The body releases increased levels of certain hormones in response to stress. An acute and chronic stress are the known reactions when the hormonal level increases. To know the complete comparison between acute and chronic stress, click on this link.
A stress reaction in the short term is referred to as acute stress. Stress over a longer period of time is called chronic stress. Under normal circumstances, acute stress is a natural response and does not have serious or long-term health problems associated with it. Chronic stress, however, can have adverse effects on one’s health.
With acute stress, the larger amount of the hormone cortisol released can help to resolve the stressful situation. The cortisol raises the amount of glucose available for large muscles to use immediately, making sure they won’t run out of energy in the stressful moment. Cortisol also causes arteries to narrow so that the heart pumps blood faster, ensuring the body is provided with the oxygen it needs to react quickly. In a healthy scenario, the short-term benefits of increased cortisol will help the body resolve whatever situation is causing the stress, thus allowing the body to return to normal hormonal levels.
Chronic stress is the term for when the body exhibits a stress response for a lengthy period. To again take the example of cortisol, the higher levels of glucose which this hormone produced to help your large muscles react quickly now result in harmfully high blood sugar levels. Likewise, the narrowing of arteries which helped oxygenate muscles in the short term leads to high blood pressure in the longer timeframe of chronic stress.
The stress response includes other hormones besides cortisol, but they all share the characteristic of being helpful to boost the body’s capability to react to immediate danger. These hormones raise the body’s immediate readiness by diverting resources from other bodily functions. The reason why chronic stress has health consequences is that the body remains out of balance for too long. Some other health impacts of chronic stress include heart disease, weight gain, and depression.