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What does stress do to your body?

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Stress triggers a chemical tsunami in your body. You may have heard it called the “fight or flight” reaction. Humans could not have survived without such a powerful response to stress. Among other changes, adrenaline and other hormones speed your heart rate and breathing and raise blood sugar levels.

This reaction makes your heart require extra oxygen and energy to allow you to, say, run from a tiger.

SOURCES: 

American Heart Association.

Harvard Health Publications: "Understanding the stress response," "Exercising to Relax."

PubMed: "Perceived Stress and Mortality in a Taiwanese Older Adult Population," "Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation on Functional Capacity and Quality of Life of African Americans with Congestive Heart Failure: A Randomized Control Study," "Cardiovascular reactivity, stress, and physical activity," "Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise."

Delamater, A. , April 2006. Clinical Diabetes

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic stress puts your health at risk."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth."

Cole, K. , November 2007. American Journal of Critical Care

Reviewed by James Beckerman on June 1, 2018

SOURCES: 

American Heart Association.

Harvard Health Publications: "Understanding the stress response," "Exercising to Relax."

PubMed: "Perceived Stress and Mortality in a Taiwanese Older Adult Population," "Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation on Functional Capacity and Quality of Life of African Americans with Congestive Heart Failure: A Randomized Control Study," "Cardiovascular reactivity, stress, and physical activity," "Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise."

Delamater, A. , April 2006. Clinical Diabetes

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic stress puts your health at risk."

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth."

Cole, K. , November 2007. American Journal of Critical Care

Reviewed by James Beckerman on June 1, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

Why might ongoing stress be unhealthier than usual if you have heart failure?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

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