ADRENALINE, CORTISOL & NOREPINEPHRINE CAN CHANGE BLOOD PRESSURE
Adrenaline, Epinephrine, Cortisol & Norepinephrine are all stress hormones that are needed for carrying out different functions to your body. It’s when things go wrong, and under certain circumstances, hormone levels can cause many problems to your body. More about each hormone is explained below.
The Adrenal Medulla
The Adrenal Medulla which releases hormones from the adrenal glands, located on top of each kidney as illustrated here. One of the hormones released is adrenaline, also known as epinephrine is also responsible for regulating your blood pressure, especially when your body is placed under emotional stress, which is often termed as the ‘Fight or Flight Response’.
There are many situations that can cause adrenaline to be secreted into our bloodstream, such as anger, being physically attacked that could be life threatening, a car accident, stress in the home, workplace and more.
For interest only
There is a part of the brain also referred to as the “Medulla” which is in the lower part of the brainstem. The brain stem is the interface between the brain and the spinal cord.
The medulla contains the ‘Autonomic Nervous System’ which is responsible for regulating involuntary bodily function, such as, breathing, your heartbeat, hunger, thirst, digestive process, and other functions, life is impossible without the medulla. This illustration shows the position of the brainstem that connects the brain to the spinal cord.
Once adrenaline gets into your bloodstream it makes changes to your bodily functions, one of the changes is to the Alpha receptors located on your arteries. The function of the Alpha receptor is to make changes to the walls of your arteries, however, when adrenaline is in your bloodstream, the alpha receptors constrict your arteries causing your blood pressure to rise quickly which increases the blood flow to and from the heart.
Doctors use a drug to manage the rise in blood pressure explained above, these are called “Alpha Blockers” as you may guess these drugs are designed to stop the arteries constricting. Listed below are some of the drugs that are Alpha Blockers.
The drugs mentioned below are prescribed by Doctors to treat high blood pressure, as mentioned, these drugs are a class of medication called alpha blockers. These drugs relax the walls of arteries, allowing blood to pass more freely and in turn, lower blood pressure.
Common names for Alpha Blockers are:
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The illustration here uses diameter ‘A’ to illustrate the size of a healthy artery and, without any stimulation the artery remains the same during the day and night, however when Alpha Receptors which are located on the wall of the artery detect adrenaline, they reduce (constrict) the artery to a measurement illustrated by ‘B’ making it harder for blood to flow, this in turn increases blood pressure.
However, the arteries supplying blood to your skeletal muscles have Beta 2 receptors, when adrenaline is detected they dilate (open wider) substantially increasing measurement ‘A’, allowing more oxygenated blood to flow, the extra flow of rich oxygenated blood pumps up the muscles, making you stronger and allowing you to defend yourself or run away from danger.
It’s well documented that adrenaline can give people super powers...there was an accident which trapped a boy under a car, a person following, saw the boy trapped, got out of his car and without thinking, started to lift the car, allowing the boy to be pulled out. The ability to lift these weights is the result of adrenaline in the bloodstream, providing extra blood and oxygen to the muscles. On this occasion, the guy was very fit, went to the gym, could lift around 400 pounds by comparison the world’s strongest man competition in 2018, was won by Hafthor Bjornson lifting 472 Kilograms, that’s 1040 pound. This is a “New World Record Raw Deadlift". The car, which the guy lifted off the injured boy was an Austin Mini which weighs around 2700 pounds, albeit he lifted just one corner. Under normal circumstances that would not be possible.
Super Human Feats
These Super Human feats of strength have not been recognised by medical science, understanding all medical matters are carried out under strict conditions before any endorsement can be made. All these amazing feats of strength take place in less than a minute, making scientific data impossible.
We also have Beta 1 receptors which are located in your heart, when stimulated by adrenaline they increase the heartrate, also increasing the strength of your hearts contraction and contractility.
Next, we have Beta 2 receptors that are located within the bronchiole, this is the passageway that takes air from your mouth to the lungs, the Beta 2 receptors make the passageway wider, allowing more air into the lungs.
Adrenaline during a planned operation
In different situations during a planned operation, when the patient is under anaesthetic, doctors use adrenaline to purposely increase blood pressure and the heart rate, also makes the heart stronger by increasing the hearts contractility, also opening the passageways to the lungs and increasing blood supply to the skeletal muscles.
The last thing in this section to mention is sugar metabolism, when adrenaline enters the bloodstream it also raises blood sugar, this in turn increases energy and strength. You wouldn’t have the same energy if your blood sugar is low.
Adrenaline during a planned operation
Cortisol is a stress hormone; this hormone is released from the adrenal glands which are located on the top of each kidney. Its primary function is to control blood sugar, burn visceral and subcutaneous fat and protein. Cortisol also has an effect on blood pressure. (There will be more about visceral fat and subcutaneous fat in the members section later this year regarding obesity)
Unlike adrenaline which reacts almost immediately you become stressed, cortisol takes a few moments before cortisol levels rise and you feel the effects that help you manage stressful situations.
The reason for the delay in releasing cortisol is due to the pathway involving four different sections of the body. When a person is in a state of fear, stress, intense emotions, it’s the “Amygdala” in the temporal lobe, located at the bottom of the brain senses somethings wrong, (Fear Etc.) and sends a message to the “Hypothalamus” located near the amygdala, which has important function including the regulation of the bodies temperature, The message from the amygdala prompts the hypothalamus to release corticotrophin a hormone, this hormone prompts the pituitary gland, also located at the base of the brain to release another hormone called adrenocorticotropic which prompts the adrenal glands on top of each kidney to release cortisol.
The objective of this website
The objective of this website is to provide information explaining how important it is to keep a healthy body. Apart from the production of cortisol ultimately from the adrenal glands, the amygdala, hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands also carry out many functions to ensure our bodies remain healthy. For those interested, if you hover over any of the above highlighted words, it will provide more information.
The elevated levels of cortisol in the blood stream are there to help the body cope with fear, danger, and survival. Provided action is taken by the person to combat the fear etc. the cortisol level in the bloodstream returns to normal.
However, when stress occurs daily, the levels of cortisol start to build up, especially if the person leads a sedentary life, it’s the continuous high levels of cortisol that wrecks the body, causing many problems, some of the side effects are listed below.
- High Blood Pressure
- Weight gain around the abdomen
- Become depressed
- Osteoporosis (Bone Loss) this may cause fractures
- Become irritable
- A red flushed face
- Bruise easily
- Feel severely weak and fatigued
What Is Norepinephrine?
Norepinephrine, also known as Noradrenaline? It’s another stress hormone released by the sympathetic nervous system, which is also part of the autonomic nervous system, in simple terms, both these systems in the brain ultimately cause hormones to be released by the adrenal glands to get the body ready to respond to threats, often referred to as “Fight or Flight” response. The release of this hormone is responsible for your heart rate to increase and have sweaty palms if your body senses danger. The side effects are similar to other stress hormones detailed above, adrenaline and cortisol, some are detailed below.
Norepinephrine is also used as a medicine, one condition is “Hypotension”. This is when a patient’s blood pressure has dropped to dangerously low life-threatening levels. Doctors inject norepinephrine into the patient’s vein, this causes blood vessels (arteries) to constrict (narrow) which increases blood pressure. Norepinephrine in this scenario is a “Life Saver” however, when people’s blood pressure is already high, norepinephrine can raise blood pressure even higher to possible dangerous, life threatening levels.
- Again, blood pressure increases
- Your heart rate increases
- In turn you breathe faster
- Your levels of blood sugar increase
- Blood supply to skeletal muscles is increased
- The pupils in the eyes widen