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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Some references say he first described the response in in The American Journal of Physiology. Wisdom of the Body. United States: W. Bodily changes in pain, hunger, fear, and rage. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Science Magazine. Hufflington Post. April 19, Retrieved 16 August Medical Student's Library. In Janig, W ed. Human Physiology 2 ed.
People with PTSD may have overactive ‘Fight or Flight’ response
University of Washington. Retrieved 19 April Archived from the original on 6 March Retrieved 18 April Trends in Immunology. Washington University, St. University of Utah.
Archived from the original on 8 August Fridlund and Daniel Reisberg Psychology 6 ed. Weber State University. Olatunji; Matthew T. Feldner; John P. Forsyth Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.
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Psychological Inquiry. This leads to the release of certain hormones from the endocrine system. In physiological terms, a major action of these hormones is to initiate a rapid, generalized response. This response may be triggered by a fall in blood pressure or by pain , physical injury, abrupt emotional upset, or decreased blood glucose levels hypoglycemia. The fight-or-flight response is characterized by an increased heart rate tachycardia , anxiety , increased perspiration , tremour, and increased blood glucose concentrations due to glycogenolysis, or breakdown of liver glycogen.
These actions occur in concert with other neural or hormonal responses to stress , such as increases in corticotropin and cortisol secretion, and they are observed in some humans and animals affected by chronic stress, which causes long-term stimulation of the fight-or-flight response. In addition to increased secretion of cortisol by the adrenal cortex, activation of the fight-or-flight response causes increased secretion of glucagon by the islet cells of the pancreas and increased secretion of catecholamines i.
The tissue responses to different catecholamines depend on the fact that there are two major types of adrenergic receptors adrenoceptors on the surface of target organs and tissues.
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The receptors are known as alpha-adrenergic and beta-adrenergic receptors, or alpha receptors and beta receptors, respectively see human nervous system: Anatomy of the human nervous system. In general, activation of alpha-adrenergic receptors results in the constriction of blood vessels , contraction of uterine muscles, relaxation of intestinal muscles, and dilation of the pupils. Activation of beta-receptors increases heart rate and stimulates cardiac contraction thereby increasing cardiac output , dilates the bronchi thereby increasing air flow into and out of the lungs , dilates the blood vessels, and relaxes the uterus.
Health and wellbeing Fight or flight
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This response is characterized by the release of large quantities of epinephrine from the adrenal gland, an increase in heart rate, an increase in cardiac output, skeletal muscle vasodilation, cutaneous and gastrointestinal vasoconstriction, pupillary dilation, bronchial dilation, and piloerection.
The overall effect is…. The blood will thicken to increase the availability of clotting factors and immune system cells in case of an injury. Skin and sweat glands: Sweating increases. Hands and feet often feel cold as blood supplies are diverted to the brain and muscles. Hairs stand on end as we experience goose pimples.
Skin can turn pale. Your mouth can feel dry. This can affect digestion and cause digestion issues. These responses are regulated by the sympathetic nervous system and by hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenalin which are released into the blood stream. The process occurs very quickly and is not a conscious decision. Physical threats An ancient response to physical threats, fight or flight would have been very valuable to our prehistoric ancestors, as they faced physical danger many times throughout their short lives.
It still helps to protect us by heightening awareness and helping us deal with emergencies. For example, it enables us to react very quickly and slam on the brakes when someone runs in front of the car. However, once the acute stress is over, our bodies quickly return to normal. The problem is that these days most of us are more likely to have to cope with psychological threats and stressors, like pressure of deadlines, traffic queues, delays, disagreements at work and office politics.