Stress Effects On The Body
Stress affects all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.
Stress effects on the body.
Our bodies are well equipped to handle stress in small doses, but when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on your body.
When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stressthe bodys way of guarding against injury and pain.
With sudden onset stress, the muscles tense up all at once, and then release their tension when the stress passes. causes the muscles in the body to be in a more or less constant state of guardedness. When muscles are taut and tense for long periods of time, this may trigger other reactions of the body and even promote stress-related disorders.
For example, both tension-type headache and migraine headache are associated with chronic muscle tension in the area of the shoulders, neck and head. Musculoskeletal pain in the low back and upper extremities has also been linked to stress, especially job stress.
Relaxation techniques and other stress-relieving activities and therapies have been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension, decrease the incidence of certain stress-related disorders, such as headache, and increase a sense of well-being. For those who develop chronic pain conditions, stress-relieving activities have been shown to improve mood and daily function.
Your Body Wants To Maintain A Certain Normal
When you are outside and its raining, your body does a few things. First, a sensor detects whats going on in the world around you. When its raining, your sensor is your skin, and your skin tells your brain that its wet and cold out. Then, an internal mechanism reacts to that stimulus in this case, your brain helps raise your skin temperature by burning fat stores and calories youve consumed that day to help keep your body as warm as possible. When you are shivering, its actually a way for your body to warm itself up and increase circulation in order to keep your temperature high. In asthma the homeostasis of the smooth muscle in your lungs is interrupted when you are exposed to irritants such as dust or tobacco smoke or allergens such as pollen and symptoms can occur such as:
Once its stopped raining, your brain stops raising your body temperature with a negative feedback mechanism as a response to the fact that your body isnt experiencing the same stimuli. You stop shivering as soon as you arent as cold. And while some of those words and terms above might seem confusing, the way that all of it works is pretty straightforward. And its a perfect example of homeostasis. In asthma, it may take a rescue inhaler to revert the changes back or you may need to take a regular controller medication to try to keep homeostasis in balance.
What Is The Respiratory System
The respiratory system is the network of organs and tissues that help you breathe. It includes your airways, lungs and blood vessels. The muscles that power your lungs are also part of the respiratory system. These parts work together to move oxygen throughout the body and clean out waste gases like carbon dioxide.
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Asthma Causes And Triggers
When you have asthma, your airways react to things in the world around you. Doctors call these asthma triggers. They might cause symptoms or make them worse. Common asthma triggers include:
- Infections like sinusitis, colds, and the flu
- Allergens such as pollens, mold, pet dander, and dust mites
- Irritants like strong odors from perfumes or cleaning solutions
- Air pollution
- Strong emotions such as anxiety, laughter, sadness, or stress
- Medications such as aspirin
- Food preservatives called sulfites, found in things like shrimp, pickles, beer and wine, dried fruits, and bottled lemon and lime juices
How Can You Tell If You Have Asthma
It can be hard to tell if someone has asthma, especially in children under age 5. Having a doctor check how well your lungs work and check for allergies can help you find out if you have asthma.
During a checkup, a doctor will ask if you cough a lot, especially at night. He or she will also ask whether your breathing problems are worse after physical activity or at certain times of year. The doctor will then ask about chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. He or she will ask whether anyone in your family has or has had asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems. Finally, the doctor will ask questions about your home and whether you have missed school or work or have trouble doing certain things.
The doctor may also do a breathing test, called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working by testing how much air you can breathe out after taking a very deep breath before and after you use asthma medicine.
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Mayo Research Examines How Asthma Affects Immune System Increasing Risk For Nonrespiratory Conditions
Young Juhn, M.D. , focuses his research on determining how asthma affects the immune system specifically, the extent to which asthma epidemiology affects the risk and severity of communicable and noncommunicable diseases. Asthma patients have a much higher risk of asthma-associated comorbidity including pneumococcal diseases, otitis media, community-acquired pneumonia, Streptococcus pyogenes upper respiratory infections, influenza, breakthrough chickenpox and pertussis, according to Dr. Juhns research.
This makes sense because these conditions are all airway infections, and asthma has an altered airway architecture including epithelial innate immune dysfunctions, says Dr. Juhn, director of the Asthma Epidemiology Research Unit at Mayo Clinic and a consultant in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. But we wanted to learn whether asthma patients susceptibility also applied to nonrespiratory conditions including systemic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Does Asthma Cause Permanent Damage
The airway obstruction of asthma is generally completely reversible and usually does not cause permanent damage to the lungs, heart, or other organs. However, severe acute episodes of asthma can be associated with life threatening events and even fatalities. Survival of severe life threatening events can be associated with damage from lack of oxygen during the severe exacerbation, and lack of oxygen to the brain can cause loss of consciousness and brain damage.
