Your body organs come in different shapes and sizes, but they all work together to keep you alive. In this lesson, you'll learn where the major organs of your body are found and what they do.
The Importance of Organs
You may already know that there are organs, body parts with specific functions, in your body that do the work needed to keep you alive. Your body's cells and organs need things like oxygen and nutrients from your food (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and water) in order to work properly and to help remove toxins from your body.
Clearly, organs are very important, and all of your organs have different jobs as they're working together toward the same goal, which is to keep the trillions of cells in your body healthy. Can you guess which organ is the biggest? Here's a hint: You can touch it, it changes color, and it regulates your body temperature. It's your skin!
Skin: An External Body Organ
Your skin covers your body, making it your biggest organ. It has cells that produce a brown pigment when you're in the sun. That pigment protects you from harmful sun rays. It also has tiny openings called pores. When you get too hot, sweat comes out of those pores to cool you down.
Your skin is an external organ, which means it's found on the outside of your body. Most of the rest of your organs are internal organs, meaning that they're found inside your body. Let's take a look at some of the main internal organs.
Internal Body Organs
Your brain is your body's central control station. Located inside your skull for protection, your brain allows you to think, sense things going on around you, and move your muscles. It also controls things you don't think about, like digestion, heart rate, and breathing.
Speaking of breathing, that's the job of your lungs! They pull in oxygen, which is a gas needed by your cells, and they get rid of carbon dioxide, which is a waste gas. Your lungs are inside your chest and protected by your rib cage, just like your heart.
Your heart pumps blood around your body. Your blood carries the oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from your body cells. Your blood also carries nutrients to your cells.
Kidneys are also internal organs. While you only need one kidney, you actually have two! These bean-shaped organs are located on each side of your back at the base of your rib cage. They filter your blood and make urine. Your kidneys make sure that your body has the right amount of water and mineral salts to stay hydrated and healthy.
Your liver, which is the biggest internal organ, can be found by putting your hand over the base of your ribs on the right side of your body. The liver makes a digestive enzyme called bile that breaks down fats and helps to keep the right amount of sugar in your blood. Your liver also breaks down toxins that come into your body.
Your stomach is an important organ of your digestive tract. If you slide your hand from your liver to the center of your abdomen, you're covering your stomach. Your stomach has layers of muscles that squeeze and relax to churn food like a slow blender. That churning turns food into a creamy liquid that goes into your intestines, where nutrients are removed and wastes are produced that later become poop.
Another internal organ is your pancreas, which hides behind your stomach. It squirts digestive enzymes into your intestines that pull the nutrients out of your food. Your pancreas also makes a hormone called insulin, which allows your body to move blood sugar into your cells.
Your organs, parts of your body that have specific functions, do the work needed to keep you alive. Your skin is the biggest organ of your body, and it's an external organ because it's located on the outside of the body. Other organs include your brain, lungs, heart, liver, stomach, intestines, pancreas, and kidneys, and they're called internal organs because they're located on the inside of your body.