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Chapter 3

Chapter 3.docx

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Department
Health Sciences
Course Code
Health Sciences 1001A/B
Professor
Shauna Burke

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Chapter 3
Stress: The Constant Challenge
What is stress?
Stress refers to:
1.) Situations that trigger physical and emotional reactions = stressors
2.) The reactions themselves = stress response
Stress = the general physical and emotional state that accompanies the stress response
Not only a physical reaction, also an emotional component
Response to Stressors
The primary determinant of health consequences of stress is how the individual responds to the
stress
Responses to stressors include:
o Physical changes
o Emotional and behaviours responses
Physical Responses to Stressors
Two control systems are responsible for the physical response to stressors:
1.) Nervous system
2.) Endocrine system
Nervous System
Consists of the Autonomic Nervous System which consists of:
1.) Parasympathetic Division
In control when you are relaxed
Aids in digestion, storing energy, growth promotion
2.) Sympathetic Division
Activated during arousal and emergency situations (pain, anger, fear)
Releases norepinephrine which commands body to mobilize energy resources to
respond to crisis and causes arousal (increases attention and alertness) when released
in the brain
Endocrine System
The system of glands, tissues, and cells that help control body functions by releasing hormones
and other chemical messengers into the bloodstream
Helps prepare the body to respond to a stressor
Nervous System + Endocrine System
Brain detects threat:
Neurochemical message sent to hypothalamus which releases chemicals to pituitary gland
which releases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into bloodstream
ACTH reaches adrenal glands which release cortisol and other key hormones into the
bloodstream
Simultaneously:
Sympathetic nerves instruct Adrenal Glands to release the hormone epinephrine which triggers
several bodily changes
Examples: acute hearing and vision, increased heart rate, increased perspiration, etc.
Fight or Flight reaction (Sir Walter Cannon)

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Description
Chapter 3 Stress: The Constant Challenge What is stress? Stress refers to: 1.) Situations that trigger physical and emotional reactions = stressors 2.) The reactions themselves = stress response Stress = the general physical and emotional state that accompanies the stress response  Not only a physical reaction, also an emotional component Response to Stressors  The primary determinant of health consequences of stress is how the individual responds to the stress  Responses to stressors include: o Physical changes o Emotional and behaviours responses Physical Responses to Stressors Two control systems are responsible for the physical response to stressors: 1.) Nervous system 2.) Endocrine system Nervous System Consists of the Autonomic Nervous System which consists of: 1.) Parasympathetic Division  In control when you are relaxed  Aids in digestion, storing energy, growth promotion 2.) Sympathetic Division  Activated during arousal and emergency situations (pain, anger, fear)  Releases norepinephrine which commands body to mobilize energy resources to respond to crisis and causes arousal (increases attention and alertness) when released in the brain Endocrine System  The system of glands, tissues, and cells that help control body functions by releasing hormones and other chemical messengers into the bloodstream  Helps prepare the body to respond to a stressor Nervous System + Endocrine System Brain detects threat:  Neurochemical message sent to hypothalamus which releases chemicals to pituitary gland which releases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into bloodstream  ACTH reaches adrenal glands which release cortisol and other key hormones into the bloodstream Simultaneously:  Sympathetic nerves instruct Adrenal Glands to release the hormone epinephrine which triggers several bodily changes  Examples: acute hearing and vision, increased heart rate, increased perspiration, etc. Fight or Flight reaction (Sir Walter Cannon) **Physical changes vary in intensity but the same physical reactions occur in response to both positive and negative stressors Physical Responses to Stressors Homeostasis  A state in which blood pressure, heart rate, hormone levels, and other vital functions are maintained within a narrow range of normal  Once a stressful situation ends, the parasympathetic division of the ANS initiates adjustments necessary to restore homeostasis Fight-or-Flight Reaction in Modern Life  A survival mechanism that is part of our biological heritage  Not often necessary – many stressors we encounter do not require a physical reaction  Fight-or-flight reaction prepares the body for physical action regardless of whether it is an appropriate response Emotional and Behavioural Response to Stressors Tend-and-Befriend  In addition to fight-or-flight, humans may respond to stress with social and nurturing behaviour  Especially characteristic of females; female response to stress evolved to protect self and offspring  May depend on underlying biological mechanisms (e.g. hormone oxytocin) Stress and Disease Explaining Stress and Disease 1) The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)  Developed by Hans Selye (1936)  Stressors can be pleasant = Eustress  Stressors can be unpleasant = Distress  Sequence of physical response is the same for both  Three reaction stages Stage One: Alarm (initial stressor) o Includes fight-or-flight response o Body is prepared to deal with crisis  more susceptible to disease o Symptoms = headaches, indigestion, anxiety, disrupted sleep/eating Stag
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