Hpa Axis And Stress Essay

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HPA Axis and Stress
Introduction
Stress is a common occurrence for many if not all people and animals. Stress can be increased or decreased in different situations or if there are certain situations that can induce stress. The reaction caused by stress is largely impacted by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis which makes the body aware of the stressor. The mind sends signals to the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems to tell them to react in a way that is proper for the specific stressing situation. Stress response behaviors include increased awareness and cognition, a sense of euphoria and enhanced analgesia, also known as the inability to feel pain (Smith & Vale, 2006). The HPA axis and stress have several factors they share, as they
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In terms of stress response, the autonomic nervous system and the HPA axis are intertwined and work closely together. Activating these systems causes a temporal sequenced chain of events. The autonomic nervous system induces physiological changes throughout the body using synaptic transmitters between two branches, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The moderator of the stress response between these two branches is the parasympathetic system, which relates to the “fight or flight” stress response. This activation causes physiological changes which allows the release or noradrenaline by the locus coeruleus as well as the activation of the sympathetic preganglionic neurons which make the heart rate increase (Rotenberg & McGrath, …show more content…
There are several factors that go into maintaining a healthy HPA axis, and one important aspect is getting good amounts of sleep at night. Environmental factors are also a big part of keeping a healthy, working HPA axis. Family stress can affect the ability to respond to future stress, childhood trauma especially has a very significant part of being able to react to stress in a proper way depending on the stressor. Cortisol is the most important secretion in the ability to react to stress; the release of cortisol provides homeostasis for various organs in the body, making it easier for the body to figure out how to react. Sex differences are also included in the differing abilities to react to stress. Men and women have two completely different biological makeups, their reactions to stress should be no different. Men have a more significant increase in reaction and response to stress than women have shown to have. The HPA axis is a very important factor in being able to respond to stress and without it the body remains unaware of what to do in a way to react to a stressor; there is no sense of “fight or

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