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What happens when I'm stressed?

· 2 min read

When you are in a stressful situation, your body releases two stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. These bring about changes in your body which are referred to as the Fight or Flight Response - they prepare your body to either run and hide, or defend yourself from danger.

This response is designed to protect you from short term danger, such as moving out of the way if a car is about to hit you. However, when a person is stressed for a prolonged period, such as being excessively busy at work for several months at a time, or caring for a sick family member for many years, these hormones will be released continuously and will have a more pronounced effect on the body. Below is a table showing the different effects on short term and long term stress, and how it causes problems in the body.

Short-term StressLong-Term Stress
Increased heart rateHigh blood pressure
Increased production of blood sugarDiabetes
Up regulated nervous systemLower pain threshold
Blood moves away from digestive systemDigestive problems such as IBS and indigestion
Blood away from reproductive systemStress-related infertility
Blood clots more easilyDVT, strokes and heart attacks
Reduced effectiveness of immune systemFrequent infections and allergic responses
Increased muscle tensionMuscle and joint pain

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