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What is the difference between chronic and acute stress?

It is important to distinguish between the acute stress response -- when your heart beats faster and your breath comes faster as you get a rush of adrenalin -- and the chronic stress response, in which you are continually under stress.

The chronic stress response causes the most problems as it literally wears out your body functions, leading to disease. That's because our physical stress response was designed for emergency situations, such as fleeing an attacking animal, not for the everyday stressors we experience in modern society.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.