Adrenaline is also called epinephrine and it is one of the most important hormones in your body. It comes in your time of need when you are highly stressed and causes your brain to think faster, your heart to beat faster, your lungs to take in more air and your liver to convert more glycogen to sugar. The end result is enough energy for all the cells in your major organs and muscles to initiate fight or flight which is what has kept humanity alive through the years. Adrenaline also causes your palms to sweat when you need to speak on stage and sometimes, in extreme fright, you might find yourself peeing which is unpleasant. The truth remains that epinephrine is a lifeline you can’t live without and here are the top 10 interesting facts about it.
It can be used to restart the heart
You have probably seen it in the movies where a person suffering sudden cardiac arrest is given a shot of epinephrine and they wake up. It is true that Adrenaline can help resuscitate a person suffering cardiac arrest but it is not an advisable first cause of action. Adrenaline causes blood vessels to shrink denying your small blood vessels in the brain from getting sufficient oxygen which increases your chances of brain damage. It is therefore better to restart with a defibrillator than to use an adrenaline shot is you are to keep a patient’s brain intact.
Adrenaline doesn’t really stop you from feeling pain
Many publications claim that adrenaline helps a person’s brain to focus on self-preservation and forget about their pain. While it is true that you may not notice slight injuries when in a flight or fight state, your brain never stops to remind you of the injury even while your body is full of adrenaline. With lots of epinephrine in your body, your brain will concentrate on fight or flight though and that is why you won’t attend to your pain until after the immediate danger or excitement perceived by your brain is over. It is just a distraction that allows you to focus on what is more important in the moment.
It causes you to see better
Adrenaline is a funny hormone that causes the right muscles to contract involuntarily at just the right moment. When it comes to your eyes, it is your iris muscles which contract causing your pupils to enlarge which subsequently gives your eyes a clearer angle of view. That allows you to see more clearly allowing you to run past obstacles or express your excitement better.
Shortage of adrenaline causes depression
Most doctors worry about excessive levels of adrenaline being able to ruin your heart but insufficient adrenaline kills more people than the former. While it rarely occur naturally, the use of certain medications such as opiates, painkillers and other drugs can cause your body to produce extremely less adrenaline. The result of adrenaline insufficiency is depression, anxiety and cognitive impairment which can be tragic if not diagnosed and treated early. You should therefore not worry too much about having too much adrenaline.
Adrenaline is good for your brain and memory
It is true that many people act a little insane when adrenaline is involved but that little hormone actually helps keep people sane. An adrenaline rush causes you to think faster and make decisions under pressure which helps your brain adapt to working under stress. The longer adrenaline stays in your body, the sharper your mind stays and so does your brain cells. Your brain cells learn and retain the activeness needed to navigate each stressful situation which helps you develop a sharp mind as your memory also develops better retention.
Adrenaline can cause you to have superhuman powers
If you ever jumped a fence while being chased by fierce dogs, you may discover that you could never do it again when the dogs are not in the picture. Adrenaline focuses all of your body’s resources on your vital muscles and organs that you need to get through a situation. That focus and energy is what allows people to jump over cars and even tackle polar bears because every bit of energy in their bodies is focused on that task. The conditions that your body creates under adrenaline are not ideal for your every day life and therefore you can’t pull off similar miracles in your daily life.
It can last up to 60 minutes
Just because you have exited your stressful situation, it doesn’t mean that your adrenaline evaporates. After skydiving or bungee jumping, your body retains that hormone which means you can exercise for longer right after escaping a group of fierce dogs because you still have lots of adrenaline in your body. The hormone can continue flowing in your body for up to one hour after being released which means you can tap into it and do other important tasks such as working out.
It helps improve your immunity
Adrenaline helps treat lots of conditions, but its concentration also affects how your white blood cells deal with diseases. Research showed that adrenaline helped T Cells in mice act quicker against foreign bodies which is vital in preventing disease. That could explain why people suffering from anxiety and depression also have lower immunity.
It is actually good for the heart in moderation
Excessive adrenaline will cause your heart to beat quickly putting stress on your cardiac muscles. With time, being exposed to continuous stress that causes adrenaline surges will cause your blood pressure to increase and also increase your chances of getting a stroke. Stress is unavoidable and your body can only adapt to stressful conditions which is why having moderate surges every now and them helps your cardiac muscles to adapt and your blood pressure to stabilize.
It helps stop allergic reactions
Epinephrine is a common ingredient in antiallergic medication thanks to the power of adrenaline to cause a rush of oxygenated blood into your muscles. Adrenaline causes you to breathe in more oxygen, your heart to beat faster and your major blood vessels to move blood faster. This helps your muscles to stop constricting and your breathing to normalize when you are suffering a reaction which often cures the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Do you know of any other facts about Adrenaline? If you do why not tell us about them in the comments below.