Stress response (fight-or-flight response)

The stress response is the set of physical and emotional changes the human body makes in response to a threat or stress. It sometimes is called the "fight-or-flight" response.

In a stressful situation, the body releases chemicals that trigger:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Increased sweating.
  • A sudden rush of strength.
  • Slowed digestion.
  • Dilated pupils.

Last Updated: April 22, 2009

Author: Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry

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