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How does my body react to stress response?

If your stress response gets kicked up, a whole SWAT team of stress hormones kicks in to ready your body systems for action. Here’s the 1–2–3 of what happens when a crisis hits:

  • The region of the brain called the hypothalamus releases a stress coordinator called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH).
  • CRH rushes over to the pituitary, a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain, and tells it to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the bloodstream.
  • Fast-talking ACTH tells the adrenals (yep, they’re called into action again) to release a major stress hormone, cortisol.

This sequence of events is known in scientific circles as the hypothalamicpituitary- adrenal axis, or HPA axis. It is your body’s main stress-response system. Think of it as old-fashioned messengering in a kingdom in the midst of war – a way of getting the word out to the body that it’s time to mobilize the troops and prepare for battle.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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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.