Psychosomatic disorders are manifestations of physical imbalance in which emotional components have a strong influence. The link between the mood and compromised health issues can be followed, in such cases, as the disease emerges, develops or repeats its pattern over time. “Psyche” refers to the emotional or mind related aspects and “somatic” indicates with the organic or physical symptoms and signs.
Studies have revealed that inappropriate activation of the autonomous nervous system, endocrine system (hormones and internal secretion glands), and the immune system accounts for several of the known paths that link emotional overload to a condition of organic dysfunction and, in some cases, even physical distress.
Upbringing, environment, social settings, genetics and personal interpretations of events, as well as the capacity to cope with the elements that come together as the person develops and interacts seem to play an important role when confronted with a psychosomatic manifestation. The key aspect of all these disorders is that they are enduring, relatively immutable conditions that represent a baseline substrate of impaired adaptatation , of deficiencies or distortions that limit the capacity to adapt successfully to the demands of life.
Body & mind Connections
There is increasing evidence that stress has a direct biological effect on disease risk, involving the sympathetic nervous system, the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenomedullary axis, and the inflammatory response system – a major chain reaction released by the immune complex. The interaction established among these systems and a central autonomic network which includes both prefrontal and limbic cerebral structures, are integrated to form an internal regulation system through which the brain controls visceromotor, neuroendocrine, and behavioural responses that are critical for goal-directed behavior, adaptability, and health.
When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, hormones such as catecholamines ( epinephrine and norepinephrine) are released and the hypothalamus simultaneously secretes corticotrophin-releasing factor. The release of corticotrophin-releasing factor produces adrenocorticotropic hormone from the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. This hormone in turn stimulates the adrenal cortices to release cortisol, a stress hormone that helps the immune system to operate efficiently. The release of catecholamines and cortisol allows the body to break down sugar as a source of available energy. This represents the sympathetic adrenomedullary system, an essential component of the normal acute alarm response to threat that produces the fight-flight reaction.
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