as GDM
A form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Most women will no longer have diabetes after the baby is born. However, some women will continue to have high blood glucose levels after delivery.
It is diagnosed when higher than normal blood glucose levels first appear during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes is the fastest growing type of diabetes in Australia.
Affects between 12% and 14% of pregnant women, and usually develops around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy. All pregnant women should be tested for gestational diabetes at 24-28 weeks of pregnancy (except those who already have diabetes). Women who have risk factors for gestational diabetes should be tested earlier.

Risk factors:
40 years or over;
A family history of type 2 diabetes or a first-degree
relative (mother/sister) had gestational diabetes;
Are above the healthy weight range;
Have had elevated blood glucose levels in the past;
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds;
Melanesian, Polynesian, Chinese, Southeast Asian,
Middle Eastern or Indian background;
Had gestational diabetes with previous pregnancies;
Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome;
Have previously birthed a baby weighing over 4.5kg;
Taking some types of anti-psychotic or steroid
Gained weight too quickly in first half of pregnancy.

Diagnosed using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), done at a pathology lab. You will need to fast overnight before having this test. Blood will be taken to check your fasting blood glucose level. After this, you will be given a sugary drink and have your blood tested one and two hours later. You will be asked to sit and wait between tests. If your blood glucose level is above the normal range at your fasting, one or two hour test, you have gestational diabetes.

Healthy eating plan, regular physical activity and monitoring and maintaining blood glucose levels in the target range while you are pregnant.
The majority of women with gestational diabetes have a healthy pregnancy, normal delivery and a healthy baby.

The placenta produces hormones that help the baby grow and develop. These hormones also block the action of the woman’s insulin. This is called insulin resistance.
Because of this insulin resistance, the need for insulin in pregnancy is 2 to 3 times higher than normal. If you already have insulin resistance, then your body may not be able to cope with the extra demand for insulin production and the blood glucose levels will be higher resulting in gestational diabetes being diagnosed.



A condition that occurs when a person’s blood glucose level (BGL) has dropped too low (below 4mmol/L)
It is important to treat a hypo quickly to stop the BGL from falling even lower and the person becoming seriously unwell.

Hypoglycaemia can be classified as mild or severe . A mild hypo occurs when a person can treat their own hypo. A severe hypo occurs when a person needs help from someone else to treat their hypo.

Hypoglycaemia only occurs in people who take insulin or certain other glucose lowering tablets. People who manage their diabetes with healthy eating and physical activity are not at risk of a hypo.

Symptoms of hypoglycaemia vary from person to person. Early signs and symptoms may include:
Shaking, trembling or weakness
Light headedness
Pins and needles around mouth
Mood change
Lack of concentration/ behaviour change
Slurred speech
Not able to treat own hypo
Not able to drink or swallow
Not able to follow instructions
Loss of consciousness

If the blood glucose level continues to drop, more serious signs and symptoms may occur.



High blood sugar level. This can develop over many hours or days. Many people do not experience the symptoms of hyperglycaemia until their blood sugar levels are extremely high. Although their blood contains too much sugar, they cannot tell unless they do a finger prick test.

Symptoms of hyperglycaemia may include the following:
Feeling excessively thirsty
Frequently passing large volumes of urine
Feeling tired
Blurred vision
Infections (e.g. thrush, cystitis, wound infections)
Weight loss

Common causes of hyperglycaemia include the following:
Too much carbohydrate food at once
Not enough insulin or diabetes tablets
Other tablets or medicines


Maintaining a healthy endocrine system:

Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acid oils are obtained by eating fish or taking fish oil supplements.
They enhance the operation of the endocrine system by helping transport hormones throughout the body.
Omega fatty acids also promote proper fluid balance and kidney functioning, which prevents water retention. Blood circulation benefits from fish oil as well.

Eating a good balance of fruit and vegetables keeps the body healthy and relatively free of disease.
As a result, the endocrine system benefits from these foods as well, since glandular hormone release is not disrupted by disorders that may be made worse by too much fat, sugar or salt.
Kidneys are affected by the amount of toxins they are forced to filter and excrete from the body; eating plenty of fruits and vegetables helps with this and prevents the thyroid from becoming sluggish, which can cause weight gain and chronic fatigue.


Nervous system cells are called:

Neurons. They carry "messages" through electrical or chemical signals


Three overlapping stages of the nervous systems:

Sensory input: (such as touch, warmth, cold) uses millions of sensory receptors to monitor changes from both inside and outside the body. The sensory division consists of nerve fibres that convey impulses from sensory receptors located in various parts of the body (such as the skin) to the CNS.

Integration: processes this sensory input and makes decisions about what should be done at each moment.

Motor output: then sends a response by activating muscles or glands. The motor division carries impulses from the CNS to effector organs, muscles and glands. The motor division is further subdivided into two parts - the somatic (voluntary) nervous system and the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system (think of ‘automatic’).


