The "fight-or-flight" response refers to the body's natural reaction to an emergency. The body systems which are useful for facing a threat ("fight") or fleeing danger ("flight") are stimulated:
- Blood flow is increased to the muscles;
- Heart rate increases;
- Respiration increases;
- Bood pressure increases.
As a tradeoff, energy is decreased to other ongoing body functions including digestion, immune system response, ovulation, and so on.
Fight or flight response
In the short term, the fight-or-flight response is a natural and appropriate response to stress or threat. In fact, it is generally believed that a certain amount of stress is necessary for physical well-being.
However, prolonged stress can damage body function, leading to high blood pressure, gastrointestinal and digestive problems, decreased immune system response, and even brain damage.
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain