WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Bacteria These are very small organisms that are all around us and on our skin. Some bacteria can cause disease. Most are harmless. Some, for example those that live in the intestine, are beneficial and help to break down the food during digestion.
Bile is digestive juice produced by the liver. It is a yellow-green colour, quite thick and is stored in the gallbladder until the body needs it. It helps to break down fats in the small intestine and also carries away waste products formed in the liver.
Bladder This is where the urine (pee) is stored until you pass it i.e. into a nappy or toilet for example. In an adult, the bladder might be able to hold 0.5 litres of urine before there is a feeling to pass it.
Blood is the red liquid that flows around the inside of your body and you can see it if you cut yourself. It flows like a river through tiny elastic tubes (known as vessels) around your body pumped along by the heart. It takes things like the air that we breathe and the food that we eat to different parts of the body to help keep us alive. It also plays an important role in protecting us against infection. Known as 'Brucey Blood' in some of the Busy Body Books.
Blood vessels are used to carry the blood around the body. There are three main types – veins, arteries and capillaries. Blood is kept flowing by pumping of the heart; by muscles in artery and vein walls; and by a decrease in pressure (liquids flow from high to low pressure). The movement of blood around the body and the heart is known as circulation. It takes less than 60 seconds for your heart to pump blood to every cell in your body!
Bones There are more than 300 bones in a baby's skeleton, but as we grow some of these bones fuse together to make bigger bones, so that by adulthood we only have 206. They form a frame called the skeleton which gives the body shape, protects the body organs (for example the heart), and provides a solid base for the muscles to work against.
Brain This is found inside your head. It controls most of the things your body does like moving your arms and legs; or feel things like if you have pain, something is hot, or you need to use the toilet. It controls things like emotion, speech and thought.
Calcium is soft and white. It is used for making strong bones and teeth. It is also used to keep the muscles healthy and is in the blood to help with clotting (for example forms the sticky lump you see when you cut yourself which stops you bleeding too much). It can be found in many things including milk, bread, eggs and vegetables.
Carbohydrate These are found in certain kinds of food such as sugar, cereals, bread, pasta and potatoes. It provides the body with energy. If you have more than you need for energy in your body, it is changed into fat
Cells These are very tiny. They are the smallest part of a plant or animal, each one containing millions of cells. The human body contains billions of these and are essential to perform the complex tasks necessary for life.
Cereals These are made from grain. Examples of these are wheat, corn or rice. It is used in breakfast cereal.
Colon See under ‘Large Intestine’.
Diabetes (mellitus) is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin to be able to control the level of glucose in the blood.
Digest / Digestion is the process of food and fluids being moved from the throat to the rectum. The process breaks down food and makes it into things that the body can use; for example protein being used to make muscle.
Energy One example of this is the body having the strength and power to do active things. Another is the way the eye converts light energy into electrical nerve impulses to make vision possible.
Electrolytes These are tiny and can be found in the blood. They play a very important role in keeping the body healthy. If you become ill and lose a lot of fluid (like vomiting for example), they become unbalanced which can then stop your body working correctly. Sometimes people need medical help to get the electrolytes balanced again.
External Sphincter External means outside. Sphincter is a ring of muscle that can be found around an opening. In the story about the kidneys with Matthew, the ring of muscle is on the outside of the bladder. It stays tight and keeps the urine (pee) in your bladder until you are ready to use the toilet. When it gets the message that you want to use the toilet, it relaxes and lets the urine out…unless of course you are like Matthew and wait toooooo long!
Fat comes in many forms. One form is contained in foods such as meat, cheese, oil, butter and nuts. It contains important vitamins needed for the body to function. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet especially for little children as it is needed to develop the nervous system and brain correctly. It can be used for energy, to help keep you warm and to form body fat. Body fat lies beneath the skin and around some of the internal organs. Excess amounts of fat are stored under the skin in obesity.
Fat Cells – Most of your body fat cells are found just underneath your skin. By the time you are an adult you might not make any more fat cells, they just get bigger or smaller! They help to maintain body energy levels and store energy in the form of lipids. If the energy in the cells are used by the body they get smaller; if you eat more than you need the body stores some of this in the fat cells and so they get bigger.
Fibre is bits of plants or seeds that your body cannot digest. Most vegetables and fruits contain fibre. It is also found in foods like cereals and wholemeal bread. It is very important as it helps food pass through your body. It assists with problems like constipation and other gastric problems. It can also help prevent cancers and reduce cholesterol levels. Intestine The tubes through which food passes from your stomach to the rectum. There is the small intestine and the large intestine.
Gall bladder – This is a pear-shaped sack, just below your liver. Bile, which is produced by the liver, is stored in the gall bladder.
Gastric Juices are secreted from glands lining the stomach. It is used to break down food in the stomach and kill bacteria. It is the yellow stuff that comes up from your stomach sometimes if you vomit. Known as the 'yellow pool' in some of the Busy Body Books.
Glucose is a type of sugar that gives you energy. Sugar is changed into glucose in the small intestine. It is naturally present in fruit. It is also produced during the digestive process of products like carbohydrates. It is carried to all the tissues in the body by the blood where it can be used for energy.
Glycogen - Glucose is the main type of fuel for our body cells. When there is extra glucose it can be stored in the liver and muscles. When it is stored in this way it is known as glycogen. If the body suddenly needs extra energy or the blood glucose level drops the glycogen is changed back into glucose and used by the body as fuel for the cells.
Heart This is found in your chest area. It is made of muscle and pumps the blood around your body…even when you are asleep!
Hormones These are ‘chemical messengers’ which are transported by the blood to make certain parts of your body do something; for example insulin, which opens the cells so that the body can use glucose for energy.
Hospital This is a place where sick or injured people are given medical or surgical treatment with specialized staff and equipment.
Insulin is a substance that most people produce naturally in their body. It controls the level of glucose in the blood and is essential in the process of glucose being absorbed into cells where it is converted into energy. It is made in the pancreas by a cluster of cells known as the ‘Islets of Langerhans’. In diabetes the body does not produce enough insulin to control the level of glucose in the body. It is one of many types of hormones in the body. Islets of Langerhans see pancreas and insulin.
Islets of Langerhans see pancreas and insulin.
Large Intestine is the shorter and second part of the intestine. It is made up of three parts - the caecum, colon, and rectum. It reabsorbs water, vitamins and salts (from the food that has already passed through the small intestine) into the blood stream. What is left is later passed as faeces (‘poo’) into the toilet.
Ketones These are produced when the body starts using fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. If your blood glucose is normal and you are losing weight, it can be normal to have ketones sometimes. High levels can be found in diabetes when the body cannot use glucose normally. When they are found in the urine this is known as ketonuria.
Kidney There are usually 2 of these in a body but you can live perfectly normal with just one. They are bean shaped. Kidney’s help keep the blood clean and regulate the body’s fluid balance. Anything that isn’t needed is passed out of the body as urine. They also produce hormones which are used in the regulation of red blood cell production and blood pressure.
Laboratory A room or building where special equipment is kept to test things, or do experiments.
Liver - An organ inside your abdomen on the right hand side under your ribcage. It is wedge-shaped and a reddish-brown colour. It does a lot of things to help keep your body healthy. The three main ones are:
1. It cleans your blood which includes dealing with toxins or poisons you may have.
2. It stores energy in the form of a sugar called glycogen;
3. It produces an important liquid for the digestive system called bile.