The nervous system is an organized system which coordinates both voluntary and involuntary actions, driving stimulus to the respective end-points through sets of neurons known as afferent neurons, and also transmit the impulse (the feedback response) to the organ or tissue where the stimulus originated from thus enervating the organ to respond adequately. The nervous system is divided into central nervous system and peripheral nervous system (which is further divided into somatic and autonomic nervous system). The nervous system is categorized both at the cellular and organic level; at the cellular level, it’s made up of neurons which is the unit of nervous system (through which signals travel in the form of electrochemical pulses), while at the organic level, it is made up of tissues, and organs which regulates processes, secretions, and control other body organs.
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is one of the autonomic nervous system divisions which triggers the body’s defenses and impulsive response to external stimuli, by so doing helps to regulate homeostasis. Some of the few processes in the body the sympathetic nervous system helps to regulate are: heart rate and muscular rhythm, digestion. The sympathetic nervous system balances and compliments the effect of the autonomic nervous system.
Here are some important things to know about the sympathetic nervous system
1. The sympathetic nervous system could be more of a blessing on so many occasions as it helps to manage oxidative stress by triggering the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine which helps to hasten the delivery of energy to the body cells. This helps to maintain balanced energy levels until relieve comes your way. An overactive sympathetic nervous system could cause a fast depletion of energy which may result in comatose but it could be managed with omega-3 fatty-acid rich foods such as sardines, salmon, egg yolks, walnuts and cashew nuts and foods rich in vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamines).
2. When you see anything that frightens, the sympathetic nervous system ‘sympathizes’ with you, enervates the adrenal glands to secret corticosteroids- adrenalin which triggers a flight-or-fight response to such. Few of the signs you will notice from this enervation is sweating, persistent esophageal peristalsis, dilated eye pupils and accelerated heart rate among others.
3. It stimulates the release of emissions prior to ejaculation during coitus.
4. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates and facilitates ‘partial closing’ i.e constriction of blood vessels during hemorrhage and formation of blood clot to seal off broken vessels. This is made possible by the activation of alpha-1 adrenergic receptors by norepinephrine a neurotransmitter released by post-ganglionic sympathetic neurons.
5. The SNS may also trigger disorders such as that of the heart in situations such as heart failure, it causes forceful muscular contractions which increases circulatory stroke volume and peripheral constriction of the blood pressure which may accelerate the disease.
6. Other medical condition that may arise in ugly situations made possible by the SNS is vascular spasm, goose bumps and heightened blood pressure, however this may happen due to response to stress.
7. The SNS inhibits your bladder contraction when you get to the end of the urinary stream while urinating.
8. The SNS helps to maximize your energy levels by slowing down digestive activities.