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Short Term Stress

Decent Essays
Stress is usually experienced when we are unable to deal with increasing pressure or menace that we believe that we do not have the means to cope with. On the other hand, a stressor can be in the form of a biologic or chemical agent, ecological condition or an external stimulus that interrupts the body’s homeostasis, triggering stress response in an organism. Examples of stressors include, taking an exam, coping with the demise of a loved one, dealing with phobia, job interviews, sickness and etc. Stress can elevate one’s heart rate, breathing, decrease the activity of digestion and it also increases glucose release by the liver.

Before evaluating whether or not a situation is stressful, our body system has to assess the situation first. The
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Examples of acute stress involve meeting work deadlines or applying sudden brakes to avoid accidents. These situations can result in the hypothalamus to activate the adrenal medulla, which then begins to secrete epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine hormones.

While the long term or chronic stress responses are regulated via the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) pathway. Examples of chronic stress include work-place stress, sickness and etc. When the stressor triggers the HPA axis, the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland by secreting adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) hormones. These hormones stimulate the adrenal gland to generate corticosteroids. The adrenal cortex produces Glucocorticoids and Mineralocorticoids. Cortisol aids in the regulation of the immune response, homeostasis and metabolism.

These can lead to an elevated heart rate and stronger heart muscle contractions. Moreover, the blood vessels that pump blood to the large muscles cause the heart to dilate. Therefore, raising the amount of blood pumped to the rest of the body parts causing an increase in the blood pressure. Our system returns to its ordinary condition, once the short term stress response phase has
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