Chronic asthma with ongoing airway inflammation may also be associated with what is called remodeling of the airways. This describes permanent changes occurring in the tissues surrounding the airways that results in permanent narrowing of airways. The potential for this emphasizes the importance of monitoring pulmonary function in patients with asthma at regular intervals, particularly those with a chronic pattern of asthma.
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What Types Of Asthma Are There
Healthcare providers identify asthma as intermittent or persistent . Persistent asthma can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have attacks. They also consider how well you can do things during an attack.
Asthma can be:
- Allergic: Some peoples allergies can cause an asthma attack. Molds, pollens and other allergens can cause an attack.
- Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.
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Researchers Now See ‘both The Forest And The Trees’ With 3d Imaging Method
- Oregon Health & Science University
- A new study implicates remodeling of nerves in the airways as a key contributor to heightened sensitivity and airway constriction in patients with asthma. The results provide new insight into a little-understood factor in the development of asthma, a condition that affects about 235 million people worldwide. The study is the first to demonstrate that inflammatory cells can alter nerve structure in the lungs to cause disease.
A new study implicates remodeling of nerves in the airways as a key contributor to heightened sensitivity and airway constriction in patients with asthma.
The study published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The results provide new insight into a little-understood factor in the development of asthma, a condition that affects about 235 million people worldwide. The study is the first to demonstrate that inflammatory cells can alter nerve structure in the lungs to cause disease.
Airway nerves sense inhaled particles, such as pollen and smoke, in the environment and help regulate airway constriction. In asthma, these nerves become more sensitive, causing patients to develop symptoms of wheezing and cough. Although previous research had shown that two-thirds of patients with asthma have an overabundance of a type of immune cell, called eosinophils, the effects of eosinophils on airway nerves were not fully understood.
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How Does Asthma Affect The Body Systems
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Homeostasis And Its Relation To Asthma
What is homeostasis? Like most medical terms, theres a dictionary definition, but thats not always very helpful in understanding what a concept actually looks like and how it operates in the body. Biology dictionaries define homeostasis as the tendency of an organism or a cell to regulate its internal conditions, usually by a system of feedback controls, so as to stabilize health and functioning, regardless of the outside changing conditions. In terms of asthma, homeostasis refers to your bodys respiratory system functioning correctly without increases in inflammation or other parts of the pathophysiology of asthma negatively impacting you. If that definition seems overly complicated and contrived, dont worry, we will be discussing what it means and how it relates to the body thoroughly.
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When To See A Doctor
At the moment, theres no cure for asthma. However, there are many effective treatments that can decrease asthma symptoms. Lifestyle changes and medications can also help improve your quality of life.
If you havent been diagnosed with asthma but are experiencing symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath, you should let your doctor know. You can connect to a physician in your area using the Healthline FindCare tool.
Once youre diagnosed with asthma, you should see your doctor at least once a year or more frequently if you have persistent symptoms after using treatments.
- feel weak
- cant perform daily activities
- have a wheeze or cough that wont go away
Its important to educate yourself about your condition and its symptoms. The more you know, the more proactive you can be in improving your lung function and how you feel.
Talk with your doctor about:
- your type of asthma
- what daily treatments are best for you
- your treatment plan for an asthma attack
The Normal Respiratory System
To understand what happens in asthma you need to be familiar with the normal breathing system and how the lungs and airways are arranged.
Normally, air entering through the mouth and nose travels through the main airway through a series of smaller branching airways called bronchi. The bronchi divide up into even smaller airways called bronchioles, which end in millions of tiny air sacs called alveoli.
When air enters the alveoli, the oxygen it contains passes through the thin membrane covering each sac into surrounding blood vessels. The oxygen attaches itself to red blood cells which then circulate around the body, releasing the oxygen into the body tissues.
What happens during an asthma attack?
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What Are Common Asthma Attack Triggers
An asthma attack happens when someone comes in contact with substances that irritate them. Healthcare providers call these substances triggers. Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to avoid asthma attacks.
For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. Sometimes, an attack may start hours or days later.
Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:
- Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke and more.
- Dust mites: You cant see these bugs, but they are in many homes. If you have a dust mite allergy, they can cause an asthma attack.
- Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.
