Updated 21 November 2013

The symptoms of stress

Take a look at the symptoms of the acute fight-or-flight stress reaction and the effect of long-term, unmanaged stress.


The following are symptoms of the acute “flight-or-fight” stress reaction:

  • Fast beating, racing heart, often palpable
  • Blood pressure soars
  • Fast racing breath
  • Digestion slows down
  • Sweaty palms. Stress causes extreme heat in the body. Without perspiration to cool the body down, we would spontaneously combust!
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscles tense
  • Blood clots faster
  • Glucose and fats pour into the blood to provide energy for all the action taking place inside the body
  • Rushing thoughts
  • Irrational fears and anxiety

Stress, disorders and disease:
Long-term and unmanaged stress can cause and exacerbate the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Allergies, hives, hay fever
  • Asthma
  • Migraines
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis

(Health24, updated January 2009)


Get a quote


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

World Thrombosis Day »

World Thrombosis Day 2015 The next 37 seconds The dangers of blood clots

Deep vein thrombosis can happen to anyone

Blood clots can be deadly when they form inside arteries, especially the deep veins of the legs. Dr Ismail Shaik shares his experience.

Up for grabs »

Babies smell mom Partner trouble affects parenting Healthy mom-child relationship

How you can win R2500

Tell us what it's like being a working mom in SA and you could win R2500 in cold, hard cash.