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PHYSIOLOGY  OF  STRESS
<ul><li>Any event which an individual finds difficult to cope with is called a stressor. </li></ul><ul><li>The experience ...
<ul><li>At a moment’s notice, he would have to be prepared to face a wild animal and take a decision to fight or to flee. ...
<ul><li>This classification is based on function. </li></ul><ul><li>One part controls actions which are under our will (e....
<ul><li>The autonomic nervous system has two divisions, the  sympathetic  and the  parasympathetic . </li></ul><ul><li>Bot...
THE ALARM OR STRESS RESPONSE OF THE SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM <ul><li>The change which the sympathetic nervous system bri...
<ul><li>For this to happen, the heart has to pump with increased force, causing a rise in blood pressure. </li></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>It is also fascinating to know that the body prepares not only for action, but also for sudden injury. </li></ul><...
<ul><li>The cells concerned with defense increase in number and become more active. </li></ul><ul><li>With repeated stress...
<ul><li>All the changes described above are very necessary when faced with the extreme stress of being chased by a wild an...
<ul><li>It is also essential to know that though these changes may be very useful when the stress calls for increased acti...
 
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11 Physiology of Stress.ppt

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11 Physiology of Stress.ppt

  1. 1. PHYSIOLOGY OF STRESS
  2. 2. <ul><li>Any event which an individual finds difficult to cope with is called a stressor. </li></ul><ul><li>The experience is called stress. </li></ul><ul><li>Nowadays, it is understood that stress may be physical, psychological, or socioculture. </li></ul><ul><li>The human body responds to all different types of stressors in exactly the same way. </li></ul><ul><li>This is the way in which Primitive (Stone Age) Man’s body behaves. </li></ul><ul><li>Stone Age Man faced physical stress, specially treats. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>At a moment’s notice, he would have to be prepared to face a wild animal and take a decision to fight or to flee. </li></ul><ul><li>Fortunately, the message passes very quickly – almost instantly – from our senses (eyes which see the animal or ears which hear the threatening sound) to other parts of the brain which ‘sound the alert’ – and the body is ready for action. </li></ul><ul><li>At this stage it is necessary to recapitulate that the nervous system can be considered to have two parts. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>This classification is based on function. </li></ul><ul><li>One part controls actions which are under our will (e.g. walking, talking, moving our limbs) and is called somatic nervous system . </li></ul><ul><li>The second part is the autonomic (independent, self governing) nervous system which controls the functions which go on reflexly, without our being aware of them, e.g., digestion of food, formation of urine, beating of the heart. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The autonomic nervous system has two divisions, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic . </li></ul><ul><li>Both division arise from different parts of the nervous system, and have different functions. </li></ul><ul><li>In general the sympathetic nervous system has an activating effect – and sympathetic stimulation causes the changes needed for “FIGHT OR FLIGHT.” </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system causes changes which are needed for the usual functioning in stress free periods. </li></ul>
  6. 6. THE ALARM OR STRESS RESPONSE OF THE SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM <ul><li>The change which the sympathetic nervous system brings about everywhere in our body are easy to remember. </li></ul><ul><li>All these changes are needed for the fight or flight response. </li></ul><ul><li>To be able to either attack ( fight ) or run away ( flight ) energy is needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Hence energy stores broken down, so that blood glucose (sugar) level increases. </li></ul><ul><li>The blood circulating to specially active areas such as muscles of the limbs and the heart should increase. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>For this to happen, the heart has to pump with increased force, causing a rise in blood pressure. </li></ul><ul><li>To make more blood available to active areas, another change takes place. </li></ul><ul><li>Blood vessels in the skin, kidneys, and digestive tract become narrow. </li></ul><ul><li>Hence the blood gets shunted (diverted) from these areas to active areas. </li></ul><ul><li>The pupils of the eye widen (dilate) allowing more clear vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Dilatation of the airways (bronchi) occurs, thus allowing respiration to occur more efficiently. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>It is also fascinating to know that the body prepares not only for action, but also for sudden injury. </li></ul><ul><li>Blood clots (solidifies, thickens) in a shorten time. </li></ul><ul><li>Since less blood flows through the skin, there is less risk of excessive bleeding from injuries which involve the skin alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Another very important point is that stress induces changes in the body’s defense or immune system. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The cells concerned with defense increase in number and become more active. </li></ul><ul><li>With repeated stress, it is as through the immune system gets ‘tired.’ </li></ul><ul><li>This can have serious consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>The body’s defenses may start fighting the body tissues (as in autoimmune diseases, like arthritis). </li></ul><ul><li>Also – a more serious effect – the less vigilant defense system may not destroy abnormal cells. </li></ul><ul><li>These may give rise to cancer. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>All the changes described above are very necessary when faced with the extreme stress of being chased by a wild animal. </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortunately, today we have inherited this stress response from our ancestors. </li></ul><ul><li>Thus a present day executive fretting over deadlines in his office, has all the changes (increased blood glucose, increased BP, etc.) which has fore fathers would have when faced with a wild animal. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>It is also essential to know that though these changes may be very useful when the stress calls for increased action. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. – running to catch a bus – in most cases the changes are not only unnecessary, but even harmful. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. – if our BP shoots up each time we have to meet a deadline we run a definite risk of developing hypertension . </li></ul><ul><li>Nowadays alternative systems of medicine (Yoga & Naturopathy) are being investigated as possible stress relief measures. </li></ul>

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