If you are standing in a crosswalk and a truck nearly runs over you, this will frighten you and you will have an adrenaline surge. That is natural. When we are frightened, our body's natural response is to release a surge of adrenaline and cortisol, which are both hormones. When this happens, your blood pressure shoots up, your heart pounds and your energy level increases. Cortisol increases your blood sugar and also stems functions that aren't needed in a fight or flight situation. However, too much adrenaline and cortisol are detrimental to the body and to a person's mental health. If your adrenaline surges are occurring when you are not in a dangerous situation, or for no apparent reason at all, you may be experiencing panic attacks.
Adrenaline serves a very important purpose, according to Findthelight.net. A person may experience a surge of adrenaline when he is in a fearful situation because adrenaline is the hormone that responds to danger (the "fight or flight" syndrome) as well as to stimulants (caffeine, amphetamines) and to low blood sugar. An adrenaline rush, or surge, prepares the individual to take action. Our blood flow increases and muscles tense.
Anxiety attacks, as wretched as they are, are nothing more than the body's natural reaction to a surge of adrenaline. The surge can be so intense that it results in physical reactions that are uncomfortable and scary, such as a racing heart. A vicious cycle begins: An individual has a surge, her heart races, she thinks she is having a heart attack, panics and the symptoms get worse. Anyone who has experienced a panic attack, courtesy of an adrenaline rush, may think that she is dying or going crazy or will make an ass out of herself because she has to bolt out of the room. Fortunately, the body's natural calming mechanism, according to Findthelight.net, eventually kicks into gear and the panicky symptoms will pass. However, a three-minute panic attack can seem like it lasted for three hours.
When an individual experiences an adrenaline rush, he may well have a hot flash or experience the sensation of his body heating up. This is due to the blood rushing to the center of his body because of the increased heart action caused by the adrenaline rush. The body begins to sweat. The individual's hands and feet may feel cold and clammy because all of his blood has rushed to the center of his body.
Chest Pain and Difficulty Breathing
Chest pain can be caused by an adrenaline rush. The wall of the chest becomes tense and it is hard to breathe. Your lungs may actually hurt when you breathe in and out. Hyperventilation can occur if you are breathing too fast and, as a result, you get too much oxygen in your lungs and all of the carbon dioxide is pushed out.
One of the common symptoms of an anxiety attach is a racing heart. This is caused by the adrenaline rush. Your heart is contracting quickly, which is increasing your blood flow. Once in a while, your heart will take a breather, because it needs to compensate for all of the fast beats it is being required to make. When it does pause, that's what causes the thump, or palpitation, that you feel when you are missing a beat.