Sensory neurons:

Also called afferent neurons.
Send message to spinal cord, then brain (about heat/cold, touch etc)


Motor neurons:

Also called efferent neurons.
Brain (responding to sensory neuron messages) sends a response (for example muscle contraction to slap mozzie or flinch away from pain)


Largest cells in the human body:



7 ways the nervous system can be damaged:

Structural defects
Blood flow disruption
Autoimmune disorders


Some disorders of the nervous system:

Vascular disorders:
stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA), subarachnoid haemorrhage, subdural haemorrhage and hematoma, and extradural haemorrhage

Infections: meningitis, encephalitis, polio, and epidural abscess

Structural disorders: brain or spinal cord injury, Bell's palsy, cervical spondylosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, brain or spinal cord tumours, peripheral neuropathy, and Guillain-Barré syndrome

Functional disorders: headache, epilepsy, dizziness, and neuralgia
Degeneration: Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington chorea, and Alzheimer disease


Signs and symptoms of nervous system disorders:

Persistent or sudden onset of a headache
A headache that changes or is different
Loss of feeling or tingling
Weakness or loss of muscle strength
Sudden loss of sight or double vision
Memory loss
Impaired mental ability
Lack of coordination
Muscle rigidity
Tremors and seizures
Back pain radiating to feet, toes, or other body parts
Muscle wasting and slurred speech


Who treats nervous system disorders?:

Neurologists (neurology)


Surgical intervention for nervous system disorders is called

Neurosurgery (or Neurological surgery).
Surgeons who operate as a treatment team for nervous system disorders are called Neurological Surgeons or Neurosurgeons.


Rehabilitation for neurological disorders is provided by:

The branch of medicine that provides rehabilitative care for patients with nervous system disorders is called physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Allied Healthcare providers who work with patients in the rehabilitation process can be:
Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Social workers, Psychiatrists, Geriatricians, Rehabilitation Specialists, Speech Pathologists, Dietician, and Exercise Physiologists.


Neuromuscular System:

The brain controls the movements of skeletal (voluntary) muscles via specialized nerves. The combination of the Nervous System and Musculoskeletal System work together to permit movement, which is known as the Neuromuscular System.


Upper motor neurons:

have long tails (axons) that go into and through the brain, and into the spinal cord, where they connect with lower motor neurons


Lower motor neurons:

lower motor neurons in the spinal cord send their axons via nerves in the arms and legs directly to the muscle they control. Each lower motor neuron is subdivided into many tiny branches.


A typical muscle has/uses how many lower motor neurons?

anywhere between 50 and 200 (or more)


Tip of each (lower motor neuron) branch is called:

presynaptic terminal. This connection between the tip of the nerve and the muscle is also called the neuromuscular junction.


What do presynaptic terminals do?

The electrical signal from the brain/nerves prompts the release of the chemical Acetylcholine from the presynaptic terminals.
Acetylcholine is picked up by special sensors (receptors) in the muscle tissue. If enough receptors are stimulated by it, your muscles will contract.


Symptoms of Neuromuscular disorders:

Symptoms vary according to the condition and may be mild, moderate or life threatening.
Symptoms may include:

Muscular weakness.
Muscle wastage.
Muscular cramps.
Muscle spasticity (stiffness), which later causes joint or
skeletal deformities.
Muscle pain.
Breathing difficulties.
Swallowing difficulties.


Causes of Neuromuscular disorders:

Genetic mutation
Viral infection
Autoimmune disorder
Hormonal disorder
Metabolic disorder
Dietary deficiency
Certain drugs and poisons
Unknown factors.


The brain is responsible for:
It weighs:
How many nerve cells?

responsible for every emotion/thought/action we make throughout our lives.

weighs between 1.3 and 1.5kg and is comprised or more than 100 billion nerve cells
Because of the complex nature of the human brain, it is normally divided into four major regions


Four regions of the brain:

Cerebral Hemispheres (cerebrum),
Brain Stem,



Dementia is not one specific disease.
It describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain.

Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks.
Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.
Common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease and Korsakoff’s Syndrome (alcohol-related dementia)


Alzheimer's Disease:

An age-related condition that affects a person's cognitive ability.
Degeneration of healthy brain tissue is the most common cause.
The condition causes a loss of social and intellectual skills that eventually interfere with daily life.
Symptoms include memory loss, disorientation and loss of judgment.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, so treatment focuses on improving a patient's quality of life.


Parkinson's Disease:

Although the exact cause of this condition is unknown, researchers believe it may be caused by the presence of specific genetic mutations.
Symptoms include trembling of the hands, slowed movements, speech changes and memory loss. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, it can make daily tasks more and more difficult.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Forms of treatment that can control symptoms include medication, physical therapy and sometimes surgery.


Autoimmune disorders:

Autoimmune disorders of the nervous system can attack the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord, or the peripheral nervous system, consisting of nerves that connect the CNS with the limbs and organs.
The most common disorders are multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis.


