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Internal Stress Effects

Essay by   •  January 18, 2012  •  Essay  •  833 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,780 Views

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Our bodies are designed to encounter stress, and react to it, whether it's a positive stress or negative stress. Positive stress allows your body to avoid any danger, and keep you alert. A negative stress would be your body encountering constant tasks with no relief between them. Most people come in contact with the negative stress. And because of this stress, we feel pressured and overworked.

Continuous negative stress, also known as distress, will often come along with external symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, and the inability to concentrate. But not many people think of the internal effects of stress. This can include headaches, increased blood pressure and chest pain. Throughout this paper, we are going to focus on the internal effects of stress, and how they can worsen to certain complications.

We'll start off with the nervous system, whose main components consist of the bran and the spinal cord. Within the nervous system is the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that controls visceral functions. And finally, the ANS branches out into the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). When the body feels stressed, the SNS triggers the "fight or flight" response, where all of the body's energy goes towards fighting against the stressors. The adrenal glands are then signaled to release cortisol and adrenalin to help increase heart rate, respiration rate, and dilate the blood vessels. Usually, when fighting acute stress, or short term stress, the body is able to return to normal. However, chronic stress, or long term stress, can wear the body down. When the SNS is constantly activated, it can cause wear and tear. This is the state where a person begins to feel fatigue, or weak. Eventually with chronic stress, the brain will get used to the stressor, and interpret it as non-threatening, therefore, the SNS will stop producing the "fight or flight" response.

With the endocrine system, stress can affect the liver most. When stressors hit the body, the hypothalamus signals the ANS and the pituitary gland to start the process of producing stress hormones. The stress factors motion for the adrenal cortex to make cortisol, and the adrenal medulla to make epinephrine. This gives your body energy for the "fight or flight" response. But with chronic stress, this process can badly affect the body's liver. When these stress hormones are released, the liver produces more glucose to enter the blood stream to aide in the "fight or flight" response. When the stress finally ceases, our bodies have excess energy, and some people are able to reabsorb the blood sugar back into the liver, or store it in fat. But there are also those who can't reabsorb the sugar. Chronic stress will continue to allow your body to produce excess amounts of glucose, and when your body can't

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