Monday, November 2, 2009

Adrenalin - The Emergency Hormone

Have you ever felt the adrenaline rush? Adrenalin or Epinephrine is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands also known as supra-renal glands are endocrine glands lying on top of both the kidneys. The hormone plays a central role in preparing our body to sudden emergencies and manipulating stress.

Adrenalin Action:

Adrenaline is released into the blood in response to an emergency, anxiety, threat, exercise, or fear. It helps the brain to decide whether to fight or flight in such a situation. Epinephrine may have a suppressive effect on the immune system. The functions performed by adrenaline are

  • Adrenaline increases the rate, magnitude and the frequency of heart beat. Adrenaline increases the amount of sweating and increases blood pressure.

  • Adrenaline stimulates the constriction of the blood vessels feeding the kidneys, intestine, viscera and the skin. It causes dilation of blood vessels supplying skeletal and cardiac muscles.

  • Adrenaline relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract and brings peristalsis to a halt.

  • Adrenaline causes dilation of pupil, eases the bronchi and causes closure of sphincter muscles.

  • Adrenaline gives you goosebumps by making the muscles of hair follicles to contract. Adrenaline speeds up respiration and influences mental alertness.

  • Adrenaline stimulates the breakdown of glycogen to glucose to supply extra energy which involves excess oxygen intake and heat production.


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