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PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Cortisol, Peer Pressure, Coronary Artery Disease

Course Code
Alison Smith

of 6
HLTB01H3 Lecture #8 Health and Aging
cannot separate mind from body
our biomedical system puts healthcare in compartments so if you have hurt your arm,
you’d see an orthopedic specialist which does not assess how it affects the mind
if you have a psychological problem, therapist would likely not ask about physical prob-
must take a holistic view, and look at the person in their entirety: body and mind
using humor is important as well; laughter is important for stress
the hangover clip showing stress
siegfried and roy are two people that work with tigers (stress related jobs); tiger at-
tacked one of the people’s throats and both suffered from depression
the older we get, the more losses we have to deal with; losses of children, grandpar-
ents, parents, financial losses of jobs or businesses, loved ones
some people lose identity (language barrier or new way of living in a new country)
elderly must face loss of physical ability
Current events
falls are most common cause of major injury that requires hospitalization for seniors
falls are responsible for 1/5 of all severe injuries to trauma facilities
2004-2008 research: increase in # of severe injuries of falls in ontario; 20% increase
from 04 and 08
not having enough money causes stress; this is stressful for hospital administrators
(health administrators); people can run hospitals; they run hospitals and there is a finite
amount of money available; ontario hospitals have to cover a new expense: registered
practical nurses and support staff at 60 facilities will be getting an incraese in salaries by
2%; problem is that budget awarded to hospitals was only a 1.5% increase; arbitrators
16 000 unionized workers; unionized workers are getting increases, whereas manage-
ment and non-unionized workers do not, but we don’t have the money
in new year, likely lay-offs and service cuts will be prominent most probably
diet causes stress; research this past week shows women who drink 1 or more serv-
ings of sugary drinks or orange juice may be increasing risk for developing GOUT; gout
doesn’t normally afflict women so this is a new revelation; gout is a type of arthritis and
occurs when uric acid crystals form in joints (most common in big toe or ankle and caus-
es pain and swelling for someone who has it); painful; risk of gout increases after
menopause and so this research points out that as we age, we should be a little more
aware of what we eat and drink
diet soft drinks were not associated with risk of developing gout
stress if occuring everyday
2 weeks ago, someone in apartment on welsley street found a snake in their bed
you can’t avoid stress but you can learn to adapt to it
some people respond to stress in different ways: overeating, alcohol, drugs
smiling, laughing, enjoying life are things you can do to deal with stress
we need to learn how to talk about what is affecting us; this will be a stress relief
if you don’t trust anyone, keep a journal; sometimes writing things out helps
escaping from world helps; seeing a movie, taking a long walk, reading a good book
mcgill university, montreal: soldier would know stress (ruminate about things that hap-
pened before); PTSD is common among soldiers; neuroscientist Dr. Kareem Nadar in-
vestiaged effects of PTSD and he has been looking for ways to dull the pain or to turn a
traumatic memory into something less intense; key is that we have to block the emotion-
al response (cannot delete it but you can block some of it); there is an emotional stimu-
lus that occurs that triggers emotion; once memory has formed, it is stored in brain and
can’t be changed but now he has found that memory can be altered before it is filed
away in brains and very act of remembering things can be changed so that memory can
be changed; he calls this process memory reconsideration - during reconsideration
phase, that is the best time you can block the emotional response associated with mem-
ory; when you block it he calls it reconsolidation blockage; when we remember things,
adrenaline is released and hormones can boost memory of certain events; knowing
about effects of hormones, research that dr. nadar has been conducting has also led
him to working with a psychiatrist and they are also using medication; this medication is
propranolol (common medication - beta blocker developed 40 years ago) given to pa-
tients with angina or high blood pressure
research shows that if medication is given a few hours after trauma, there is a possibil-
ity that these people won’t develop pain of PTSD; when they conducted a study and re-
cruited people that suffered from PTSD, researchers found that people who took propra-
nolol showed a more muted response as a result of the trauma; nadar says that memory
of event remains in tact but medication prevents emotional and physical response; this
is ongoing research
another form of stress is prospect of losing a job; this is prevalent especially in our cur-
rent economic situation; uncertainty causes people to lose their job; cardiologist in bos-
ton dr. michelle albert; she looked at people 17415 participants (all women) found that
women suffering from stress were likely to suffer with blood pressure problems, heart
disease, and problems with weight gain and cholesterol; women she looked at were
healthy, 57 on average, working fulltime or part time, conducted study from 1999-2009,
they were professionals from nurses aid to Ph. D and they filled out surveys rating their
jobs and they were particularly looked at women who did not feel like they had much
control over their job; research showed that women worried about losing jobs and those
that worried the most, had more problems with blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight
stress causes the fight or flight response and these hormones cause inflammation and
raise the blood pressure; according to participant (46 years old) said she was dealing in
a call centre with a lot of stress; she suffered from heart problems of summer 2008
(chest pains and collapsed while walking one night); doctors gave nitroglycerin pills
in the past, men were focused on stress in job, but women experience it as well
exercise is great for relieving stress and learning how to relax is great
people should unwind and relax at home without taking work home with them
lawyers on bay street are working 70-90 hours a week; very stressful!
laughing lowers our serum cortisol levels: cortisol suppresses immune system and
when you laugh it benefits physiologically; when you laugh immunoglobulin-a, when you
laugh, produce more killer cell activities; laugh increase in heart rate, rapid respiration,
profound exchange of air as a result; respiration is enhanced
when you laugh, you exercise muscles in body
therapeutic use of self term used in medical world: relates to our understanding that
our ability to heal people is because it is based on ourselves’ when we laughs, good
things happen
bad things happen if we are exposed to fight or flight response
years ago, when we had to hunt for our food and living amongst animals, fight or flight
response enabled us to run away from tiger; when confronted with stress of F or F re-
sponse, high physiological response in SNS; pattern of physiological responses that
prepare us in an emergency; in F or F response: increased heartrate, increased respira-
tion, more blood to muscles which gives us capacity to run, high blood pressure, in-
creased sugar rates in blood (rapid amount of energy), accelerated metabolism (blood
becomes thicker, oxygen increases), secretion of adreneline and other hormoes that in-
crease response
problem is that if we are exposed to that reaction, that response is there all the time
and we’re dealing with excess adrenaline in bodies and other harmful effects
adrenaline is a neurotransmitter; when body is faced with stress, surge of adrenaline is
secreted by adrenal glands: palpitations, increased BP, increase in vital nutrients and