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What are the fight and flight hormones? Why are they important?

Last updated date: 15th Jul 2024
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Hint: A set of physiological changes that occur in the body to assist a person in fighting or fleeing in stressful or dangerous circumstances. This is the body's way of protecting itself from potential injury. Certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, are released into the bloodstream during fight or flight.

Complete answer:
The fight-or-flight hormone is a physiological response that arises when we are in the midst of something psychologically or physically frightening.
The adrenal gland secretes the fight and flight hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Both hormones have antagonistic effects and are responsible for the body's fight or flight response.
During flight and fight situations these glands release the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) into the bloodstream. When epinephrine circulates through the body, it causes a variety of physiological changes. The heart beats faster than normal, directing blood to the muscles, the heart, and other vital organs.
Physical signals that the fight-or-flight response has been activated include:
Dilated pupils: When in danger, the body prepares itself to be conscious of its surroundings; dilation of the pupils lets more light into the eyes, resulting in clearer vision of the surroundings.
Pale or flushed skin: Blood flow to the body's surface is decreased, while blood flow to the muscles, head, legs, and arms is increased. The body's capacity to clot blood also improves to avoid further blood loss in the event of an accident.
Rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing: Heart rate and respiration rate increase to provide the body with the energy and oxygen it needs to respond quickly to danger.
Trembling occurs as the muscles contract and become ready for action, resulting in trembling or shaking.

The fight-or-flight response is crucial in how we cope with tension and threat in our surroundings. When we are threatened, our bodies prepare to either fight or escape.