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The Physiology of Stress

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Medical Student Well-Being

Abstract

All humans feel stress. In response to emotional or physical stress, the human body induces a complicated physiologic response that is known and yet still incompletely understood. The biology of stress is discussed using the terms allostasis (the normal stress response and the reason that stress exists), allostatic load (when the stress response becomes dysfunctional and leads to disease), and allostatic load index (researching stress in humans). Stress induces a response via the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in order to activate various areas of the brain through mediators such as dopamine, serotonin, and many others. It is important to understand the biology of the stress response and recognize when this response becomes pathologic.

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Correspondence to Dana Zappetti .

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Cool, J., Zappetti, D. (2019). The Physiology of Stress. In: Zappetti, D., Avery, J. (eds) Medical Student Well-Being. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-16558-1_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-16558-1_1

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-16557-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-16558-1

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