Difference Between Sympathetic And Parasympathetic

The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system are parts of the autonomic nervous system. Autonomic nervous system, as the name suggests, works unconsciously and it controls various bodily functions like the heart rate, digestion, urination, etc. The difference between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system is the way the body responds to environmental stimuli.

Difference Between Sympathetic And Parasympathetic

Difference Between Sympathetic And Parasympathetic

For instance, parasympathetic nervous system inhibits the body from overworking and restores the body to a calm and composed state. On the other hand, the sympathetic nervous system does the complete opposite: It readies the body for the “Fight or Flight” response during any potential danger. The major difference between Sympathetic And Parasympathetic nervous system are summarized below:

Difference Between Sympathetic And Parasympathetic

Sympathetic

Parasympathetic

The main function of the sympathetic nervous system is to ready the body’s “fight or flight” response

Main function of the parasympathetic nervous system is to maintain homeostasis and also, enable the “rest and digest” response

Sympathetic system prepares the body for any potential danger

Parasympathetic system aims to bring the body to a state of calm

Sympathetic system has shorter neuron pathways, hence a faster response time

Has comparatively longer neuron pathways, hence a slower response time

Increases heart beat, muscles tense up

Reduces heart beat, muscles relax

The pupils dilate to let in more light

The pupils contract

Saliva secretion is inhibited

Saliva secretion increases, digestion increases

On “fight and flight” situations, Adrenaline is released by the adrenal glands, more glycogen is converted to glucose

No such function in “fight or flight” situations

Conclusion

The autonomic nervous system comprises of two parts- the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system activates the fight or flight response during a threat or a perceived danger and the parasympathetic nervous system restores the body to a state of calm.

Difference Between Sympathetic And Parasympathetic

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