Stress, Health & Disease - Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (ch1)
Chapter 1: Why Don’t Zebras Get Ulcers?
This book is focused on stress, stress-related disease, and the mechanisms of coping with stress.
Our personalities, thoughts and feelings reflect and influence our bodies. Stress can make us sick: many of the damaging diseases of slow accumulation can be either caused or made worse by stress.
Stress for us vs stress for zebras:
- For us: deadlines, traffic, money worries, relationships… We can generate all sorts of stressful events purely in our heads.
- Zebras: serious physical injuries, predators, starvation… For animals, the most upsetting things in life are acute physical crises.
For the vast majority of beings on this planet, stress is about short-term crisis. It is only damaging once it’s provoked chronically.
Stressor and stress response:
- For zebras: A stressor is anything in the outside world that knocks you out of homeostatic balance, and the stress response is what your body does to reestablish homeostasis
- For us: A stressor can also be just the anticipation of something that would knock us out of our homeostatic balance
Hans Selye: through research with rats, he came to the conclusion that if stressors go on for too long, they can make you sick.
- He developed a three-part view of how the stress-response worked:
- Initial (alarm) stage: a stressor is noted
- Adaptation, or resistance: comes with the successful mobilization of the stress-response system and the retainment of allostatic balance
- “Exhaustion”: where stress-related diseases emerge
Allostasis: the modified, modernized version of the homeostasis concept:
- While homeostasis states that there is a single optimal level, number, amount for any given measure in the body, allostasis recognizes that this optimal level changes through situations.
- Example: the ideal blood pressure when you’re sleeping is likely to be different than when you’re ski jumping.
- Homeostasis implies that you reach that ideal set point through some local regulatory mechanism, whereas allostasis recognizes that any given set point can be regulated ... Interested? Read the instructions below in order to read the full content of this page.
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Summaries & Study Note of Ilona
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