Stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine are released by the body in situations that are interpreted as being potentially dangerous. The hormone regulating system is known as the endocrine system. Cortisol is believed to affect the metabolic system and epinephrine is believed[by whom?] to play a role in ADHD as well as depression and hypertension.
Stress hormones act by mobilizing energy from storage to muscles, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate and shutting down metabolic processes such as digestion, reproduction, growth and immunity.
Constant stress causes continual release of various stress hormones which can cause:
- A depletion of energy storage
- Stress-induced hypertension
- Effects on metabolic processes
- Ulcers (digestion)
- Hampered growth
- Decrease in testosterone levels in males and irregular menstrual cycles in females.
- Increased likelihood of infectious diseases.
- Prenatal Programming of Human Neurological Function, International Journal of Peptides (courtesy of NIH, Curt A. Sandman, Elysia P. Davis, Claudia Buss and Laura M. Glynn, 2011