Multiple sclerosis:

MS is a disorder can eventually lead to paralysis.
The condition occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the protective sheath that covers the nerves. This results in a disruption in communication between the brain and the body.
Early symptoms of the disease include blurred vision, double vision or a distortion of red and green colours.
No cure for MS exists, but treatment through medication and physical therapy can help control and lessen symptoms.



Epilepsy causes seizures.
Typically, these are caused by faulty or misfiring electrical impulses in the brain.
Symptoms may include uncontrollable jerking movements, temporary confusion and blank staring spells. Seizures may become so violent that they cause bodily harm to the person with the disorder.

Although seizures are a characteristic symptom of epilepsy, experiencing one does not mean you have epilepsy. A minimum of two unprovoked seizures are necessary for an epilepsy diagnosis
Treatment for epilepsy includes medication, surgery and vagus nerve stimulation.


Muscular Dystrophy:

A condition that causes degeneration of muscles in the body.
The most common forms of muscular dystrophy are due to a genetic deficiency of a certain muscle protein called dystrophin.
Symptoms include muscle weakness, frequent falls, progressive crippling and lack of coordination.

There is no cure for muscular dystrophy. Treatment focuses on slowing the progression of crippling and keeping the muscles mobile for as long as possible. This may be done with the help of physical therapy or surgery.


Ways to maintain a healthy nervous system include:

Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
flaxseed and flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds, fish oil supplements (GP’s to suggest dosages)

For at least 15 minutes per day write on paper e.g. colour in a book, write a neat letter to a friend, notes to self “things to do list”. Just writing on paper, activates all major components of your conscious motor and sensory pathways!

Your brain also requires plenty of rest so it can strengthen circuits that help with memory. A good night’s sleep will help keep your brain functioning at its prime.


Sensory system:

The senses are controlled by the nervous system which influences the related body parts. It is commonly thought that we have five basic senses:


There are also many other things we can ‘sense’ related to these, such as temperature, pain, balance and movement.


Our dominant sense:

About 70% of sensory receptors are found in the eyes.
There are more than a million nerve fibres carrying info from eyes to brain.


The eye:

A hollow sphere filled with fluid called humour that helps maintain its shape (the aqueous and vitreous humour).
The lens, the main focusing apparatus of the eye, divides the eye into two chambers, the anterior (front) and posterior (back) chambers.

Cones (colour)
Rods (intensity of light)
Optic nerve -> occipital lobe of brain


Three layers of the eye:




The outer white layer of the eye, maintains eye shape.
Muscles attached to sclera control eye movement.
Cornea is the clear circular area in the sclera where light



The middle layer of the eye, containing blood vessels.

The pupil is a circular opening in the front of the choroid.

The iris is the coloured smooth muscle surrounding the pupil, that adjusts pupil size depending on light brightness

The lens sits behind the pupil, between anterior and posterior chambers

Anterior chamber fluid is called aqueous humour
Posterior chamber fluid is called vitreous humour



Inner (surface) layer of the eye.
Contains rods, cones, nerve cells and bipolar cells.

Rods sense light but not colour
Cones sense colour but not light


Three main parts/sections of the ear:

External/outer ear,
Middle ear,
Internal/inner ear.

The external and middle ear are involved in hearing only, whereas the inner ear is involved in both hearing and equilibrium.


Basic process involved in hearing:

Sound waves cause fluid to move in waves, which trigger nerve impulses that brain interprets as sound


Outer ear:

Composed of the pinna and the external auditory canal.
External auditory canal funnels sound waves.
In the walls of the external auditory canal are glands that secrete cerumen/earwax. (to protect from drying out and repel insects)
Sound waves entering the external auditory canal eventually hit the tympanic membrane (eardrum) and cause it to vibrate.
The eardrum separates the outer and the middle ear.


Middle ear:

Tympanic membrane/eardrum: moved by sound waves

The middle ear is a small space containing the Eustachian tube and three small bones called the auditory ossicles.

Auditory ossicles are moved by the motion of the tympanic membrane.
The eustachian tube connects the middle ear and the throat. The eustachian tubes' purpose is to equalise the pressure on both sides of the tympanic membrane by allowing air to pass from the area of the throat into the middle ear.

The ossicles amplify sound received from the eardrum and transmit it to the oval window. The oval window separates the middle ear from the inner ear.


Inner ear:

The inner ear consists of the semi-circular canals and the cochlea

Fluid-filled structure, lined (inside) with hair cells.
Auditory ossicles touch/are joined to it at "oval window"
Ossicle movement moves fluid in cochlea.
Fluid moves hair cells.
Hair cell movement activates nervous system
Signals are carried through the vestibulocochlear
nerve/auditory nerve (cranial nerve 8) to the temporal
lobe of the brain, where they're interpreted as sound.
Semi-circular canals:
Involved in balance. They sense the head’s
position/changes in position and send messages to
the brain.



