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Organization and Function of ANS

The sympathetic nervous system also shuts down nonessential functions, such as digestion and reproduction, so that the body can focus on the stressor.

Autonomic Nervous System

The sympathetic nervous system also shuts down nonessential functions, such as digestion and reproduction, so that the body can focus on dealing with the stressor.

Example:
If you see a bear on the side of the road, your sympathetic nervous system will kick in and prepare you to either fight or run away.

Parasympathetic Nervous System

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for calming and restoring the body.
The parasympathetic nervous system also helps to restore energy stores after a stressful event.



Example:
  • Once the bear is gone and the threat is over, your parasympathetic nervous system will take over.
  • Body will also begin to digest food again and restore energy stores.
  • This will cause your heart rate to increase and your blood pressure to rise, so that you can either fight or run away from danger.
  • This allows the body to digest food quickly when it is needed, and to conserve energy when it is not.
  • The autonomic nervous system also regulates respiration, which allows the body to adjust its breathing rate depending on the situation.
  • For example, when you are exercising, the body will breathe more quickly to get more oxygen.
  • If the body's temperature starts to rise, the sympathetic nervous system will activate to cool the body down.
  • If the body's blood sugar level starts to drop, the parasympathetic nervous system will activate to raise it.
  • The autonomic nervous system is a complex system that is constantly active to keep the body functioning properly.

Functions of ANS:

The autonomic nervous system is responsible for many important functions in the body, including:
  • Regulating heart rate
  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Regulating digestion
  • Regulating respiration
  • Maintaining homeostasis
Each of these functions is essential for the proper functioning of the body, and the autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating them all.
Some common autonomic disorders include:
  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Orthostatic hypotension

Treatment of Autonomic Disorders

The treatment of autonomic disorders depends on the specific disorder that is causing the problem. Some common treatments include:
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
Each of these treatments can help to restore the body's ability to regulate its autonomic functions properly.

Some of the lifestyle changes include:
  • Managing stress
  • Getting enough sleep
Making these lifestyle changes can help to improve the functioning of the autonomic nervous system and help to keep the body healthy.

It's critical to comprehend how the autonomic nervous system works so that you can look after your body and maintain it healthy.

History:

The autonomic nervous system was first described by the French physician Claude Bernard in 1858.

Bernard proposed that there was a second nervous system in the body, which he called the "visceral nervous system."

In 1885, the American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon further developed the concept of the autonomic nervous system.

Organs regulated by Autonomic Nervous System

1. Cardiovascular system:
The autonomic nervous system regulates the heart rate, cardiac muscle contractility, and arterial and arteriolar diameter.
2. Respiratory system:
The autonomic nervous system influences the depth and rate of breathing.
3. Gastrointestinal system:
The autonomic nervous system regulates digestive processes, including motility and secretion.
4. Genitourinary system:
The autonomic nervous system controls the bladder, prostate, and uterus.
5. Endocrine system:
The autonomic nervous system regulates the release of hormones from the endocrine glands.
6. Skin and sweat glands:
Sweating and the dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the skin are under the control of the autonomic nervous system.
7. Eyes and ears:
The autonomic nervous system regulates pupil dilation, accommodation (focusing), and secretion of tears and ear wax.
The autonomic nervous system does this by regulating the functions of organs and systems.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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