Blood and Stress

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The purpose of this paper is to define stress and how it effects the body 's physiological systems. This paper will include the normal functions and organs involved in the following five physiological systems, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, immune and musculoskeletal. This paper will also include a description of a chronic illness associated with each physiological system and how the illness is affected by stress. Stress means different things to different people and stress effects people in different ways. Some people think stress is something that happens to them such as an injury or a promotion and others think that stress is stress is what happens to our mind, body and behaviors in response to an event. While stress does involve events and how one responds to them these are not the critical factors, but our thoughts about the situation in which we are involved are the critical factors. Essentially, stress exists whenever homeostasis is disturbed or cannot be maintained (Stress and the Social System Course Guide, 1993). Homeostasis refers to the body 's ability to keep the internal chemical and physical environments constant. As your body begins to react to stress several changes occur. These changes include increased heart rate, blood pressure and secretion of stimulatory hormones. Ones body prepares itself in stressful situations to either stand ground and fight or to flee from the situation. Walter Cannon called this stressful reaction the fight-or-flight response (Greenberg, 1999).
There are different ways in which one can experience stress and it is important to remember that stress is an essential part of life. Not all stressful situations are negative. Receiving a promotion at work, the birth of a child or taking a trip can all be stressful but are not threatening. The reason why one may see these situations as stressful is because they may feel unprepared to deal with them. To eliminate confusion and misuse of words Hans



Bibliography: Kitteredge, Mary. The Respiratory System, New York, NY: Chelsea House Publishing, 1989. Nourse, M. D. Your Immune System, New York, NY: Franklin Watts, 1989. Rice, Phillip L. Stress and Health, 3rd ed., New York, NY: Brooks/Cole, 1993. The American Medical Women 's Association. Guide to Cardiovascular Health, New York, NY: Dell Publishing, 1997. University of Maryland University College. Course Guide-BEHS 463: Stress and the Social System, College Park, MD: International University Consortium, 1998. Weston, M. D. Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy. Berkeley, CA: Marshall Cavendish Books Limited, 1985 Internet Sources Balta, D. M. D. (1998). The TMJ: How can Such a Small Joint Cause so Much Trouble?, [Online]. Available: http://www.drbalta.com/tmj.htm [2/12/00]. Seattle Education Project. (1993, November). STEP: The Immune System - An Overview, [Online]. Available: http://www.thebody.com/step/immune.html [2/12/00]. Byard, Terry & Favian. (1993). The Musculoskeletal System, [Online]. Available: http://www.nutritionhighway.com/skeletalsys.html [2/14/00].

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