• Discuss how stress can cause excessive and prolonged cortisol release and the types of disease states that may develop as a result. How does long-term stress impact the endocrine system and the body over time?
  • Optional: In addition, you may mention and discuss in your response to any characters in the Bible who suffered from disease or disturbances, such as sleeplessness, that might have resulted from endocrine disorders.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Stress causes the adrenal glands to start producing cortisol, among other hormones. The purpose of cortisol is to make more glucose, a sugar, available to the brain while causing the immune system to limit its functioning. The adrenal glands also release adrenaline, which increases one's heart rate and prepares them to take action. The body usually returns to normal after a moment of stress, if the body uses up the cortisol available to it. However, if one is continually in a state of stress and the cortisol is not used, one's bodily functions are interrupted and long-term health problems can result, including heart disease and high blood pressure and reduced immunity from disease. In addition, prolonged stress can result in weight gain, decreased memory, and problems with mental health, including depression, anxiety, and other issues.

King David is a character in the Bible who suffered with what we might recognize with depression and insomnia, particularly after his son Absalom rebelled against him.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial