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Endocrinologist shares insight on body's reaction to stress

Endocrinologist shares insight on body's reaction to stress Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

Workplace issues, relationships, war, physical stress due to injuries, surgeries, and various medical conditions - everyday life entails a lot of stress for everyone. It's important to know what happens to the body in this state, according to the website of the medical community Take Care of Yourself.

What happens during stress

The human body constantly adjusts to mitigate the negative impact of experiences as much as possible under given conditions. Hormones primarily assist in coping with this.

Endocrinologist Dina Krylova explains what happens in the body hormonally during stress.

Reactions to stress are associated with increased secretion of glucocorticoids, catecholamines, and prolactin.

The main effect of such a hormonal surge is to increase the mobilization of energy sources and adapt the body to new circumstances.

The doctor states that when stress hormones are excessively released, it can lead to the development of endocrine disorders.

Moreover, stress can impact the course of many pre-existing endocrine disorders in individuals. For example, it can contribute to the progression of adrenal gland disorders and thyroid gland diseases.

Cortisol

The endocrinologist noted that this glucocorticosteroid is produced by the adrenal glands during any agitation or physical exertion.

Under such circumstances, it elevates blood glucose levels and blood pressure, and it can lead to weight gain due to increased appetite and fat deposition.

Prolactin

This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It participates in sexual maturation, particularly influencing the development of mammary glands and lactation in women later on.

It's important to remember that when there's an excess of this hormone, individuals may experience decreased libido, enlargement of mammary glands, disruptions in the menstrual cycle, and other symptoms.

Catecholamines

These hormones are released into the blood when a person experiences strong emotions or danger. Physiologically, it manifests as a fight or flight response—respiratory pathways widen to supply muscles with oxygen, blood vessels constrict to redirect blood to major muscle groups.

Adrenaline induces a noticeable increase in strength and productivity and enhances awareness in stressful moments. Its effects can last for an hour after the danger has passed.

According to the endocrinologist, if you feel unable to cope with stress independently, don't delay visiting a mental health specialist. Chronic stress contributes to the development of numerous threatening conditions.