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Steve Joordens

CHAPTER 16 – LIFESTYLE, STRESS, AND HEALTH CULTURAL EVOLUTION: LIFESTYLE CHOICES AND CONSEQUENCES Cultural Evolution: the adaptive change of a culture to recurrent environmental pressures Driven mainly by psychological forces and is a product of human intellect and physical capacity HEALTHY AND UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLES Nutrition Diets too high in saturated fat linked to coronary heart disease (CHD): the narrowing of blood vessels that supply nutrients to the heart And cancer: a malignant, uncontrolled growth of cells that destroys surrounding tissue 36% of annual deaths in Canada attributed to CHD, 29% is cancer The chief culprit in CHD is serum cholesterol: a fat-like chemical found in the blood. One form (LDL) promotes the formation of atherosclerotic plaques which clog arteries. Another form (HDL) may protect against CHD Cholesterol is the source of lipid membranes of cells and steroid hormones and thus is a vital substance Cholesterol has two kinds HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) Cohen – strong correlation between mortality rates of breast cancer and fat consumption Physical Fitness Lack of exercise correlated with CHD, engage in exercise twice a week decreases chances to develop CHD by 41% Kenneth Cooper – aerobic exercise superior to other forms of exercise for improving cardiovascular health Aerobic exercise: physical activity that expends considerable energy, increases blood flow and respiration and thereby stimulates and strengthens the heart, lungs, and increases the body’s efficient use of oxygen Physical activity also decreases stress and fatigue Cigarette Smoking Nicotine exerts powerful effects on the central nervous system and heart by stimulating post- synaptic receptors sensitive to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter This produces temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure, decreases in temperature, changes in hormones released by the pituitary glands and release of adrenaline from adrenal glands and allows dopamine to be released into the brain Frank Etscorn – developed nicotine patch Over the months, the amount of nicotine in patches are reduced weaning them off it, and sometimes used with bupropion hydrochloride (marketed as Zyban) Body’s response to stopping smoking: Within 20 min – blood pressure and pulse decrease to normal levels, body temp of extremities increases to normal levels 1 day – risk of heart attack decreases 2 days – nerve endings begin regenerating, taste and smell acuity increases 3 days – breathing becomes easier due to relaxing of bronchial tubes, lung capacity increases 2 weeks to 3 months – blood circulation improves, walking and other exercises become easier, lung efficiency increases as much as 30% 5 years – risk of death due to lung cancer decreases by 47% Drinking Alcoholic Beverages Negative Effects of Alcohol Abuse: Physical: Cirrhosis which results in death, poor nutrition, impaired sexual functioning Psychological: gradual deterioration of cognitive functioning, increased feelings of anxiety and irritability, aggressive behaviour Cultural: impaired social skills and interpersonal functioning, divorce, employee absenteeism and decreased productivity, death in alcohol-related traffic accidents Alcoholism: an addiction to ethanol, the psychoactive agent in alcoholic beverages 5% in Ontario are alcoholics, 60% national consumes alcohol, 26% have before but no longer, and 13% never consumed it Males outnumber females 5-1 Mixing Alcohol with other drugs: Narcotics (codeine or percodan) – increased suppression of CNS functions and possible death due to respiratory failure Minor Pain Relievers (aspirin or Tylenol) – stomach irritation and bleeding; increased likelihood of liver damage from acetaminophen Antihistamines (Actifed) – increased drowsiness, making operation of motor vehicles and power equipment more dangerous CNS Stimulants (Caffeine, Dexedrine) – reverses some of depressive effects, but do not increase sobriety Antipsychotics (Largactil) – impaired control of motor movements and possible death due to respiratory failure Antianxiety drugs (Valium, Librium) – decreased arousal, impaired judgement Some who try to quit drinking suffer delirium and sometimes they have become so physically dependent on it that it can produce convulsions and sometimes death Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS STD Cause Symptoms Treatment Gonorrhea Gonococcus bacterium Appear 3-5 days after sexual contact with afflicted person. In both sexes, discharge of pus. Burning feeling while urinating. In female, pelvic inflammatory disease. If untreated, fevers, headaches, backaches and abdominal pain Penicillin and other antibiotics can cure this disease Genital Herpes Herpes simplex type I and II virus Small blisters around point of sexual contact. Blisters burst causing pain. Recur every 1-2 weeks Acyclovir and similar drugs can suppress but do not cure this condition Syphilis Treponema pallidum bacterium Chancre or lesion where bacteria first entered body. If untreated, the bacteria penetrate body tissue, including the brain. May result in death Penicillin and other antibiotics can cure this disease AIDS HIV Destruction of body’s immune system allowing diseases like cancer and pneumonia to infect the body A combination of protease-inhibiting drugs can suppress the HIV load and improve immunologic functioning, lessen symptoms, and reduce the risk of transmission to newborns. No Cure. Reactions to Contagious Diseases Fear of contagion only likely to occur when four conditions are met: must be deadly, appear suddenly, no apparent explanation, and people must believe that many are at risk of contracting it UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLES ARE PREVENTABLE: SELF-CONTROL Common knowledge STRESS AND HEALTH Stress: a pattern of physiological, behavioural, and cognitive responses to stimuli (real or imagined) that are perceived as endangering one’s well-being Stressor: stimuli that are perceived as endangering one’s well-being The Biological Basis of Stress Physical response to stressors governed by the autonomic nervous system, which is controlled by the hypothalamus When individual senses a stressor, hypothalamus sends signals to the autonomic nervous system and to the pituitary gland that both react by stimulating body organs 1)Heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, blood vessels constrict, blood sugar levels rise, and blood flow is directed away from extremities and toward major organs 2)Breathing becomes deeper and faster and air passages dilate which permits more air to enter the lungs 3)Digestion stops and perspiration increases 4)The adrenal glands secrete adrenalin which stimulates the heart and other organs Selye’s General Adaption Syndrome Much of what we know about stressors on the body stems from Hans Selye Discovered through research on animals that chronic exposure to severe stressors produces a sequence of three physiological stages: alarm, resistance and exhaustion General adaption syndrome: the model proposed by Selye to describe the body’s adaption to chronic exposure to severe stressors. The body passes through the three phases listed above At first, resistance drops below normal, then raises above normal, then plummets, which can make them susceptible to illness and even death Flight or flight response: coined by Walter Cannon – Physiological reactions that help ready us to fight or flee a dangerous situation Physiological Mechanisms Involved In Stress The sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system is active and the adrenal glands secrete epinephrine, norepinephrine, and steroid stress hormones Epinephrine releases the stored form of glucose in the muscles providing energy for strenuous exercise Along with Norepinephrine, increases blood flow to the muscles by increasing output from the heart Glucocorticoid: a chemical, such as cortisol, that influences the metabolism of glucose, the main energy source of the body This breaks down proteins and convert it to glucose, help make fats available for energy, increase blood flow, stimulate behavioural responsiveness, almost all cells in body contain these But if these are continued to secrete long-term can cause high blood pressure, damage to muscle tissue, one form of diabetes, infertility, stunted growth, inhibition of inflammatory responses, suppression of immune system Cognitive Appraisal and Stress Cognitive appraisal: one’s perception of a stressful situation Two stage: 1) judge seriousness of the threat, if it’s real or not, if so 2) assess whether we have the resources necessary to cope with the threat Richard Lazarus – perception of stressor determines to a large extent the stress we experience Susan Kobasa – referred to people who show little risk to becoming ill due to stressors as
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