Road traffic accidents, burn, surgical operations, heat stroke, surgery,anaesthesia and all medical illnesses are examples of stress.
Response of the normal body to stress occurs in two ways:1- Neural pathway. 2- Hormonal pathway.
1- The neural response:
The neural response occurs through the sympathetic and parasympatheticsystems: e.g. Pain is carried by the peripheral sensory nerves through thespinothalamic tracts to the brain. The cerebrum part of the limbic system is activated(the reticular-activating system). This stimulates the sympathetic system(sympathetic chain ganglia + fibres) that release norepinephrine.
Actions of the activated sympathetic system:
1-Sympathetic fibres supplying the arteries release norepinephrine that leadsto vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction increases the peripheral resistance.
The blood pressure = the stroke volume X peripheral resistance.
Therefore, asvasoconstriction increases the peripheral resistance raises the blood pressure.
This is how the body responds to defend itself against hypotension
.2- The sympathetic stimulus passes through the sympathetic chain to the adrenalmedulla which secretes adrenaline and postganglionic membranes that secretenorepinephrine. These hormones are released into the circulation and when theyreach the heart they lead to increases the heart rate. Also they increase thegeneralized vasoconstriction and rise in blood pressure in an attempt to preventhypotension.3- The skin temperature and the reddish colour of the skin and mucosmembranes are due to blood in blood vessels. Therefore whenvasoconstriction occur
the skin and mucous membranes become pale andcold.