Taste buds scattered over surface and concentrated at the back.
Holds food against teeth when chewing
When swallowing, it moves food back into the pharynx, and then into the oesophagus when the pressure of the tongue closes the opening of the trachea or windpipe
Used with lips,teeth,hard palate to form word sounds.


Sense of smell is called:



Process of olfaction:

Cilia (like hair) line the nasal cavity.
Olfactory epithelium is the lining.

Chemicals in air bind to/activate nervous system receptors on the cilia. This sends a signal to neurons connected to epithelial cells.
Signal carried by neurons from nasal cavity, through openings in the ethmoid bone, to olfactory bulbs of the brain.
olfactory bulbs -> olfactory tracts -> olfactory area of cerebral cortex. This part of the brain translates into scents. It is linked with the limbic system. This link makes smells trigger memories.



Taste is strongly influenced by smell and stimulation of thermoreceptors, mechanoreceptors, and nociceptors.

The taste receptors (taste buds) are scattered throughout the oral cavity, but most are located on the tongue. Epithelial cells called gustatory cells have microvilli that protrude through the taste pore and when stimulated, transmit impulses to the brain.
There are five basic taste sensations - sweet, sour, bitter, salt and umami (which is Japanese for delicious) - a taste elicited by glutamate - the 'beef' taste of steak.
Most taste buds respond to a range of these taste sensations.


Common eye infections:

Scleritis (immune-related disease affecting the
connective tissue around the eye called sclera)
Keratitis (viral and bacterial infections of the cornea)
Iritis (infection of iris)
Uveitis (affecting interior eye structures)
Blepharitis (infection of eyelids),
Neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve)
Conjunctivitis or pink eye (inflammation due to infection, allergies or irritants that affects the lining of the back of eyelids)
Orbital cellulitis
Keratoconjunctivitis (dry eye)



Progressive damage to the optic nerve caused by increasing pressure from the fluid inside the eye. It is the most common cause of blindness but early treatment usually prevents vision loss.



Age-related clouding of the lens of the eye


Common ear infections:

Otitis externa (swimmer's ear)
Otitis media (ear ache)
Perichondritis (an infection of the outer ear usually caused by sports trauma or ear piercing)


Inner ear diseases:

Acoustic neuroma (non-cancerous tumor on the nerve)

Meniere's disease (causes tinnitus, dizziness and temporary hearing loss)

Vestibular neuronitis (vertigo caused by a virus)

Benign positional or paroxysmal vertigo.


Middle ear diseases:

Commonly caused by obstruction, infection or trauma.

Mastoiditis (middle ear infection that can spread to the mastoid bone)

Myringitis (contagious infection that causes blisters on the eardrum)

Otosclerosis (abnormal growth of middle ear bone causing hearing loss)

Rupture of the tympanic membrane (eardrum).


Hearing loss:

Many different types.
Hearing loss can be:
temporary or permanent;
mild to profound;
from birth, develop early in life, or acquired over a period of time or suddenly.


Ways to maintain healthy eyes:

Undergo regular eye health and vision checks
Wear sun protection (hat, sunglasses)
Eat a healthy diet


Ways to maintain healthy ears:

Avoid exposure to loud noises
Wear hearing protection/earplugs when exposed to loud noises
Avoid poking anything into the ears
Avoid swimming in dirty water


The two categories of organs in the digestive system:

Organs forming the alimentary canal or gastrointestinal tract;
and the accessory digestive organs.

The alimentary canal breaks food down into smaller fragments and absorbs those fragments through its lining, into the blood.

The accessory organs (teeth, tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver and gallbladder) assist the process of digestive breakdown in various ways.

The large intestine absorbs water from indigestible food residue and removes this waste from the body into the rectum before it is eliminated through the anus.



a small mass of food (what you have after saliva and chewing get added)



Mechnically digested food (ie after stomache) mixed with digestive acids and enzymes from the stomach.



Produces a wide spectrum of enzymes as digestive juices (responsible for food breakdown) which are secreted into the duodenum via the pancreatic ducts. The pancreas is also an endocrine gland.

Pancreas is an accessory digestive organ.



The largest gland in the body, and one of the body's most important organs.
It has many metabolic and regulatory roles, but its digestive role is to produce bile, which leaves the liver via the common bile duct.

Liver is an accessory digestive organ.


Salivary glands:

Excrete saliva, which is a mixture of mucous, and serous fluid which contains salivary amylase and substances that inhibit bacteria.

Salivary glands are accessory digestive organs.



Damage to the lining of the stomach because of bacterial infections or adverse side effects of medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naporoxen. Spicy foods and stress may aggravate ulcers, but do not cause them. Antibiotics or antacids usually alleviate problems long enough for minor ulcers to heal.