- Mold: Damp places can spawn mold. It can cause problems for people with asthma. You dont even have to be allergic to mold to have an attack.
- Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.
- Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If youre allergic to pet dander , breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.
- Tobacco smoke: If you or someone in your home smokes, you have a higher risk of developing asthma. The best solution is to quit smoking.
- Strong chemicals or smells.
With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms. You may have different signs at different times. And symptoms can change between asthma attacks.
Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including asthma. Learn about the current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
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How Do Your Airways Work When You Have Asthma
When you have asthma, your airways arent able to function as well as they should.
- Chest tightness
Asthma causes inflammation, or swelling, in the lungs. It can also cause squeezing, called bronchoconstriction , and extra sensitive or twitchy airways.
When something bothers your airways, you have trouble breathing. This is called an asthma attack or episode. It gets harder to breathe because the tiny muscles around your airways squeeze tightly and they have swelling inside.
Your airways will make more mucus inside your airways, which makes it even harder to breathe. These changes in your airways can cause coughing and wheezing.
There is no cure for asthma. But you can take steps to manage it. If you have asthma, its important to see an asthma specialist, like an allergist or pulmonologist, to come up with the right asthma treatment plan. Medicines and avoiding asthma triggers can help reduce swelling and relax tight muscles in your airways.
ASTHMA Care for Adults
Understanding Homeostasis As A Mechanism And A State
In the rain example I shared with you above, we described homeostasis as an organism, or better still the way the human body reacts to extreme changes so as to achieve a level of equilibrium
There are many different ways we can explain homeostasis as a mechanism. Another Very Wonderful example is a fluid balance.
The human body seeks always to keep enough fluid handy so that it can sustain itself running smoothly and it would also do it best to expel more fluid whenever you have too much water in your system so that a balance can also be maintained.
This fluid balance is also very important to people dealing with asthma because dehydration can have a negative effect on the respiratory system.
The process with which the human body uses to measure the exact amount of fluid needed, and expel the excess so as to maintain a balance is a wonderful explanation of homeostasis as a mechanism.
However, there is also this considerable caveat that throws off the question of what is homeostasis. Homeostasis as a term can also be used to refer to a state of equilibrium that your body seeks to achieve through the mechanisms we have discussed above.
So, we can say that homeostasis is that place where your body wants to be, that point where your body has the right amount of water that makes it fully hydrated, well-nourished, and also having all the right nutrients and vitamins to function properly.
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What Are The Parts Of The Respiratory System
The respiratory system has many different parts that work together to help you breathe. Each group of parts has many separate components.
Your airways deliver air to your lungs. Your airways are a complicated system that includes your:
- Mouth and nose: Openings that pull air from outside your body into your respiratory system.
- Sinuses: Hollow areas between the bones in your head that help regulate the temperature and humidity of the air you inhale.
- Pharynx : Tube that delivers air from your mouth and nose to the trachea .
- Trachea: Passage connecting your throat and lungs.
- Bronchial tubes: Tubes at the bottom of your windpipe that connect into each lung.
- Lungs: Two organs that remove oxygen from the air and pass it into your blood.
From your lungs, your bloodstream delivers oxygen to all your organs and other tissues.
Muscles and bones help move the air you inhale into and out of your lungs. Some of the bones and muscles in the respiratory system include your:
- Diaphragm: Muscle that helps your lungs pull in air and push it out.
- Ribs: Bones that surround and protect your lungs and heart.
When you breathe out, your blood carries carbon dioxide and other waste out of the body. Other components that work with the lungs and blood vessels include:
Some of the other components of your respiratory system include:
Homeostasis As A Mechanism And A State
In the rain example above, we described homeostasis as a mechanism, or the way that your body reacts to a stimulus in order to achieve equilibrium. There are many different examples of homeostasis as a mechanism. Another good one is a fluid balance. Your body always wants to keep enough fluids on hand to keep all of your organs and processes running smoothly, but it will expel more fluids through waste when you drink more water in order to maintain healthy fluid levels. This is also important to asthma as dehydration can negatively impact your respiratory status, the mechanism by which your body senses how much fluid you have consumed, reacts to that, and then stops reacting once you have expelled enough, is an example of homeostasis as a mechanism.
However, theres a big caveat that throws off the what is homeostasis question. The term homeostasis can also be used as a state to refer to the equilibrium that your body is trying to achieve through the mechanisms discussed above. Homeostasis is the place your body wants to be its 98.6, fully hydrated, well nourished, and with all of the right vitamins and nutrients.
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