Learn how the body deals with long-term stress by releasing cortisol.

PROFESSOR: Oh no!
You have an exam tomorrow, and
you're feeling stressed out.
How does your body help
you handle the stress?
The answer is the
hormone cortisol.
Let's take a look
at how that works.
The release of cortisol
occurs via the HPA axis, which
is the hypothalamus and
pituitary gland in the brain,
and the adrenal gland located
just above the kidney.
When you are stressed out,
neurons in the hypothalamus
release a hormone called
CRH into the blood,
and it travels a short
distance to the interior part
of the pituitary.
CRH binds membrane receptors on
endocrine cells in the anterior
pituitary and triggers the
release of a second hormone
called ACTH.
ACTH travels in the
blood all the way
to the adrenal cortex, the outer
region of the adrenal gland.
ACTH stimulates the
synthesis and release
of cortisol, a steroid hormone.
Cortisol travels to the liver
and signals cells to synthesize
glucose from amino acids.
This increases
glucose in the blood
so your other cells
can use it for energy
to fuel chemical reactions
and molecular work.
This helps your body
deal with the stress
so you can perform
well and ace your exam.
Thank you, cortisol.

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