What is adrenaline?

Adrenaline or also calledepinephrine, is a hormone synthesized by the body naturallythat belongs to the group of catecholamines(1), which alsofunctions as a neurotransmitter. This hormone is produced by the adrenal glands and is secreted into the bloodstream in stressful situations mainly. (2)

Note: Adrenaline is one of the neurotransmitters that alsointervenes in many metabolic functionsin the body and when secreted into the bloodstream, acts quickly in those organs that demand its presence.

On the other hand, the administration of adrenaline can also befrom synthetic manufacturein specialized laboratories and is combined with sodium chloride and water (in doses supervised by a doctor), to be used in hospital emergency roomsintravenously, for example, to treat patients withallergic reactionsor anaphylaxis.

What is adrenaline for?

Next, we will describe the situations in whichadrenaline intervenes in thebody:

1. Activates the body in alert situations

One of the effects of adrenaline is that it has the ability to place cognitive functions and the musculoskeletal apparatuson immediate alert, toface any dangerous situation.

In this sense, this hormone allows us to react more energetically and sometimes act more forcefully and faster than we are used to acting.

To highlight: Adrenaline, acetylcholine and glycineAreneurotransmitters with rapid excitatory action, but of short duration.

2. Connects nerve cells with each other

Another of the effects of the release of adrenaline in the body is that it neural communication stimulistiles, favoring the modulation of memory, for example, or it also activates the alert state of the brain . Glutamate has this same function of facilitating communication between neurons .

You should know: Some scientific articles describe the modulating effect of adrenaline on human memory. (3)

3. Increases the capacity of the respiratory system

One effect of the adrenaline hormone when it is present in the bloodstream is that it works at the level of the bronchi to relax the smooth muscle from which they are made.

Note: This facilitates the entry of a greater amount of air and therefore a better oxygenation of the cells of the organism.

4. Increases heart rate and dilates blood vessels

As with the respiratory rate, adrenaline increases the heart rate, especially in moments of alertness, and at the same time acts as a vasoconstrictor.

This leads to a temporary increase in blood pressure and increased blood flow, allowing better oxygenation of the muscles for an immediate response.

To highlight: In cases of heart attacks, bradycardia and ventricular fibrillation, synthetic adrenaline is used to stabilize cardiac function.

5. Enhances visual capacity

Other information about the effect of adrenaline is that it produces dilation of the pupils ( Mydriasis ) and a decrease in intraocular pressure, sharpening visual capacity in moments of alertness.

You should know: Adrenaline, as well as Norepinephrine , have as their main function to place our body on alert , according to the so-called fight or flight reaction.

6. Breaks down glycogen

In moments of emergency, the organism requires glycogen,which constitutes the immediate energy source for sudden reactions or responses. Adrenaline is involved in the breakdown of glycogen into simpler molecules such as glucose.

Note: In this process, glycogen is converted through a metabolic mechanism into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an energy molecule immediately used by the muscles.

7. Slows down bowel movement

Adrenaline decreases gastric and intestinal tone, motility, and secretion, and this occurs in moments of extreme emergency, where the energy available in the body is needed in the muscles.

To highlight: This hormone slows down digestion and even intestinal movement, since as we know this activity requires a lot of energy expenditure.

8. Stimulates the production of dopamine

Another relevant function of adrenaline is that it stimulates the production of one of The Happiness Hormones called dopamine. (4)

You should know: After having passed the situation that generates stress, adrenaline is progressively replaced in the body in the body by dopamine , which acts as an inhibitor of the alert action of adrenaline, leading the body to a state of relaxation.

Key Findings

  • Adrenaline is a hormone produced naturally by the body, although it can also be synthesized in laboratories.
  • Adrenaline belongs to the group of catecholamines and is also considered a neurotransmitter.
  • This hormone is produced by the adrenal glands and is secreted mainly in stressful situations.
  • Adrenaline maintains the individual’s alertness, preparing them for a flight or confrontation action.

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