Outline The Body's Response To Stress Essay

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Outline the body’s response to stress (6 marks) There are two types of stress: acute and chronic stress. Acute stress (short-term stress) causes the body to respond through a process called the sympthomedullary pathways. This immediate response is achieved because of the hypothalamus’s direct link to the nervous system which causes the activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This is a branch from the autonomic nervous system. The SNS also regulates the sympathetic adrenal medullary system (SAM). It causes signals to travel to a gland in the kidneys called the adrenal gland which plays a vital role in the body’s response to stress. This leads to the activation of the adrenal medulla which is located in the adrenal glands. This stimulates the release of the hormone adrenaline…show more content…
This weakens the immune system leaving the body vulnerable to infection and illness. Raised levels of cortisol suppresses the TH1 immune response. Kiecolt-Glaser et al conducted a natural experiment into acute stress, the aim was to see if the stress of exams had an effect on the immune system. Blood samples were taken from medical students before and during the exam period, T-Cell activity was measured in the blood samples. The findings showed that T-Cell activity was significantly higher before exams which suggests that acute stress caused reduced immune system functioning. Showing that stress is linked to a weakening of the body’s immune system. A weakness of this study is that it lacks population validity, as it was carried out on medical students. This means that the findings may not be replicated in of individuals and caution should be taken when generalising the findings to the whole population because medical students might not be representative of
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