through the widely dilated blood vessels. When the glucose is burnt, lot more of oxygen is used up and hence the breathing rate increases to supply the extra amount of oxygen. To supply more blood to the muscles, the blood vessels in these parts dilate. In the process of burning up of glucose, lot of heat is generated which has to be radiated out lest the system gets heated up. To accomplish this, large amount of blood rushes to sweat glands, which pour out sweat. Evaporation of the sweat can take away much heat from the body. To increase the blood flow into different organs, the heart pumps the blood faster (increased pulse rate) and at a higher pressure. As digestive functions can wait, the blood vessels to the intestines constrict resulting in decreased secretion of digestive juices.
All these changes are restored to normalcy once the person is out of danger and feels a sigh of relief. Very similar adjustments take place in all forms of psychological stresses.
How is the stress response regulated?
There is a highly developed neuro-chemical regulatory mechanism called stress response system (SRS) that is continuously monitoring the needs of the body. These consist of two major systems namely the nervous and the endocrine systems.
The Nervous System
The autonomic nervous system is that portion of the central nervous system, which controls all the involuntary functions of the body. This has two major subdivisions, the sympathetic and the para-sympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system has its highest center in the hypothalamus situated near the center of the brain covered by the large folds of cerebral cortex. Whenever there is a stress of any form, this hypothalamus is excited which in turn