Ever heard of the term ‘adrenaline pumped through my veins’ in the stories and novels?What does this ‘adrenaline’ mean? What exactly does this fluid do? Well, carry on!
- What Is Adrenaline
Basically, adrenaline is a hormone which is secreted by your body from the adrenal glands. What is a hormone? Simply explaining a hormone is a ‘regulatory substance’ made by any living being and is taken towards the blood or other fluids to balance out specific cells or many tissues ‘into action.Where are the adrenal glands situated?The adrenal glands are situated just above our kidneys. The hormone pumps through our veins, when we are anxious, filled with fear, nervous, or in major danger. Adrenaline is our body’s response to danger. Adrenaline does not have any addictive property. Adrenaline is a condition when our body has to do something in which we feel strong emotions like excitement , fear, anxiety, nervousness and when you face some difficult and life threatening emotions. Which means that this hormone helps us to react to these emotions in a better and quicker way.The chemical formula of adrenaline is C9H13NO3.This hormone contains something called adrenergic receptors. The adrenal gland not only secretes adrenaline,but also many hormones like aldosterone(steroid- regulation of salt and water which effects blood pressure hormone),cortisole (stress hormone)and noradrenaline( with adrenaline, these both incrwase the blood pressure and the heart rate). The glands are actually controlled by another gland named the pituitary gland. You might have heard in dramas when surgeons shout to give a dose of Epinepherine. Yes, that’s right, it’s only the an other name of adrenaline itself. Adrenaline is a hormone. It is released when we are only granted with two options, either fight, or run.
Photo By Leon Macapagal
- Why are they secreted?
What is the reason of the secretion of this hormone though? So the initial reason for adrenaline rush is,Suppose you are facing a wild animal, let it be a tiger. What possible options do you have? 1. Either run so hard that, keeping in mind to not leave any trails. 2. Tackle the tiger.
This situation is called fight or flee situation. Adrenaline triggers this response. When the fluid pumps through your brain, the reaction makes the following changes in your body. Your body sweats up as well, just one of the things adrenaline rush does:
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
i) Makes or triggers the blood vessel’s contraction and sort of makes it so that the blood vessels redirect themselves towards the muscle region.
ii) The blood vessels also reorientation itself towards the lungs and heart
iii) Naturally, this results in an increased heart rate.
iv) What is the purpose of our heart? To circulate blood, right? So when adrenaline pump increases your heart rate, it will also double your blood flow.
v)When adrenaline is released, the body’s pain sensory receptors also get decreased.
vi) Makes it so that, your awareness level increases.
vii) Your pupils get dilated and you have a better sense of vision
viii) Improves your memory.
Photo by Wojtek Pacześ from Pexels
Adrenaline makes us survive through life threatening situations, where we are supposed to make rapid and immediate decision and even that decision should be utterly perfect.
The adrenaline rush uses sugar, kind of like a fuel to run the body with these functions. But keep in mind, this only happens till there is the effect of adrenaline in your body. Research says that the effect can stay upto about 1 hour
- How does one experiences adrenalinal rush?
Your brain is classified into three parts. a) The thinking brain. b) The emotional brain. c)The action brain. Brain is a very interesting concept to study. Unfortunately though, for now we are only interested in the emotional brain .( aww, don’t worry, I’ll work up to let you know more about our brain in the future articles!) The emotional brain is known as amygdala. It is the only reason why you feel various emotions like guilt, happiness etc. ( Me: I hate you, amygdala for wrecking my thinking with all these complex emotions!!
Amygdala: Great! The feelings are mutual.
Me: Come here you little peice of- )
Anyways, the when you are in one of the strong emotions (with reference to the second paragraph of the article) ,the signals are sent to the amygdala, and amygdala transfers these signals to another part of the brain, called the hypothalamus ( commanding system or the action brain – communicates through the nervous system) signals the adrenal glands, making these glands release the hormones(adrenaline) into our blood flow. Many other changes occur in the body due to adrenaline.These ‘bodily changes’ make the movements of our body faster. According to a site, this process happens very fast.
- How is Adrenaline used as a medication
Epinephrine or adrenalin is another term for adrenaline. Epinephrine is injected into your body. The supplement works similar to the natural process. It is contained in a liquid form. The liquid is initially, to be injected into the muscles. The injection is used for allergic reaction, slow heart rate. Epinephrine is strictly to be injected as per needs. Any more or any less is extremely dangerous. Do not use Epinephrine is you do not have proper knowledge about it (seriously, don’t). But if Epinephrine is dangerous, as a medication, is our (constant) natural adrenaline rush dangerous? No…..right?
Excessive adrenaline rush is not good for your health. Therefore we are always advised to not take a lot of load on our heads at once. This results in complex emotions, adrenaline rushes and the process occurs. Thankfully though, our body is very smart. As fast as the adrenaline is secreted, it is also naturally deaminated by our body. But really, hold on right there,go somewhere where you can get fresh air, and BREATHE! You’ve done a great work until now!
Fact- The detailed understanding of these hormones is really complex. Infact, it has its own branch of science- Endocrinology