Relationship Between Stress And Health

Decent Essays
Explain some of the effects of stress on health and analyse the relationship between stress and personality
In this essay we will be discussing how stress can cause immunosuppression, coronary heart disease and eating disorders. Then we will discuss the relationship between the 3 different personality types and how they can modify the effect that stress has. There is a physical process when a stressor is perceived, the cerebral cortex communicates with the hypothalamus which then instruct the pituitary gland to secrete ACTH, and this stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce corticosteroids. At the same time the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, which then stimulates the adrenal medulla to release
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This is because when corticosteroids are released into the body they stop the production of lymphocytes, which leads to the thymus gland shrinking. The thymus gland is then unable to produce t-cells which play an important role in the immune system and preventing illness (T. Fowler 2015). Short term immunosuppression is not dangerous to the body, when someone is stressed short term they are more likely to fall ill with not so serious illnesses such as catching a cold or flu, suffering with headaches, and even just generally feeling run down. These are an indirect effect of stress because of immunosuppression. However long term immunosuppression will leave the body open to infections and diseases (Cardwell, Clark and Meldrum 2000) such as coronary heart disease, ulcers, and other stomach problems. This has been proven by a study conducted on medical students, they were required to give blood sample 1 month before and immediately after their exams. The results were that the naturel killer (NK) cell activity was dramatically reduced in the blood samples taken after the exams, this was even lower for participants who reported stressful life events and loneliness. This study is…show more content…
There is a link between coronary heart disease and stress, however there are a lot of other factors that increase the chances of getting coronary heart disease. When the body is preparing for fight or flight, fatty acids and glucose are released into the blood stream for energy which is good short term, however long these term can thicken your blood and can cause the blood vessels to become eroded. The lining of the blood vessels that have scaring can get clogged up with plaque, this is called atherosclerosis. If this happens near the brain it is known as a stroke and if it is near the heart then it is known as heart disease (T. Fowler 2015). Stress can make your arteries tighten, this will make blood pressure increase and in turn raise the chances of having a heart attack. It can also indirectly increase your chances of getting coronary heart disease if you smoke, drink alcohol or eat a lot of sugary or fatty foods when under stress ( 2015). When under stress the body produces more thrombocytes which helps with blood clotting in case of injury, short term this is good however over a long period of time this can cause more harm as blood may start to clot without having a good reason too (T. Fowler 2015) Stress can also reduce the amount of blood flowing to your heart, it can cause your heart to beat irregularly which can act as triggers for
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