Acid reflux:

Heartburn/acid indigestion results in stomach acid backing up into the esophagus to create a burning sensation or sour taste in the mouth.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects people who suffer acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week.
Acid reflux occurs because the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly. Some people may get more bouts of heartburn from certain foods, but each individual has different reactions to particular foods. Cigarette smoking contributes to heartburn by causing the esophageal sphincter to relax.


Celiac disease:

Can affect children or adults.
Symptoms include diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, skin rash or a thinning of bones.
In children it can cause growth failure.
People with the disease are advised to eliminate foods with gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten damages the lining of the small intestine for people with the disease.



Irritable bowel syndrome affects the muscles in the intestines.
It can cause gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. The syndrome can be painful and uncomfortable.
It usually does not lead to further diseases. Most people can control symptoms through diet, stress management and medication.



The passing of hard, dry bowel motions (stools). Symptoms include needing to open the bowels less often than usual, straining to pass the motion, bloated abdomen or abdominal cramps.
The most common causes of constipation include a change in routine, inadequate fibre in the daily diet, insufficient fluids and lack of exercise.



Frequency can vary from several times a day to three times a week. If defecation is continuously delayed constipation will occur.



Difficulty swallowing.


Maintaining a healthy digestive system:

Eat a high fibre diet
Limit high fat foods
Choose lean meats and fish
Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol
Avoid smoking
Drink sufficient water
Exercise regularly
Eat a wide range of foods to ensure adequate nutritional intake
Eat slowly
Reduce stress


Path of urine:
function of kidneys:

Urine is excreted from each kidney through its ureter and stored in the urinary bladder until it is expelled through the urethra.
In addition to the pure excretory function of the kidneys, they also maintain the electrolyte, acid-base and other fluid balances in the blood. Malfunction of the kidneys leads to an imbalance in homeostasis, which unless corrected, will result in death.

The kidneys are the most important excretory organ. The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney and each kidney has over a million of these structures. They form urine by process of filtration, reabsorption and secretion. Each nephron contains a glomerulus. Blood enters the kidney through the renal artery and flows into the nephrons and it is then filtered in the capillaries of the glomerulus and leaves the kidney through the renal vein.

Waste products that have been filtered out of the blood remain behind, passing through a series of urine-collecting tubules before being transported to the renal pelvis and entering the ureters. Urochrome is the pigment that gives urine its yellow-amber or straw colour. Colour of urine can be influenced by normal factors such as the amount of liquid consumed, and can be changed by diseases or medications



Interactions with the brain and nerves contract and relax muscular structures, and urine is pushed out of the bladder through the urethra. This process is called micturition



Inability to voluntarily control the external sphincter. Is common in children under 2, women during pregnancy, some elderly people.

It can also be caused by emotional problems and degradation of the pelvic floor muscles, infection and disease.


Urinary retention:

The opposite of incontinence - where the bladder is unable to expel its contained urine. It can occur after a general anaesthetic because it takes a little time for the smooth muscles to regain their activity. It can also be caused by an enlarged prostate gland.


(7) Signs and symptoms of urinary disorders include:

pain when urinating
retention - where the bladder does not empty
changes in toileting pattern
changes in urine
changes in urinary output
fluid retention



Dysuria is the feeling of pain, burning, or discomfort upon urination.

Dysuria should always trigger a visit to a health-care professional for evaluation and diagnosis.
It is common.
Symptoms occur more commonly in women, especially in young women and people who are sexually active.
Most of the time caused by a UTI, but a complete evaluation by a health-care professional is necessary for proper diagnosis, especially if the symptoms reoccur.
Sexually transmitted diseases can also produce symptoms of dysuria.

Other causes of dysuria include:

Trauma: local injury or irritation due to catheter placement or sexual contact
Anatomic obstructions/malformations: obstruction due to an enlarged prostate or urethral stricture
Pain due to external lesions on the genitalia: Urine touching the lesion causes pain
External irritation or reaction: frequent douching or application of irritating/allergenic products
Hormonal: postmenopausal effects, such as vaginal dryness
Neurologic conditions: any nerve conditions that cause difficulty with bladder emptying
Cancer: urethra, bladder, prostate, vaginal/vulvar, or penile cancer
Medical conditions: diabetes mellitus and other chronic conditions that suppress the immune system


Kidney failure:

Initially kidney failure may cause no symptoms.

Symptoms are due to the build-up of waste products and excess fluid in the body.
May cause:
shortness of breath,
Inability to remove potassium from the bloodstream may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death.

Diagnosis is usually made by blood tests measuring BUN, creatinine, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR).


