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Stress Management

Chapter 2

QuestionAnswer
Sympathetic Nervous System The branch of the central nervous system that triggers the fight-or-flight response when some element of threat is present.
Sympathetic Response Also known as the stress response; the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine to prepare various organs and tissues for fight or flight.
Hypothalamus Often called the "seat of the emotions," it is involved with emotional processing. When a thought is perceived as a threat, it secretes a substance called corticotrophin-releasing factor to the pituitary gland to activate the fight-or-flight response.
Autonomic Nervous System It consists of the sympathetic (arousal) and parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous systems. This part of the central nervous system requires no conscious thought; actions such as breathing and heart rate are programmed to function automatically.
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal Axis(HPA axis) Also known as the ACTH axis, a chemical pathway starting with the release of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) from the hypothalamus causing a series of chemical reactions to prepare the body for fight or flight.
Parasympathetic Nervous System The branch of the central nervous system that specifically calms the body through the parasympathetic response.
Cortisol A stress hormone released by the adrenal glands that helps the body prepare for fight or flight by promoting the release of glucose and lipids in the blood for energy metabolism.
DHEA A stress hormone secreted in the adrenal gland involving several functions with reproduction and aging.
Corticosteroids Stress hormones released by the adrenal cortex, such as cortisol and cortisone.
Parasympathetic Response A calming or relaxation effect throughout the body brought about by release of neurotransmitters from neural endings.
Epinephrine A special neurochemical referred to as a catacholamine, which is responsible for immediate physical readiness for stress including increased heart rate and blood pressure. It works in unison with norepinephrine.
ACTH axis A physiological pathway whereby a message is sent from the hypothalamus to the pituitary, then on to the adrenal gland to secrete a flood of stress hormones for fight or flight.
Acetylcholine (Ach) A chemical substance released by the parasympathetic nervous system to help the body return to homeostasis from the stress response.
Allostatic Load A term coined by stress researcher Bruce McEwen to replace the expression "stressed out"; the damage to the body when the stress response functions improperly or for prolonged states, causing physical damage to the body.
Serotonin A neurotransmitter that is associated with mood. A decrease in these levels is thought to be related to depression. These levels are affected by many factors including stress hormones and the foods you consume.
Norepinephrine A special neurochemical referred to as a catacholamine, which is responsible for immediate physical readiness to stress including increased heart rate and blood pressure. It works in unison with epinephrine.
Adrenal Gland The endocrine glands that are located on top of each kidney that house and release several stress hormones including the catecholamines epinephrine and norepinephrine, cortisol.
Pituitary Gland An endocrine gland located below the hypothalamus, which, upon command from the hypothalamus, releases ACTH and then commands the adrenal glands to secrete their stress hormones.
Created by: SaraMcKenzie