Fight Flight Response Won’t Turn Off – Causes Illness

When the fight flight response won't turn off, it causes many illnesses.

The almond-sized hypothalamus gland located in the brain’s center is the link between the endocrine and nervous systems. One essential duty of the hypothalamus is to send out the fight flight signal to the nervous system when there is an emergency. When the fight flight response doesn’t turn off, it causes many illnesses.

An emergency message quickly follows a shortcut path

The fight flight response (FFR) immediately flips on after the hypothalamus receives a 911 alert. An emergency message is quickly released that follows a time-saving shortcut path through the nervous system, alerting various body areas to act with speed to find safety and do what is needed to survive.

Fight Flight response won’t turn off

The FFR is supposed to turn off when an emergency is over and resume a normal state of homeostasis or balance. However, a high percentage of the population’s fight flight response won’t turn off, causing many health problems. What is driving this problem?

Our definition of an emergency is different than the hypothalamus

What we consider an emergency and what the hypothalamus thinks a crisis in the body are two different things. Many things cause enough stress in the body to set off a survival emergency alarm. Below are some examples of chronic stresses the hypothalamus considers an emergency.

  • Alcoholism
  • Caffeine addiction
  • Excess harmful chemicals
  • Emotional stresses -Depression, Anxiety, Worry
  • Poor diet (high sugar, high fat, too much/little of certain nutrients)
  • Long-term lack of sleep
  • Long-term medications
  • Habitual negativity
  • Excessive exposure to WIFI frequencies or electronics

These chronic stresses and many others not listed do not go away quickly. They hang around for extended periods preventing the FFR from turning off and allowing the body to return to a state of homeostasis. These long-term stressors are perfect examples of why the fight flight response won’t turn off in a high percentage of people.

Everything in the body stops but what is necessary to survive

Fight flight response won't turn off - When fight flight response is turned on, everything in the body stops but what is necessary to survive.
Photo by Branden Tate

When the fight flight response is turned on, everything in the body stops but what is necessary to survive. No cell growth or repair continues while in FFR or, in other words, the immune system shuts off or functions at a minimum. Thus, when the FFR stays on for extended periods, the health of the body declines because the immune system is not working correctly, so sooner or later, illnesses appear.

Dr. Bruce Lipton and other big names agree stress leads to illness

Dr. Bruce Lipton, a well-known cell biologist, stated stress is the cause of at least 95% of all illnesses and diseases.

Dr. Lipton is NOT the only expert to state that stress plays a massive role in our health. All the following and others not listed have made conclusive statements and agree stress is causing 90 to 95% of all illnesses. These statements are solid scientific evidence of what stress is doing to our health.

  • U.S. Federal Government
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC): 90 percent of all illness and disease is related to stress
  • Harvard:  “Too much stress for too long creates what is known as ‘chronic stress’ which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and may also influence cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. And illness is just the tip of the iceberg. Stress affects you emotionally, as well, marring the joy you gain from life and loved ones.”
  • Yale
  • Vanderbilt
  • The Mayo Clinic – Nicole Porter Wellness


I wrote a blog about stress management a bit ago. At that time, I knew stress wasn’t good for the health, but I sure didn’t know stress is considered the source of 90 to 95 percent of all illnesses. Those percentages are staggering. I wrote this blog post to help you see why it is essential to apply methods that prevent or alleviate stress to promote health and well-being.

Top Featured Photo by Frida Bredesen

One Comment

  1. Great read and I enjoyed your blog as well. Thank you so much! Much needed advice I must begin to follow. At 57, it’s never too late!

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