Ways to maintain a healthy urinary system:

Drink sufficient fluids (water is best)
Avoid caffeine
Participate in physical exercise
Practice good hygiene
Empty your bladder after sex
Wipe from front to back after using the toilet
Go to the toilet when you feel the urge rather than holding on


Male reproductive system:

Testicles/testes produce sperm and produce and secrete male hormones

The Epididymis is a coiled tube at the upper part of each testicle. It becomes a narrow tube called the vas deferens

The vas deferens/ductus deferens, are the long narrow continuation of epididymis, and store spermatozoa

Seminal Vesicles are glands located at the base of the urinary bladder. They secrete, a thick, yellow substance that nourishes the sperm cells and forms 60% of the volume of the semen

Ejaculatory duct passes through the prostate gland and enters the urethra and produces seminal fluid

Prostate gland secretes a thick alkaline fluid into the semen that aids the motility of the sperm

The penis is the male sex organ that transports the sperm into the female vagina



During puberty, rising levels of testosterone stimulates the reproductive organs to develop and prompts the sex drive and secondary male sex characteristics to appear. A male's voice deepens as the larynx enlarges, hair grows over body, and he experiences enlargement of skeletal muscles and increased heaviness of skeleton due to thickening of bones.

Testosterone is produced by interstitial cells. During puberty the seminiferous tubules are prodded to produce sperm by FSH, interstitial cells are activated by LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and sometimes ICSH (interstitial cell stimulating hormone) all released by the anterior pituitary gland. From this time on, testosterone is produced continuously throughout a man's life.


Mammary glands:

Modified sweat glands in a pigmented area called the areola surrounding the nipple.
Each mammary gland consists of 15 to 25 lobes which circle the nipple, within each lobe are lobules which contain alveolar glands that produce milk.
Milk passes into the ducts which open to the outside of the nipple.


Signs and symptoms of reproductive system disorder/disease:

Abnormal vaginal bleeding;
Premenstrual tension - symptoms include bloating, breast tenderness and mood swings;
Painful periods - a number of different causes, such as inflammation;
Abnormal vaginal discharge;
Breast changes

Urinary problems;
Infertility - many causes, including a failure to ovulate or develop sperm ;
Sexually transmitted infection/disease - can be caused by bacteria or viruses;

Penile bleeding;
Prostate problems - can make urination difficult


Integument means:

It is (skin or cutaneous membrane) the waterproof covering of the body.
It protects deeper tissues from all manner of damage, helps with body temperature regulation, synthesizes Vitamin D and allows the body to excrete uric acid and urea via sweat. Sensation: tactile receptors deep in the skin to feel touch/pain etc


Skin weighs (%):

Approximately 15% of our body weight.
It is the largest organ of the human body



Top layer = epidermis, is 0.04mm thick and has no blood vessels. Composed of epithelium, which contains melanocytes which secrete a skin darkening pigment called melanin.
4 layers(stratum): lower layer = basale layer. ~~~. Forms "dermal papilla". Holds stratum basale onto layer below; is where mitosis (new cell creation) occurs.
next layer = stratum spinosum
next layer = stratum granulosum
(only found in thick skin - palms, feet) = stratum lucidum
top layer: stratum corneum. dead cells

Next layer = dermis, is 0.5mm thick.
Contains capillaries, sweat/sebaceous glands, hair follicles, tactile receptors inc nerves, pain receptors.

Next layer = hypodermis/subcutaneous fat layer (not considered part of skin?)
Contains connective tissue, blood vessels, fat cells (adipocytes), stem cells (mesenchymal cells), macrophages, fibres (reticular, elastic, collagen, lymphatics).
insulates the body from extreme temperature changes and anchors the skin to the underlying structures (muscles)

accessory structures:
hair = capillaries--> papilla --> hair matrix (constantly makes new cells) -->cells pushed up to make hair -->past sebaceous gland -->(carries oil up to skin)
nails = matrix -->nail plate. eponychium (makes cuticle)


How often does the epidermis completely renew itself?

Every four weeks. Outer cells wear away and are replaced with new ones from underneath.


How does skin regulate body temperature?

Sweat evaporates from skin;
Skin's blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow near surface (causes flushed/red look);

Goosebumps make hairs stand up, traps warm air near skin;
Skin's blood vessels contract to restrict blood flow near surface (to limit heat lost);


Skin diseases/disorders/conditions:

Loss of homeostasis in the skin can be visible, and the skin can develop more than 1000 different ailments



Caused by clogged pores and bacterial infection.
Commonly diagnosed in teenagers and young adults. Acne may be mild, moderate, or severe and is characterised by blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, and cysts on the face, shoulders, chest, or back.


Sun damage:

Cosmetic damage as well as potentially fatal skin disorders may result from overexposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight. At first, overexposure to sunlight results in injury known as sunburn where UV rays damage skin cells, blood vessels, and other dermal structures.

Continual overexposure produces leathery skin, wrinkles, discoloration and may also lead to skin cancer. 75% of all skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas that arise in the epidermis and rarely metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. Physicians can surgically remove basal cell cancers. Squamous cell carcinomas also occur in the epidermis, and these may metastasize. Malignant melanomas are life-threatening skin cancers that metastasize rapidly.

There can be a 10 to 20 year delay between exposure to sunlight and the development of skin cancers.



A chronic, autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious.



