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Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy.
Some stress is normal and even useful. Stress can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can cause health problems.
Last Revised: October 9, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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