Could anyone explain how the short term physiological effects of anxiety can cause an increase in blood pressure?
I’ll have a go! When you are anxious, which is a form of stress, your body undergoes a stress response. This involves the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamus-pituitary gland link (HPAC), both acting on the adrenal gland to release different sets of hormones that control many vital bodily functions. The autonomic nervous system is a network of nerve pathways running from centres in the lower parts of the brain out to the organs of the body such as the heart, digestive system, the circulatory system and various glands, including the adrenal medulla. The hypothalamus is a small structure at the base of the brain, while the pituitary lies in the skull cavity just below the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland has been called the master gland of the body because it releases a number of hormones into the bloodstream, which in turn control many vital functions. This system, often shortened to HPAC, is activated by higher brain function whereas the ANS is, as its name suggests, au