Your body responds to stress via hormones produced by the adrenal glands. The glands and their rele...
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Your body responds to stress via hormones produced by the adrenal glands. The glands and their release of hormones are controlled in part by the brain. A small area called the hypothalamus produces hormones, which stimulate another part called the pituitary gland. This gland releases other hormones into the circulation, which stimulate the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys. They produce hormones that, among other things, create our physical reactions to stress. For example, your heart rate increases when the adrenals produce more adrenalin. You become less sensitive to pain when cortisol production goes up. Chronic stress can increase levels of cortisol for prolonged periods. This can have many negative effects such as increased abdominal fat. Excess fat in this area is associated with more health problems than fat deposited in other areas.