What are the functions of adrenaline hormones

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adrenaline (Epinephrine) is a hormone that is formed in the adrenal glands and is increasingly released into the blood during stress. It mobilizes the body's energy reserves and increases motivation. The heart beats faster, the blood pressure rises. However, some tumors can produce too much adrenaline and cause dangerous high blood pressure. Read more about adrenaline!

What is adrenaline

Adrenaline is an important hormone that is formed in the adrenal glands and is increasingly released during stress. In threatening situations, adrenaline can ensure survival by setting the body to "fight" or "flight". The effect of adrenaline redistributes all of the blood in the body: more blood flows into the muscles of the musculoskeletal system and into the lungs and less into the digestive organs. The latter inhibits the digestive processes.

Adrenaline ensures a faster heartbeat, higher blood pressure, dilated pupils and increased sweat production. Sugar is released from the liver so that it is more quickly available to the muscles. Overall, the adrenaline effect in the body is very diverse. However, all changes ensure that people are more productive for some time and can thus face a dangerous situation.

When is adrenaline determined in the blood?

Adrenaline increases blood pressure. If there is suspicion that persistent high blood pressure is caused by too much adrenaline in the blood, the concentration of the hormone must be checked.

The adrenaline concentration can be determined in the blood plasma and via a breakdown product (vanillin-mandelic acid) in the 24-hour urine collection. The patient must lie still for 30 minutes before and during the blood draw. Just standing for a short time increases the adrenaline by 50 to 100 percent. The cannula should be inserted into the vein about 30 minutes before the actual blood sample is drawn. An increased adrenaline level, which was caused by the brief pain when the blood sample was taken, can drop again.

Adrenaline - blood counts

When is the adrenaline level low?

Too low an adrenaline concentration is medically insignificant.

When is the adrenaline level increased?

Too much adrenaline in the blood is found especially in an adrenaline-producing tumor (pheochromocytoma). Other factors that can lead to high adrenaline levels include:

  • stress
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • certain drugs (such as L-dopa, tetracyclines, theophylline, and MAOIs)
  • alcohol
  • coffee

Increased adrenaline in the blood: what to do?

If the adrenaline level is elevated, the doctor will conduct further tests to clarify the cause. Most often, the concentration of adrenaline is determined several times, since the blood level is subject to strong fluctuations. As soon as the cause is known, appropriate countermeasures can be initiated. If about the increased adrenalineLevel is caused by a pheochromocytoma, surgery is needed to remove the tumor.

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