Tag Archives: Fitness

Understanding The Fight Or Flight Response: The All-Important Anxiety Mechanism

One important aspect for anxiety sufferers in learning to better cope with their anxiety symptoms is becoming better educated about anxiety and its intended purpose. Learning about anxiety is often a part of therapies that can successfully treat anxiety disorders by helping patients experiencing them, to better understand the purpose for the anxiety mechanism called the “fight or flight response”. Once an anxiety sufferer can view anxiety from the proper perspective, he can better learn to work with the emotion rather than fearing and avoiding it.

Anxiety is a Performance Enhancer

One of the important purposes of anxiety is to empower people to perform important tasks better and with more energy and inspiration. If a successful salesman is called upon to meet with a group of people who are seeking to achieve successful sales, he can better relate positive points for inspiring them, with the aid of the fight or flight response.

An inspirational speaker is far more convincing when those listening to his lectures can see energy behind the points he is making in his speech. The same can be said of an athlete that competes for first place in a sports event. The fight or flight response can give him or her, the edge needed and the drive to reach deep down and find that extra energy at just the right moment to win the event. In cases like these, the person experiencing this important anxiety mechanism has learned to channel the energy it provides, toward a positive outcome.

Those who struggle with the fight or flight response because they tend to react negatively to it, may instead stutter and stammer when making a speech or freeze with fear when the moment of opportunity to win a sports event is facing them. This demonstrates the fact that the fight or flight response can have either a positive or negative effect, depending on how a person has learned to work with it and channel it toward positive results.

Anxiety Fight or Flight Hormones

The term “fight or flight” is reference to the fact that we may at times be faced with dangers or threats that will require us to respond by either fleeing or defending ourselves. This anxiety response enables us to do so, with added energy, alertness and strength, so that we can escape without injury or at least minimize injury when possible. This is accomplished by the adrenal glands that respond to danger signals from the brain and provide increased levels of adrenal hormones, the main one being “adrenaline”.

Read More: Cruelty-Free Beauty Products.

Once the level of adrenaline rises, breathing increases, as well as blood flow to the muscles. The body will begin to sweat which according to anxiety research, may be the body’s way of creating more difficulty in being grasped and held by an intruder, due to the skin becoming slippery with moisture. All of these bodily responses are designed to protect us but danger signals may at times be sent to the adrenal glands, from the brain, when no actual danger is present, such as when viewing a movie thriller or riding a scary amusement park ride.

The Natural Response can have an Unnatural Timing

Anxiety disorder sufferers can learn to recognize the fight or flight response as a good thing designed to empower them and protect them at the appropriate times. Anxiety that becomes “disordered” means it begins to trigger at times it is not actually needed. It may then be perceived as very unpleasant because increased energy levels are becoming available when they are not needed. Not being able to channel the fight or flight symptoms in a positive direction will cause a person to perceive them as fear rather than strength or as panic feelings, rather than the ambition needed to accomplish a task at hand.

For some anxiety sufferers, there is a subtle but chronically activated fight or flight mode that remains in a triggered state or what might be referred to as “free floating anxiety”. Others have suddenly escalated fight or flight responses that are referred to as “panic attacks”. The anxiety response itself is not unnatural but the timing of it has become disordered in these cases. 10 Facts of Panic

Anxiety Therapies and Treatments

There are therapies available, including a highly successful type called “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” that helps anxiety sufferers to perceive anxiety in the correct way and to also respond to it appropriately. It also helps them learn not to fear the anxiety fight or flight response and to develop techniques for channeling it into positive outcomes rather than negative ones.

There are also medications that can aid in anxiety coping that are available in as-needed doses or that are taken as a daily regimen. These can also be combined with other anxiety therapies to increase the benefit and in some cases may only be needed temporarily as a patient better learns to cope with anxiety symptoms.

Report Encourages Widespread Use Of ASA: Benefits For Men, Women Of Certain Ages

The new recommendations are in a report from the US Preventive Services Task Force.

  • Women age 55 to 79 years old should take ASA to prevent strokes, providing the benefit outweighs the risk of ASA.
  • Men age 45 to 79 years old should take ASA to prevent heart attacks, providing the benefit outweighs the risk of ASA.

These new recommendation are stronger than the 2002 ones from the same group. Along with these new recommendations, the experts present ways to estimate personal benefit and risk. The report is available on the AHRQ website.

How to Calculate Stroke Benefit

The benefit is reduction in stroke risk. Tables are provided to estimate how women may benefit from taking ASA (Report Figure 4). For example, among 65 year old women with a 5% 10-year stroke risk, eight strokes per 1000 women will be prevented by taking ASA.

To Determine Stroke Risk

You can determine your personal stroke risk using the an interactive calculator at the Western Stroke Organization (for the web address, look under “Clinical Considerations, Women). For example, a 65 year old woman with systolic blood pressure of 160 has a 5.2% risk of stroke over 10 years (‘systolic’ is the first set of numbers in a blood pressure reading). If she also is a smoker, the risk jumps to 8.8%.

For a man of the same age, same systolic blood pressure, and a smoker, the ten year stroke risk is almost 14%.

To Determine Heart Attack Risk and Benefit

You can determine your personal heart attack risk using the provided link to an interactive calculator at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Benefit–heart attacks prevented–is provided in Figure 2 of the report. For example, a 65 year old non-smoking man with no special risks, LDL cholesterol 99, HDL cholesterol 45, has a 10% risk of a heart attack in the next ten years. Taking ASA by 1000 men in this risk profile will prevent 32 heart attacks in ten years.

ASA Risks

Whether or not to take ASA depends on the downside–the risks of taking ASA–as well as the benefits. ASA use increases the risk of serious bleeding from the stomach and elsewhere in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The risk is increased in people who have bled once. Previous bleeding from the GI tract is associated with at least double the risk of bleeding from ASA.

The risk is increased four times over in people who concurrently take NSAIDS (Motrin, Aleve, Naprosyn, others). Uncontrolled hypertension increases bleeding risks. Taking warfarin (coumadin, others) is generally considered a contraindication to ASA (ASA should not be used with warfarin).

  • Men have twice the risk of bleeding than women.
  • Enteric coating on ASA has not been shown to reduce the risk of bleeding.
  • There are special safety considerations for older people.

Other Benefits of ASA

Not included in the Task Force’s considerations are other potential benefits from ASA. It may reduce the risk of dangerous colon polyps; however, a recent study indicated it does not reduce the risk of death from colon cancer. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2009 (Feb 18); 101:256)

What to Do

The panel encourages shared decision making. Individuals should discuss their potential personal benefits and risks from ASA with their physician.

See also: http://golias.fr/perte-de-poids/supplements/instant-knockout-avis