What is the role of the sympathetic nervous system?

William B. Salt II., MD

The sympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system originates in the spinal cord. It goes into action to prepare the body for physical or mental activity. In response to a stressor, the sympathetic nervous system orchestrates what you familiarly call the fight-or-flight response. It increases muscle blood flow and tension, dilates pupils, accelerates heart rate and respiration, and increases perspiration and arterial blood pressure. To conserve and concentrate energy, it slows down digestive activity.

Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! Discover What's Behind Your SYMPTOMS (That Doctors Can't Explain)

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Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! Discover What's Behind Your SYMPTOMS (That Doctors Can't Explain)

Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! presents a new model of disease, which empowers readers suffering with pain, symptoms (e.g., fatigue), and symptom syndromes (e.g., irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, chronic...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.