General Adaptation Syndrome
General adaptation syndrome denotes a nonspecific and predictable bodily response to various external agents (“stressors”) and consists of three successive phases: alarm reaction, stage of resistance, and stage of exhaustion.
The term of general adaptation syndrome was coined by Hans Selye (1907–1982), an Austro-Hungarian endocrinologist. Selye worked at McGill University in Montreal when he made his initial and somewhat serendipitous observations. In a pursuit of identifying novel sex hormones, he discovered that ovarian extracts administered to rats evoked a triad of pathologic changes (adrenal enlargement, thymo-lymphatic tissue atrophy, and gastrointestinal ulcerations). Intriguingly, administration of placental, pituitary, and other tissue extracts as well as a large variety of physical and chemical irritants induced similar changes. In 1936, Selye published his early...
- Selye, H. (1978). The stress of life. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar