Adrenaline, also called epinephrine, is a hormone released by your adrenal glands and some neurons. The adrenal glands are located at the top of each kidney. They are responsible for producing many hormones, including aldosterone, cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. Adrenal glands are controlled by another gland called the pituitary gland.

Introduction to Adrenaline

  • The adrenal glands are divided into two parts: outer glands (adrenal cortex) and inner glands (adrenal medulla).

  • The inner glands produce adrenaline.

  • Adrenaline is also known as the fight-or-flight hormone.

  • It’s released in response to a stressful, exciting, dangerous, or threatening situation.

  • Adrenaline helps your body react more quickly.

  • It makes the heart beat faster, increases blood flow to the brain and muscles, and stimulates the body to make sugar to use for fuel.

  • When adrenaline is released suddenly, it’s often referred to as an adrenaline rush.

What happens in the body when you experience a rush of Adrenaline?

  • An adrenaline rush begins in the brain.

  • When you perceive a dangerous or stressful situation, that information is sent to a part of the brain called the amygdala.

  • This area of the brain plays a role in emotional processing.

  • If danger is perceived by the amygdala, it sends a signal to another region of the brain called the hypothalamus.

  • The hypothalamus is the command center of the brain.

  • It communicates with the rest of the body through the sympathetic nervous system.

  • The hypothalamus transmits a signal through autonomic nerves to the adrenal medulla.

  • When the adrenal glands receive the signal, they respond by releasing adrenaline into the bloodstream.

Activities that cause Adrenaline rush

Although adrenaline has an evolutionary purpose, some people take part in certain activities just for the adrenaline rush. Activities that can cause an adrenaline rush include:

  • Watching a horror movie

  • Skydiving

  • Cliff jumping

  • Bungee jumping

  • Cage diving with sharks

  • Zip lining

  • White water rafting

Symptoms of an Adrenaline rush

An adrenaline rush is sometimes described as a boost of energy. Other symptoms include:

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Sweating

  • Heightened senses

  • Rapid breathing

  • Decreased ability to feel pain

  • Increased strength and performance

  • Dilated pupils

  • Feeling jittery or nervous

How to control Adrenaline?

  • It’s important to learn techniques to counter your body’s stress response.

  • Experiencing some stress is normal, and sometimes even beneficial for your health.

  • But over time, persistent surges of adrenaline can damage your blood vessels, increase your blood pressure, and elevate your risk of heart attacks or stroke.

  • It can also result in anxiety, weight gain, headaches, and insomnia.

  • To help control adrenaline, you’ll need to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as the rest-and-digest system.

  • The rest-and-digest response is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response.

  • It helps promote equilibrium in the body, and allows your body to rest and repair itself.

Try the following:

  • Deep breathing exercises

  • Meditation

  • Yoga or tai chi exercises, which combine movements with deep breathing

  • Talk to friends or family about stressful situations so you’re less likely to dwell on them at night; similarly, you can keep a diary of your feelings or thoughts

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet

  • Exercise regularly

  • Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption

  • Avoid cellphones, bright lights, computers, loud music, and TV right before bedtime

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