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1. A 21 year-old college student notices that she frequently develops “cold sores” during stressful final exam week. 1. What is the association between stress and the immune system?
The human body has a built in stress response system that usually self regulates. When a threat is perceived the body deploys white blood cells to the area of the body that is under attack (Segerstrom & Miller, 2006). Because of this, less important cellular activities are reduced and the immune system is left vulnerable. When the body perceives a threat there are three phases it goes through. (Story, 2012). The first is the alarm stage, in which the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and in response deploys the release of catecholamines and cortisol. This stage is known as the fight or flight response (Story, 2012). The body then enters the resistance phase and either adapts or alters activity to become desensitized to the stressor (Story, 2012). If the stressor overwhelms the body it becomes exhausted, which is the last phase. The immune system is suppressed more in times of greater stress (Segerstrom & Miller, 2006). A person’s effort to manage stress, such as smoking and drug use can also suppress the immune system. (Story, 2012).

Story, Lachel. (2012). Pathophysiology: A Practical Approach. Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Learning, LLC. Segerstrom, Suzanne C. & Miller, Gregory E. (2006). Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.go 2. A nursing student is working in a community clinic as a volunteer. Each time he enters the clinic she suffers bouts of sneezing and runny nose. He has a history of allergies to mold and cats. His sister has asthma. Analysis at the allergy clinic indicates he is allergic to latex.…...

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