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Social Determinants of Health Discussion

Earlier on we learned about the allostatic load hypothesis, which states that the body wears and tears over time due to a lengthy exposure to stress or repeated stressful situations. Further, it proposes that the neural and neuroendocrine responses to uneasy situations lead to physiological consequences, such as failing health. We have also learned that early life determines the health disparities that characterize one’s life in the future. Researches are connected to both chapter one and two of Social Determinants of Health textbook.

Chapter 2 of the textbook discusses the effects of stress on the human health. It argues that stressful situations in life have a damaging impact on overall health. Situations, such as lack of control over work or family, long-term anxiety, unsupportive friendships amongst other stressful events, affect an individual’s health negatively. They turn on the stressful responses, which use up all the energy and resources, thereby neglecting important physiological functions, such as the cardiovascular and immune systems. Ultimately, it leads to failing health as hypothesized by the allostatic load. Moreover, Chapter 3 argues that the beginning of creating a good health at later stages of life starts even before a child is born. Poor conditions surrounding an expectant mother, such as lack of emotional support, stress, and smoking, lead to incomplete fetal development. Additionally, lack of support for mothers and their young children also increases the likelihood of the poor health of the child later on in life. For instance, slow child grow contributes to reduced physical and cognitive functioning in health.

The information shows that social events are important in fostering health amongst the population. Social services should aim at providing good general, nutrition, and health education to promote health amongst young children that translates to fewer health disparities in future. Further parent-child relationships should be supported from the onset. Regarding stressful conditions, services, such as welfare, should be sufficient to hand the both physical and psychosocial needs of the beneficiaries. Further, the social environment in institutions, such as schools and workplaces, is equally important to health as the physical environment and should be prioritized to foster good health.

Responses to Discussion

Response 1. Kayla clearly articulates the relationship between the learned materials and the chapter 2 and 3 of the book. She connects the allostatic load hypothesis to chapter 2 of the book and explains its significance in establishing a connection between psychosocial environment and possible diseases. She also links the lessons on early life and its effect on future health disparities to chapter 2 of the textbook. Most importantly, she gives the page numbers from the text book where the other student’s may find the connection. The overall discussion is scholarly and succinct.

Response 2. Amber’s discussion post is short and precise. She connects the allostatic load hypothesis to chapter 2 of the textbook by showing that the body wears and tears due to overstimulation caused by responses to stress. She also connects early life to the 3rd chapter of the book. In particular, she expresses that stressful conditions experienced in early life reducing an individual’s coping strategies towards stress in future, hence increased health disparities. Amber further relates the connection to the environment showing that both the social and the physical environment are important for the promotion of health. Despite the clarity of the discussion, page numbers from the textbook would help legitimize her assertions.

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