The benefits and harms of adrenaline
Human emotions do not appear out of nowhere. Sadness and joy, fear and anger – they all have a biochemical component. The main actors in the theater of human emotions are hormones, and the most important of them is adrenaline.
Stress hormones: the effects of adrenaline
Even the most real brave men sometimes have to feel strong fear or experience shock. In a similar way, the body reacts to the appearance of danger.
The cause of the condition is a sharp increase in the content of adrenaline in the blood – one of the main hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Adrenaline is a neurotransmitter that is classified as a catecholamine.
Hormones of fear are necessary for people, because it is they who cause the right reactions to appear, which help to save life and health in emergency situations. The level of hormones rises sharply in the event of stressful, as well as borderline situations. For example, an increase in the production of adrenaline is preceded by anxiety, fear, physical pain.
The active action of adrenaline leads to a sharp decrease in the lumen of the blood vessels of a larger number of organs that are located in the peritoneal cavity. Less fear hormones provoke constriction of blood vessels that feed the musculoskeletal system.
But the vessels that deliver blood to the brain area, with an increase in the level of stress hormones, on the contrary, become wider.
Adrenaline is considered the strongest catabolic hormone that affects metabolic processes. It helps to increase the level of glucose, and also activates the metabolism in tissues. By acting on adrenoreceptors, which are supplied to the tissues of internal organs, in particular the liver, this hormone helps to enhance gluconeogenesis, and also promotes the activation of lipolysis (fat breakdown).
But the production of fat due to the influence of adrenaline slows down. In addition, the action of adrenaline almost always entails an increase in blood pressure.
An increase in blood levels of fear hormones
The release of adrenaline, as a rule, is accompanied by an increase in blood pressure, which makes it possible to increase blood flow to the brain, which significantly increases its activity.
Such changes help a person to quickly concentrate on the problem and find ways to solve it. In addition, the increased level of stress hormones contributes to the increase in heart rate and the entry of additional glucose into the blood from liver glycogen.
Changes in the body that occur due to the release of adrenaline provide it with additional energy. Therefore, even a tired person under the influence of a “stress” hormone feels a surge of strength and vigor.
It would seem that the release of adrenaline has a beneficial effect on the body, because it helps increase physical activity and stimulates brain activity. Under the influence of stress hormones, a person can perform such actions that he was not capable of before.
However, too long exposure to adrenaline can lead to exhaustion of the body due to the expenditure of too much energy on “extreme” tasks. Therefore, an increase in its level in the blood can be considered beneficial to the body only when this happens infrequently.
Benefits of adrenaline
The main useful property of adrenaline is that it enables a person at a certain moment to become bolder, stronger, faster and more resilient. Thus, this hormone helps a person find a way out of a difficult situation. In other words, adrenaline can be called an ambulance to the body, which appears when danger threatens it.
And small releases of adrenaline stimulate the production of endorphins and dopamine, which a person needs for a good mood. It also helps with cortisol, another stress hormone.
We can say that adrenaline is a hormone that, being released in moderate amounts, helps us survive the stress provoked by the action of cortisol, the production of which, unlike the first, a person practically does not notice.
Heart disease and adrenaline
People suffering from heart disease are advised to avoid stressful situations. It has to do with the effects of adrenaline. Its release gives too much load, which a sick heart cannot always withstand.
After the surge of adrenaline, another hormone, norepinephrine, begins to be produced, the action of which helps to reduce the overload of the body.
This explains the fact that already after a short time after the excited state, a significant slowdown in the functions of the body is observed. That is why a person soon after an excited state feels weakness throughout the body.
Excessive exposure to “adrenaline storms” can lead to depletion of the adrenal medulla, which in turn can lead to the development of pathologies such as acute adrenal insufficiency, a life-threatening condition.