A skin infection caused by the Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria.
Also known as school sores because it commonly affects school-aged children.
Impetigo is more common during the warmer months.


Eczema and Dermatitis:

Common skin conditions caused by an allergic reaction or by irritating chemicals. The skin gets red, swollen or blistered, and intensely itchy.


Pressure ulcers:

Also known as bedsores.
Result from lack of blood supply due to pressure on areas of the body.
They commonly occur over bony prominences but can affect soft tissue also. This type of skin damage can develop quickly in anyone with reduced mobility, such as older people or those confined to a bed or chair


(7) Ways to maintain healthy skin:

Use sunscreen
Wear protective clothing
Seek shade
Avoid smoking
Moisturise skin
Avoid strong perfumes or soaps
Eat a healthy diet


Two semi-independent parts of the lymphatic system:

A complex network of lymphoid vessels


Lymphoid tissues and organs that are scattered throughout the body

The lymphatic system is closely connected to the circulatory system; it consists of an additional set of vessels through which some of the tissue passes before reaching the large veins and entering the blood.


What is lymph fluid?

Fluid (essentially blood plasma) becomes lymph when it enters the lymphatic vessels, to be returned to the blood, where it is again considered to be plasma. It is essentially all the same fluid, but is called different things depending upon its location at any given time.

Approximately 24 litres of fluid per day are pushed out of the capillaries to bathe the cells, and if all 24 litres are not reabsorbed, the fluid left behind would lead to oedema (swelling). This fluid needs to be filtered before being returned to the blood circulation and this is where the lymph nodes come in.


Lymph nodes:

Little pockets of lymphatic tissue scattered throughout the body. Lymph nodes are clustered along the lymphatic vessels and they contain macrophages, whose role is to engulf and destroy bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances that may have entered the lymph fluid.
Lymphocytes are also found here to respond to any foreign substances found in the fluid. There are more afferent lymphatic vessels entering the lymph node than leaving - this slows down the flow, giving the macrophages and lymphocytes time to ensure the fluid is ‘cleaned’. Fluid usually passes through several lymph nodes before this occurs.


Signs and symptoms of lymphatic disorder:

Localised: inflammation, redness and pain
Systemic: fever, malaise and raised white blood cell count.

The immune system can be compromised by many factors, including health, age, hereditary traits and opportunistic infections.


Ways to maintain a healthy lymphatic system:

Get into the habit of doing activities that require deep, diaphragmatic breathing. Meditation/relaxation sessions and yoga work.

Be active. The bulk of your lymphatic vessels are enmeshed within your big muscle groups. The more you move, the more your muscles will generate pressure against your lymphatic vessels, which in turn will promote strong and regular flow of fluid through these vessels. All of your lymphatic vessels contain numerous one-way valves that cause all applied forces to channel fluid flow in the desired direction.

Eat foods that promote flexible blood vessel walls. Many of your lymphatic vessels run side-by-side with your arterial blood vessels. Healthy arterial blood vessels produce strong pulsations that can generate force against adjacent lymphatic vessels.


5 key areas for optimal health:

Healthy eating habits, diet and nutrition;

Social interaction: social activity, cohesion and networks;

Exercise: regular aerobic and strength exercise;

Mental activity, including music and games;

Resting: Regular rest and quality sleep


Healthy eating:

Our bodies require the basic nutrients for cellular functions to be delivered through those products that enter our bodies from the external environment.

The word diet is often used to describe an eating plan intended to aid weight loss. However, diet really refers to the foods a person eats in the course of a day, or week. The more balanced and nutritious the diet, the healthier the person can expect to be. A balanced diet means eating the right amount of foods from all food groups.


Physical activity:

The body needs to experience physical stressors daily in order to maintain good health; muscles develop when they are stressed. Physical stressors are gained through activity and should be part of everyone's daily routine.

Individuals who exercise regularly can not only maintain a healthier weight but also reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases and have healthier bones and joints. Regular physical activity has significant benefits for health and wellbeing.

Health authorities recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity each day which can improve health and reduce the risk of developing certain conditions or diseases. This activity can be accrued in bouts of 10 minutes or more if it's more convenient.


Aerobic exercise:

Aerobic means 'with oxygen'.
Aerobic metabolism occurs when the body breaks down fat and glucose by combining them with oxygen. During intense aerobic exercise, the body uses more oxygen; as a result breathing and heart rate increases.

Over time, regular aerobic exercise will improve health and fitness and reduce levels of body fat. The activity chosen should be something the person enjoys and can be adapted for specific populations.


Benefits of regular physical activity:

Improved long term health
Less likely to have a heart attack
More energetic
Manage their weight better
Healthier blood cholesterol level
Lower blood pressure
Stronger bones and muscles (less osteoporosis)
Recover better from a heart attack
Suffer less depression


Tips to be more active:

Think of movement as an opportunity, not an inconvenience. See any form of body movement as an opportunity to improve your health, rather than a time-wasting inconvenience.

