25 Surprising Ways Stress Affects Your Health
Fight or flight
The stress response has evolved over a millennium to protect you from danger. Also known as the flight-or-fight response, it gets the body ready for action. So if you're in danger, the brain's hypothalamus sends triggersboth chemical and along the nervesto the adrenals, which are glands that sit on top of each kidney like a hat perched on a head.
The adrenals then churn out hormones, such as cortisol, which raise blood pressure and blood sugar (among other things). This is dandy if you need to outrun a hungry lion, less so if the perceived threat is a looming layoff. And it can be harmful to health if sustained over time.
Get the latest health, fitness, anti-aging, and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and updates from Health.com!