What are the stages and symptoms from stress?

What are the stages and symptoms from stress? Stress is the body’s response to external (physical or psychological) stimuli. Stress helps to adapt to environmental changes, but frequent emotional stress can lead to depression or cardiovascular disease.

symptoms from stress


Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands.

Cortisol raises blood glucose levels and increases its utilisation by brain cells, as well as reducing the activity of the digestive and reproductive systems and suppressing growth processes.

When you are under stress, adrenaline increases, which raises your heart rate and blood pressure.

Prolactin is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland (a gland located in the brain) that, when stressed, stimulates the immune system and increases the sensitivity of the body’s cells to insulin (a hormone that helps transport sugar from the blood to the tissues).

Short-term stress has a positive effect on the body: it activates the immune system, improves memory and increases the rate of cell regeneration (repair). Frequent stressful situations lead to increased tissue breakdown for energy. Types of stress:

*eustress (“positive stress”) – mobilises the organism’s forces and improves adaptive capabilities of a person;
*distress (“negative stress”) – depletes the organism’s defence capabilities, which leads to a violation of adaptation mechanisms.

Oxidative stress is the process of damage to cells and tissues of the body as a result of oxidation. Oxidative stress can lead to atherosclerosis (deposition of cholesterol plaques in blood vessels), arterial hypertension and Parkinson’s disease (destruction of brain cells).

When exposed to a stress factor, hormonal background, activity of cardiovascular and nervous systems change. As a result, the body gradually adapts to unfavourable conditions.

Anxiety stage: All body systems are activated, adrenaline and cortisol increase in the blood. The human body prepares for the “hit or run” action

Resistance stage: The amount of stress hormones gradually decreases, the work of organs and systems resumes. In this period, a persistent defence against stressors emerges

Depletion stage: The functional activity of the adrenal glands is significantly reduced, the body’s energy deficit occurs and its adaptive capacity is sharply reduced

Stress can end at the resistance stage if the influence of the stressor ceases. With chronic stress, the body loses its ability to fight the stressful situation, resulting in panic attacks, nervous breakdowns or depression.

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