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Immunity and the Lymphatic System

This week you will delve into the complex world of our immune and lymphatic systems. Here you will discover how this system protects and defends the body from various external and internal stressors. You will learn how the three stages of General Adaptation Syndrome or GAS helps us deal with stress. You will also learn about the three lines of defense: skin and mucous membranes, innate defense as well as the lymphatic system and specific immunity. You will also discuss what happens when this system fails to work properly.

Reading- Chapter 9: “Immunity and the Lymphatic System”

Discussion- Oh…My Crazy Stress Hormones!

Annie is a new district attorney (DA) for her county and she has her first day in court. She walks into the courtroom and sits at the plaintiff’s table. She feels pretty relaxed and is excited about her first case as a DA; but she is also nervous. The judge enters the courtroom, introduces the case and asks Annie to make her opening statement. As Annie begins to stand, she suddenly feels terror, her hands are trembling, her heart is racing, her mouth is dry and she thinks that she may faint.

1.    What is Annie experiencing?

2.    What are the three stages of General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)?

3.    What stage is she currently experiencing? What hormone is released during this phase and how does it affect the body?

4.    What are the main organs involved in this response?

5.    What techniques do you recommend to help Annie calm down?

6.    Think about your own experiences. Describe an incident where your system activated the “fight or flight response.’

a.    What caused this reaction?

b.    How did you feel?

c.     What was the outcome?

d.    Be sure to explain in your example how many of the GAS stages you experienced.

7.    What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? What stage of GAS is affected in PTSD?

8.    What treatments are available for PTSD?


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