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WHAT IS STRESS?
STRESS- the body's response to any demand made of the body. The lack
of balance between the perceived demands of a situation and perceived
abilities to cope with that situation e.g. having a demanding job and an
inability to meet those demands.
STRESSORS- internal and external sources of stress.
ACUTE STRESS- short term stress, stress which occurs because of a one
off/temporary event.
CHRONIC STRESS- long term stress, constant and occurs for long
periods of time.…read more

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BODY'S RESPONSE TO STRESS
SYMPAPATHOMEDULLARY PATHWAY (SAM)
Used for emergency, you can run fast to escape. Response to acute
stress.
1. Starts in Hypothalamus
2. Commands the Automatic Nervous System (self regulating controls
breathing etc.)
3. Activates sympathetic branch (prepares body to use energy)
4. Stimulating Adrenal Medulla (secretes adrenaline + noradrenaline)
5. Activates fight or flight response:
­ Increased heart rate
­ Relaxation of bronchi (lungs)
­ Release of glucose from liver
­ Reduced activity in stomach
­ Saliva production inhibited…read more

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BODY'S RESPONSE TO STRESS
PITUITARY-ADRENAL SYSTEM (PAS)
The body's response to chronic, prolonged stress.
1. Starts in Hypothalamus
2. Commands the pituitary gland to release ACTH (stress hormones)
3. Sends a message to Adrenal Cortex to release corticosteroids e.g.
cortisol which control the amount of glucose in the blood.
4. Travels to liver to break down glycogen into glucose, helps to resist
all kinds of stress and reduce pain. But also impaired cognitive ability
and reduced immune response.
If the stressor is removed soon enough, blood sugar levels return to
normal.
If stressful situation continues, body's resources become depleted and
there can be serious consequences to health:
­ Adrenals can no longer function properly
­ Blood glucose levels drop, could cause hypoglycaemia
­ Psychophysiological disorders develop: high blood pressure, coronary heart
disease, asthma and stomach ulcers…read more

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STRESS AND ILLNESS
1. Prolonged high adrenaline/noradrenaline can lead to increased
cholesterol, leads to blocked arteries
2. Increased heart rate leads to increased plaque formation , build up
of cholesterol
3. High blood pressure causes small lesions in artery walls where
cholesterol gets trapped (leads to stroke and heart attacks).
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Immune cells e.g. Lymphocytes (white blood cells) that travel through
the blood stream. Move round the body defending it from antigens,
some immune cells produce antibodies which bind to and destroy
antigens.
When your body is stressed it temporarily suppresses immune function,
Immunosuppression. Too much chronic stress (producing
corticosteroids) interferes with immune activity and production of
antibodies.…read more

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ENDOCRINE SYSTEM
· The link between stress and illness may be down to endorphins
· These hormones act as painkillers, released at times of pain/anxiety
· Endorphins also suppress immune activity, halt production of killer
cells.
· Many components of immune system governed by endocrine system.
When endocrine is working on stress response little energy left for
immune system.…read more

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