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.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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