Adrenaline (epinephrine) is a hormone your adrenal glands make to help you prepare for stressful or dangerous situations. Adrenaline rush is the name for the quick release of adrenaline into your bloodstream. This gets your body ready for a “fight or flight” response.
Adrenaline (epinephrine) is a hormone your adrenal glands send through your bloodstream. When you’re scared or stressed suddenly, adrenaline is quickly sent into your body. This is commonly known as an adrenaline rush because it happens so fast. You’ve probably heard of “fight or flight.” Adrenaline is what gets your body ready to fight or flee danger.
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If your adrenal glands produce too much adrenaline (epinephrine) or norepinephrine, it can cause high blood pressure from pheochromocytoma. This is a tumor a provider can remove in surgery. Just because you have high blood pressure, it doesn’t mean you have a tumor. They are rare. Your healthcare provider can do blood tests and imaging to check for it.
Symptoms of pheochromocytoma include:
Adrenaline serves a purpose by helping you react in a dangerous situation. But there are times when it’s not helpful to your body. Nicotine makes your body release adrenaline, which causes your heart to beat faster and your blood pressure to rise. High blood pressure is bad because it makes your heart work harder.
When anxiety causes panic attacks, your body releases adrenaline because it thinks you’re in danger. These attacks put your body under stress each time, making your heart work harder.
If fear, anxiety or panic attacks are making your body release adrenaline, it’s good to know how to fight back. Do something to feel calmer, such as:
If the methods outlined above don’t always help, schedule a visit with your healthcare provider. They can find ways to manage your anxiety and reduce your risk of panic attacks.
Adrenaline is produced in the adrenal glands, which release adrenaline into the body during times of stress or danger. It prepares your body to face a stressful “fight or flight” situation.
When adrenaline is released into your bloodstream:
Dangerous, adventure-type activities and extreme sports can cause an adrenaline rush.
You can also get an unplanned adrenaline rush from:
You have two adrenal glands. Each is just above one of your two kidneys. Your adrenal glands make the hormone adrenaline and send it into your bloodstream.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Adrenaline, a hormone your adrenal glands produce, has a purpose. It helps you face dangerous situations by causing temporary changes in your body. Your heartbeats and breathing get faster as part of the “fight or flight” response. This is normal when you’re in danger, but you should tell your healthcare provider if you have frequent adrenaline rushes that aren’t related to dangerous situations.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/19/2022.
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