Marla Ahlgrimm Discusses Adrenaline

Marla AhlgrimmHormones play a role in every aspect of our lives, says retired pharmacist and healthcare entrepreneur Marla Ahlgrimm. Contrary to popular belief, hormones do not just affect the reproductive system. In today’s brief question and answer session, Ahlgrimm discusses one hormone that may have kept our ancestors alive.

Q: What is adrenaline?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Adrenaline is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands that is released during stressful situations. It is the hormone that triggers the fight-or-flight response. Adrenaline is released into the bloodstream and sends impulses throughout the body to trigger certain reactions. Adrenaline, which is also called epinephrine, makes a person more alert, less able to feel pain, and able to run long distances even when injured.

Q: How long does adrenaline’s effect last?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Once adrenaline hits the bloodstream, it can cause an increased heart rate, constricted blood vessels, heavy breathing, and heart palpitations for up to an hour. Adrenaline essentially pumps a burst of energy into the body in the form of glucose. When that energy cannot be expelled via strenuous physical activity, a person may feel restless and irritable.

Q: Is adrenaline dangerous?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Adrenaline is vital to a person’s ability to survive. It helps women withstand the excruciating pain of labor and is how some mothers have been able to perform remarkable feats of strength to save their children. However, while adrenaline overproduction is rare, it can happen, which may lead to anxiety, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, and undesired weight loss.

Q: Does adrenaline cause insomnia?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Excessive adrenaline release can lead to insomnia, nervousness, and heart damage. This can happen when an individual is constantly put into a situation that triggers the release of adrenaline or when existing health issues, such as tumors on the adrenal glands, initiate adrenaline production without a stimulant.

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