The sympathetic nervous system is one of the three parts of the autonomic nervous system, responsible for regulating some key bodily functions. It’s important to understand how this part works as it plays a fundamental role in our survival instinct and stress response. Here, we will explore what the sympathetic nervous system does, its effects on our bodies, and what happens when it’s triggered.
Anatomy of The Sympathetic Nervous System
The sympathetic nervous system consists of two long neuron chains running from the base or top end and extending down into target tissues.
– Preganglionic fibers originate in neurons located in the spinal cord between segments T1 and L2 , while postganglionic cell bodies are in ganglia situated nearer targets.
– Preganglionic neurons synapse with postganglionic neurons at ganglia often situated around vertebral column organs.
– Postganglionic fibers terminally release norepinephrine onto smooth muscle cells or adrenergic nerves.
These interconencted components work together to fire up your body’s fight or flight response.
Fight Or Flight Response
When you face danger—for example, being accosted by an angry bear—the threat triggers a number of changes throughout your body via activation of your sympathetic nervous system . Its job is to enable you to respond quickly either by fighting back or running away. This includes increasing heart rate so you can get blood pumping through your body faster; dilating pupils so that more light enters your eyes; diverting blood flow from nonessential areas like digestion toward large muscles needed for those crucial moves ; increasing respiratory rates.
During fight-or-flight responses, there is also decreased circulation to skin resulting in pale appearance as blood vessels constrict. Metabolic demands increase significantly and the liver converts its glycogen stores into glucose to be quickly used in the muscles. 
Primary Functions of The Sympathetic Nervous System
The sympathetic nervous system regulates some key physiological functions such as:
1. Increasing heart rate: It’s the first thing you notice when your body is responding to a threat – your pulse starts racing .
2. Blood pressure: In response to danger, blood vessels in nonessential areas constrict so that more blood can flow to larger muscle groups 
3. Sweating: Cool sweat helps regulate body temperature
4. Digestion slows: Because energy is needed for fight or flight responses.
5. Increased respiratory rate.
How Stress Affects Your Body
When you are under stress – whether from exams, work related tension or arguments with loved ones- it triggers a series of chemical responses within your body . This includes releasing cortisol – sometimes known as the “stress hormone” because it prepares your body for action in emergencies by increasing levels of glucose while suppressing insulin secretion which would bring reduce levels of glucose.
Common manifestations include headaches; fatigue; irritability; insomnia; anxiety[-] and flushing . These effects all have one thing in common—they help mobilize things necessary when you’re dealing with an emergency situation.
As well as these immediate physical reactions there are long term implications too…if we don’t give our bodies time to recover from stress experiences then over time this continuous levelled activation can cause wear and tear on various organ systems which can lead them being damaged irreparably leading chronic illnesses such cardiovascular disease, asthma diabetes etc.
It’s essential therefore that we do make time for ourselves each day even if it means just 10-15 minutes where we switch off everything else around us & find some inner peace through deep breathing exercises mindfulness meditation yoga tai chi whichever suits best without pushing oneself too far out of comfort zone.
The Role of The Autonomic Nervous System
The sympathetic nervous system is one component within the autonomic nervous system. It has an essential function in preparing the body to act quickly when faced with danger while also maintaining other key activities inside it such as circulatory regulation and digestive processes .
The other two parts—parasympathetic and enteric—are responsible for different regulatory functions. For instance, parasympathetic handles digestion, conservation of energy; Enteric is located mostly surrounding muscles tissue walls throughout intestine pair provides innervation specialized smooth muscle cells form distinct pacemaker regions ultimately responsible segmental coordinated movements propelling chime along gut into large bowel where stool softened reabsorption nutrients bile salt etc.
How Does Sympathetic Nervous System Work With Other Parts?
Let’s take a closer look at how these components work together to maintain our bodily functions.
- Central control: This is based on neurotransmitters – substances that carry messages between neurons – released by specific areas of the brain including centers involved in reward motivation pleasure pain pathways sensation decision making emotion.
- Environmental Information Processing: Process information from external sources like visual auditory tactile sensory elements relevant to survival 
- Interconnections: Neurons in the spinal cord relay signals through peripheral nerves known as cranial nerves forming communication links across all organ systems including cardiovascular lungs bladder liver stomach intestines reproductive organs spleen adrenals kidneys pancreas bone marrow skin adrenal glands thyroid gland.
- Chemical messengers like epinephrine can override some receptor-mediated responses allowing greater metabolic mobilization needed responding critical situations .
When Things Go Wrong?
When things go awry with your sympathetic nervous system You might experience certain signs or symptoms:
High blood pressure can contribute to long term damage caused by you, prsenting as damaged arteries, heart muscle thickening or renal diseas. Hypertension can be part of the problem leading to feeling fatigue, headaches and dizziness.
2. Eye Disorders
Some eye disorders like glaucoma are directly related to increased sympathetic nervous system stimulation with symptoms that includes blurred vision, pain or difficulty in seeing properly in dim lighting conditions
3. Digestive Dysfunction
Digestion can be affected by sympathetic overactivity too: constipation or liquid stools may appear depending on where excess estrogen levels settle into fat cells . These influences result from its ability influence blood flow lower intestine affecting motility gas production stomach intestinal wall pH etc.
The sympathetic nervous system is an essential part of our survival instinct and stress response mechanism that enables us to react quickly when faced with danger . It’s important that we understand what it does so we can remain calm during stressful situations without allowing ourselves tire out unnecessarily experiencing burnout] which could cause long-term damage due persistent stateen activation of cortisol & other stress hormones circulating throughout body]. Now you know how your body works – from basic panic responses through complex metabolic adjustments – all controlled by a single component within our autonomic nervous system one gained lots insight itself handle day-to-day emergencies avoid cumulative impact dangerous condition brought prolonged term exposure unhealthy stressful life occasions.
What happens when your fight-or-flight response is triggered?
When you face danger—for example, being accosted by an angry bear—the threat triggers a number of changes throughout your body via activation of your sympathetic nervous system.
What are some signs/symptoms if things go wrong?
Hypertension causing problems including fatigue, headaches and dizziness;Eye Disorders like Glaucoma; Digestive dysfunction resulting in constipation or liquid stool depending on excess estrogen levels.
How does the Sympathetic Nervous System work with other parts?
The sympathetic nervous system is one component within the autonomic nervous system. It has an essential function in preparing the body to act quickly when faced with danger while also maintaining other key activities inside it such as circulatory regulation and digestive processes.