How Does Stress Affect The Body - English - Research Paper

1327 words - 6 pages

How Does Stress Affect The Body?
Any intrinsic or extrinsic stimulus that evokes a biological response is known as stress. The
compensatory responses to these stresses are known as stress responses. Based on the type,
timing and severity of the applied stimulus, stress can exert various actions on the body ranging
from alterations in homeostasis to life-threatening effects and death. In many cases, the
pathophysiological complications of disease arise from stress and the subjects exposed to stress,
those that work or live in stressful environments, have a higher likelihood of many disorders.
Stress can be either a triggering or aggravating factor for many diseases and pathological
conditions. In this study, we have reviewed some of the major effects of stress on the primary
physiological systems of humans.
A natural reaction
Have you ever found yourself with sweaty hands on a first date or felt your heart pound during a
scary movie? Then you know you can feel stress in both your mind and body.
This automatic response developed in our ancient ancestors as a way to protect them from
predators and other threats. Faced with danger, the body kicks into gear, flooding the body with
hormones that elevate your heart rate, increase your blood pressure, boost your energy and
prepare you to deal with the problem.
These days, you're not likely to face the threat of being eaten. But you probably do confront
multiple challenges every day, such as meeting deadlines, paying bills and juggling childcare
How Does Stress Affect The Body?
that make your body react the same way. As a result, your body's natural alarm system the “fight
or flight” response may be stuck in the on position. And that can have serious consequences for
your health.
How does stress affect the heart?
people who are under intense stress often seem to dramatically keel over from a heart attack, but
that’s extremely rare. The real danger is the accumulated impact of chronic stress, which
contributes to each of the top five risk factors for developing heart disease: abnormal cholesterol
levels, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.
How does stress affect the brain?
Chronic stress can make your brain behave in an Alzheimer’s-like manner. Stress adversely
affects a key structure in the brain, the hippocampus, leading to impaired memory and problems
with orientation and sense of direction. These brain changes may have evolved to protect against
the memory of traumatic and stressful events, like being attacked by a predator; but losing
short-term memory hinders today’s brain-intensive lifestyle. We all recognize the frustration of
forgetting where we put our keys, names of people we just met or other recent events.
Nor does stress help you function any better on brain-intensive tasks. In one study, scientists
studied brain blood flow while subjects performed tasks that required sorting large amounts of
data essentially stressful multitasking. They found that the prefrontal cortex, ...

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