How Stress Saps Your Health

The Stress Response

What we perceive as sensation of stress is actually the product of several changes in the body. The brain starts everything off by releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. This hormonal influx helps orchestrate the rest of the physiological response by triggering an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen intake. Your skin may feel cold and clammy as blood moves to support the heart and muscle tissue. Digestive activity is temporarily reduced and your mouth dries as fluids are diverted away from nonessential locations. Areas of the brain associated with concentration, inhibition and rational thought are suppressed, allowing for a quick reaction often called the “fight or flight” response.

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Review Date: 
May 15, 2014

Last Updated:
July 1, 2014