The heart rate follows a complete cycle of contraction and expansion of different valves in heart to perform complex process of pumping blood to different body parts. During expansion heart receives deoxygenated blood from body tissues and oxygenated blood form lungs. During contraction phase the heart pumps oxygenated blood to different body parts and deoxygenated blood to lungs. The normal heart rate lies in the range of 60-110. During certain situation where heart needs to pump more blood to different body parts heart rate increases and similarly in some situations heart rate decreases when less blood pumping is required.
Conditions like exercising, anger, anxiety and sudden drop in blood volume etc. increases heart rate and conditions like rising blood pressure and digesting a meal decreases heart rate. The activities which require more physical action often leads to increase in heart rate as more blood is required for cellular tissues. Anger and anxiety can lead to stress and increase in heart rate. On other hand condition like rising blood pressure will require less blood in cells and therefore will lead to decrease in heart rate.
Stress is commonly associated with increase in blood pressure. During stress the nervous system prepares body for Fight or Flight response. It signals the adrenal glands to release stress hormoneslike cortisol, when faced with stressful situations. These hormones prepare the body for flight or fight response by making heart beat faster, respiration rate to increase, blood vessels in arms and legs to dilate, digestive processes to change and glucose levels in blood stream to deal with emergency. This leads to a temporary increase in blood pressure. The entire body energy is thus shifted toward fighting off the life threat or fleeing from the enemy. The stress related blood pressure is not long lasting and goes to back to normal levels, once the stressful situation is gone. However chronic stress can be harmful for individuals as the long term drain of body resources are usually not good for body.Thus continuous release of hormones and activation of fight or flight response by nervous system can be problematic for other body parts. A complete absence of stress is also not advisable as it reduces body’s ability to adapt to challenging environment.
The flight or fight response is a valuable response which helps us to face stressful situations. However the nature of stress in today’s world is often extreme and the flight or fight response may often not be sufficient for handling stress. Often the stressful situation exists for many days and can show its impact on body. The prolonged stress can also lead to obesity. It can lead to individuals consuming more foods rich in fat and sugar. This can further lead to deposit of fats and develop obesity.
Myocardial infarction is defined by pathology as myocardial cell death due to prolonged ischaemia.(Thygesen, 2007). Ischemia is a condition where blood supply is restricted to different cells leading to a shortage of oxygen and glucose which are required for cellular metabolism. The prolonged ischaemia can lead to cellular death which generally takes some time and not immediate. The myocardial infarction, also known as heart attack can cause death of patients in severe cases. If identified and managed properly the total healing process can take5-6 weeks. The acute heart attack requires immediate attention to patient and delay in providing help can be extremely dangerous, also fatal in cases.
The Myocardial infarction can be a result of stress. As mentioned in the deadly stress episode of Good morning America, excessive stress can often lead to heart attack. A large number of employees engaged in organizations feel stressed due to work pressure. The excessive impact of stress can be a fatal heart attack apart from many other stress related problems. Many people are reported to develop acidity, and other digestive problems when in stress. The stress related to work can often be even higher in times of economic downturn or recessionary environment. The chance of second heart attack is even more in case of employees returning to stressful environment of work after first heart attack.
Hypertension is defined as high blood pressure which , as mentioned above can be due to increase in stress. The hypertension can be primary and secondary in nature. Primary hypertension is hypertension caused by normal body response and tendency. Secondary hypertension is hypertension caused by malfunction of other body parts like kidney,etc. Hypertension is a lifestyle related disease in today’s world and its patients are increasing day by day. According to Gasperin et al(2009), chronic exposure to stress may lead to increase in Hypertension. They have also suggested the relevance of control of stress to the non therapeutic management of high blood pressure.
The case study studies how heart functions in our body by pumping blood to different part body and receiving blood from other parts. The normal heart rate and effect of various activities on heart rate is also discussed in the case study. The case study also focuses on effect of stress on heart rate and impact on blood pressure of high stress. Although no fixed relation between stress and blood pressure can be established, stress leads to temporary increase in blood pressure. The possible relation between stress and heart attack was also discussed upon and it was surprising to find the effect of stress on professional employees of corporate world and the risk of heart attack they face due to stress in corporate world. The fact that a significant percentage of population is under stress is also very alarming and immediately needs an approach to control stress to contain hypertension and also reduce risk of heart attacks.
The Flight or Fight response to control stress was also studied and it was surprising to know that in today’s word stress has increased to new levels, which may not be controlled by flight or fight response. Often people are under continuous stress for many days and the same can lead to harmful effects on body.
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