Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Stress Response and HPA

Can you help me understand the link between the typical Fight-Flight Stress response and something my doctor called the HPA—I feel bad because I didn’t quite understand it .

 Avoid feeling bad! The Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, also known as the HPA, is very complex. The biology dictionary describes it as a complex feedback system of neurohormones that are sent between the hypothalamus, the pituitary, and the adrenal glands. This triad axis regulates the physiological mechanisms of stress reactions (and incidentally also impacts the immune system and fertility). When the brain-body experiences stress and the HPA is activated, it’s job is to prepare the body to engage in the fight-flight response. The HPA releases cortisol, that increases the level of glucose in the blood, raises blood pressure, and sends more blood to muscles. Cortisol also puts some body functions “on hold” because they would be unhelpful in responding to the stress.

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