Be active every day in as many ways as you can. Make a habit of walking or cycling instead of using the car, or do things yourself instead of using labour-saving machines.

Do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days. Moderate intensity activity includes a brisk walk or cycling. Combine short sessions of different activities of around 10 to 15 minutes each to a total of 30 minutes or more

If you can, also try to enjoy some regular, vigorous exercise for extra health and fitness benefits. Vigorous exercise makes you 'huff and puff'. For best results, this should be added to your regular physical activity three to four days a week for 30 minutes or more each time.


Physical Activity Guidelines for 18-64yrs:

Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.

Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.
Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
Minimise the amount of time spent in prolonged sitting.
Break up long periods of sitting as often as possible.


Mental health:

Understanding where your patients ‘are at’ mentally will help you inform them with a positive approach. Having a healthy psychosocial system adds balance to your body and by maintaining it as a part of your system balance check; you will lead a happier healthy life.

Psychosocial health considers a range of mental illnesses including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia, and relates to an individual’s perceptions, emotions and behaviours.Mental illness was estimated to be responsible for 13% of the total burden of disease in Australia in 2003, placing it third as a broad disease group after cancers and cardiovascular disease.

You may be working with patients with mental illness in your the day-to-day role as a Allied Health Assistant. Understanding your patient’s condition is important as it may not be visible, therefore getting to know them assists with their trust in you. It is important to see each patient is an individual.


Homeostasis: body temperature

Maintaining body temperature is very complex and also takes a lot of energy!
About 80% of the energy from the food you eat goes to maintaining body temperature.
Basically, the chemical reactions of metabolism of stored food, especially fats, generate heat as a by-product. This heat warms the body; the nervous system reads the temperature and controls to some extent the rate of this metabolism.
There are also many other mechanisms triggered by the brain to keep the core of your body warm, even if the periphery (skin) is cold. Blood vessels to the fingers and toes constrict, so that the cold air doesn't cool the blood too much, so that cooled blood doesn't cool down the heart and brain when it returns. If the body has too high a temperature, the circulatory system diverts more blood to the extremities of the body where the integumentary system, with its millions of pores and sweat, works to cool the blood.


Homeostasis: body fluids

The total amount of water in the body makes up approximately 55% to 60% of body weight in adult males and somewhat less, around 50 to 55%, in adult females (due to a higher proportion of body fat).

Because there is a high proportion of water in the human body and many body functions require the presence of fluids, there is a need to ensure that body fluids are maintained. To maintain a well hydrated body there is a need to balance the fluid inputs and outputs. Most fluids come from the food and liquids we ingest, although a small amount also comes from cellular metabolism, the chemical reactions occurring in cells.

Water leaves the body through respiration, perspiration, in faeces and urine. The kidneys play an important part in the body's ability to regulate the amount of water it loses. Through interaction between the nervous system , the endocrine system and the circulatory system the body regulates the activity of the kidneys. If there is insufficient intake of water the kidneys will reduce the output of water.


Homeostasis: elimination of wastes

The body produces carbon-dioxide which is removed by the respiratory system . The integumentary system removes some wastes through the skin pores; the kidneys remove water from the body.

As water leaves the body via the kidneys it takes wastes with it. This waste is generally composed of nitrogenous wastes from the blood which assists the body to maintain the fluid balance, electrolytes and the acid-base of the blood.

The digestive system is an open system. As the products of digestion move through the digestive tract, nutrients and water are extracted. The solid waste matter left after the digestion of food contains indigestible food, some excess water, cells and bacteria. Whatever the body cannot use is eliminated via the rectum as faeces.


Homeostasis: blood pressure

blood pressure refers to the force exerted by the circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels. The pressure of the circulating blood decreases as blood moves through the arteries and into the capillaries and veins.

Blood pressure varies between individuals and is dependent on the strength of the heartbeat, the elasticity of the arterial walls, the volume and viscosity of the blood, the person's health, age, and physical condition.

When we stand up suddenly after lying down, nerve impulses are sent to the vasomotor centre in the brain and the blood pressure rises. Sometimes we might notice if we stand up too quickly that we feel dizzy or light headed, this is because the blood pressure hasn’t had a chance to rise sufficiently. Sitting upright for a few moments usually resolves this feeling.


Where to find accurate information to use when promoting healthy behaviours and activities:

other health professionals;;;;


Information regarding current health plans, reforms and strategies in regards to ATSI health can be found:

in the Australian Government, Department of Health’s "The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023"

The Health Plan is an evidence-based policy framework designed to guide policies and programmes to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health over the next decade until 2023

The Australian health system is free of racism and inequality and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to health services that are effective, high quality, appropriate and affordable. Together with strategies to address social inequalities and determinants of health, this provides the necessary platform to realise health equality by 2031.

Four principles of the Health Plan:
1) Health equality and a human rights approach
2) Indigenous community control and engagement
3) Partnership
4) Accountability