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Adrenaline Rush - Symptoms, Causes, Effects, and How to Control

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Adrenaline Rush - Symptoms, Causes, Effects, and How to Control

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Adrenaline is a hormone responsible for the fight-or-flight response. It is also a neurotransmitter and medicine. It is also called Epinephrine.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Makwana Tanvi Ghanshyambhai

Published At May 25, 2019
Reviewed AtAugust 1, 2023

What Is Adrenaline?

Adrenaline is a hormone responsible for fight or flight response. It is also a neurotransmitter and medicine. It is also called as Epinephrine and is produced by the medulla of the adrenal glands that are situated above the kidneys and during any situation that creates stress, danger, or excitement, this hormone is secreted into the bloodstream that brings the required immediate reaction from the body (other systems).

It causes fast heartbeat, more blood flow to brain and muscles, relaxes the airway and increases usage of sugar as an energy source.

What Is Adrenaline Rush?

As mentioned, as soon as the body faces some stressful or threatening situation, adrenaline is released immediately and is called adrenaline rush. This occurs immediately and the reaction stops once the situation goes away.



Once the adrenaline rush occurs (energy boost), the following can be felt:

1. Increased heart rate due to raised pumping of the heart and more blood flow.

2. Raised senses.

3. Fast breathing, to obtain more oxygen.

4. Sweating.

5. More strength and performance.

6. Pupil dilation to get more light.

7. Decrease in pain sensation.

8. Nervous feeling.

Adrenaline rush during night time: This can be caused due to dreams.

What Are the Causes of Adrenaline Rush?

Though adrenaline production is a common process, some activities may lead to adrenaline rush and can be any of the following situations:

1. Adventure activity that is daring like para jumping.

2. Watching a horror movie.

3. Exams or any stressful situation or anxiety.

4. Any extremely exciting event.

5. Loud noises.

6. Bright lights.

7. High temperatures, etc.

Pathologic causes may include:

1. PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) like from combat or sexual assault and past memories may lead to adrenaline rush.

2. Any tumors on adrenal glands like pheochromocytoma or paraganglioma.


The initial emotional processing is done by the amygdala which then proceeds to the hypothalamus and finally from there to adrenal medulla that releases the hormone adrenaline, and the required action occurs and the symptoms can be observed.

After Effects of AR:

The effect of adrenaline can be there up to one hour after AR in the body. Once the adrenaline rush is over, then the body comes back to normal and during this, there can be a drop in sugar level that may lead to shaking in hands and weakness in legs.

Along with this, there can be sweating, feeling of light-headedness and temperature changes.

How to Stop or Control AR?


Though it is a defense mechanism and can give a good feeling, getting AR for a prolonged time may lead to some pathological conditions in time like increasing blood pressure, affecting blood vessels, even raises the risk of heart attacks or stroke. Also, it might lead to weight gain, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, etc.

Hence to control AR, try doing the following:

1. Yoga with deep breathing exercises.

2. Meditation.

3. Deep breathing exercises.

4. A healthy balanced diet.

5. Limited coffee and alcohol intake.

6. Avoid bright lights, mobiles, TV, etc., before sleeping.

7. Proper sleep.


In case of stress or anxiety for long periods of time that disturbs the sleep cycle, one should consult a doctor. Similarly, if there is any tumor or PTSD, it is advisable to seek medical attention. Adrenaline rush is something great to feel but in excess, it can be dangerous too. Hence, it is advisable to seek medical guidance to get details about the same. Through online medical platforms, the patients can consult a physician right from their home and get guided about all the details that they require about any medical condition.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the causes of an adrenaline rush?

An adrenaline rush happens in a very stressful situation or due to anxiety. Participating in adventurous sports like bungee jumping, para-gliding, para-sailing, scuba diving, etc., causes a sudden increase in the secretion of adrenaline.


How to stop an adrenaline rush?

You might need to do meditation and a few breathing exercises. Talking to friends and neighbors will help you become more socially healthy. If anxiety is persisting, you might need the help of a psychotherapist.


What happens when you have an adrenaline rush?

An adrenaline rush causes an increase in heart rate and increased blood flow to the muscles, causing it to shake and tremor. A rapid increase in energy can also be felt due to the excitement.


Are adrenaline rushes good for you?

Yes, adrenaline rushes can be your good friend. It helps you increase your strength and performance due to high levels of adrenaline. It increases your pain resistance and boosts your level of immunity since the body’s fight and flight response is enhanced.


How do you reduce the levels of cortisol and adrenaline?

A balanced lifestyle should be maintained to regulate the levels of cortisol. An adequate amount of food and sleep is required. Exercises and meditation practices will keep you get relaxed. Playing a sport or walking with your pet are other additional soothing and fun things to do.


How do I activate my adrenaline rush?

Adrenaline rush will be activated when you try something new. Try introducing yourself to a stranger, enrolling for adventure activities like surfing, rafting, sky diving, etc., taking a cold shower (ice-bucket challenge), running at your maximum speed, singing karaoke, and giving a motivational speech in public. Midnight horror movies can help you pump your adrenaline also.


Does adrenaline keep you awake?

Yes, an increased adrenaline activity will keep you awake. A rush in the blood flow will enable a person to remain active. The adrenaline rush can happen at night too when one’s mind is full of thoughts and anxiety.


How do you know if you have adrenal problems?

High blood pressure and high sugar levels will be noted. A weakness of muscles and bones will be seen. The appearance of reddish-blue streaks in the abdomen is an indicative sign.


Why do I feel tired after an adrenaline rush?

You feel tired because your heart has pumped really hard to cope up with the stress. After the coping up strategy is over, there will be a decline in your adrenaline. Too much sweating and tiredness will be seen after there is a decline in the hormone.


How long does it take for an adrenaline rush to wear off?

It might take up to an hour for the effects of adrenaline to wear off after an adrenaline rush.
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Dr. Makwana Tanvi Ghanshyambhai
Dr. Makwana Tanvi Ghanshyambhai



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