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Your Body on Stress: The “Fight or Flight” Disease

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

courtesy of maxliving.com

Daily Stress or Chronic Stress?

Stress comes in several flavours. The kind you feel before a presentation or exam is called acute stress. Your heart might race, you get a little fidgety, your palms become sweaty, and you have “butterflies in your stomach.”

While perhaps unpleasant, a little of this stress can actually make you more alert, focused, and resilient to life’s many demands.

But there’s another kind of stress that sticks around far beyond its benefits, called chronic stress. In fact, this low-key stress, creates far-reaching damage, destroying lives, bodies, and minds.

Stress and Your Adrenal Glands

Your adrenal glands play a massive role in your body’s stress response. These small, triangular-shaped glands sit atop your kidneys and produce hormones that regulate metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, and stress response.

Adrenal glands respond to signals from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland (both in the brain) to produce hormones including cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone. “Nearly every facet of good health is a product of the delicate balance of these hormones,” says Christianson.

Among its duties, cortisol suppresses inflammation, regulates blood pressure and blood sugar, controls the sleep/wake cycle, and provides your body an energy boost