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Adrenaline Rushes/Surges


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Here is my experience of Adrenaline Surges...would appreciate your experiences too:

1. My adrenaline surges only happen in the middle of the night or wee hours of the a.m.

2. I get very tachy and then I can feel the adrenaline surging through my body, my feet sweat profusely and then a few minutes later my body shakes all over and my teeth someitmes chatter, even though I'm not cold.

3. The length of time this lasts can very from 15 mins. to up to an hour. After the episode I often do get cold.

4. Sometimes I also experience nausea, bad chest pain and numbness in my left arm during the tachycardia (yes, all the signs of a heart attack!!)

My question to those who also have adrenaline rushes...

What are your symptoms and when do you have them?

Can you identify what triggers these episodes?

Have you ever had a doctor explain them to you?

P.S. I think it was Persephone's post that said her doctor refers to these episodes as anoxic seizures. I've never heard of this but her doctor said the shaking /tremors were the body's way of getting blood to the brain. I am not sure if our adrenaline rushes are the same thing as these seizures. I don't feel like I'm having a true seizure when this happens.


Gena :unsure:

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I think adrenaline surges are different from seizures. I've got hyperadrenergic POTS, so pretty much: something sets me off, my HR goes up, BP goes up, shaking (but not seizing, it's more like shivering, which includes teeth chattering), growing very warm, clammy, sweaty, and then when it settles down eventually- 10 minutes- an hour or two, I also get cold.. lying down helps but doesn't stop the shaking for a while.

So- some things that set me off besides standing up:

noises (telephones, doorbells, alarms, something breaking, shouting, door slamming, etc.)

stress (i.e. nervousness, excitement, fear- like fighting with a good friend or parent, breaking up with someone or being broken up with, oral exams, someone thinking it's funny to lean over and tickle me when I've dozed off, horror movies- though I love them!, and anything very sad)

Umm those are the major ones, though sometimes bright flashing lights, crowds, and large groups do the trick, too. (Sitting in a pub with lots of friends with 10 conversations going on, I cannot handle- so many people probably think I'm antisocial!)

The only way it's been explained to me is that as part of the dysautonomia, when something upsets you, the hormones and neurotransmitters (specifically the catecholamines) get set off fighting their way around your body, so that's what causes the shaking.

Sound familiar?? :ph34r::blink::unsure:

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Hi Gena,

My adrenaline surges are not limited to any particular time. I get them sometimes off and on all day.

Most of the time it starts with chills and teeth chatters I feel pressure in my head, behind my eyes, my pulse starts to quicken and slowly gets faster until it peaks, usually in the 130/140's then slowly goes back. I keep chattering and have the chills even though I am not cold and I sweat also. I also get chest aches and pains, figuring that is from tightening muscles and I usually have to belch afterwards,,how strange is that!

A full blown episode usually lasts 45 minutes until my rate goes down then hovers in the 90's.

I don't have any definitive triggers but many times my worst episodes occur mid-cycle or the day of my period and linger for a day or two during. The off and on all day adrenaline rushes I have no idea what is up with them. My dr. has offered no explanation other than me being hypersensitive,hyperadrenergic, all in all no real clue.

When these episodes happen the betas are useless to me. I take a small klonopin so at least I don't feel everything.

Has your dr. offeredyou any explanation?

P.s. now that I read previous post I have to add that watching a movie, whether it be sad, drama, action can set me off also as well as being stuck in traffic

Edited by mom4cem
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Mine can happen anytime. Starts with this really full feeling in my throat and a warm rush to my neck, it actually will feel very warm, like I have a fever, then I feel kind of dizzy and sick, my hands and feet turn pure white and get very clammy and cold, and then I can literally feel my pressure going up. I have a hard time sitting still, like I need to stretch my arms and legs, the heebie jeebies we call them. Then I get angry. I'm not sure if it's caused physically by the rush, or by the fact I know I'm going to feel crummy for awhile, or a bit of both. It will usually last at least an hour and a half. My heart isn't always really tachy, but it pounds too hard and feels miserable. Nothing will get my feet warm. It will start to feel like it's letting up and then, wham, will surge again. I really hate that. As it releases however, my feet and hands get really hot and moist, just as unpleasant.

The other kind are when I suddenly get profound weakness or even paralysis. I really have no warning with these at all. They used to occur at any time, but since I've been on the K+ and eating a really low carb diet, they tend to only happen in the evening or middle of the night, like 3-4 am.

triggers are generally, noise, like a lot of different noises together, for instance, a store or the mall. Stress. and sometimes absolutely nothing. If something frightens me, I have a very exaggerated response. People around here are very careful not to creep up on me and stuff like that. My dog just got really sick and that set me off. I was sitting on the couch knitting the other night and wham. So who knows. Eating more than 100 calories at one sitting, or more than 10 carbs at a time. sure I left stuff out, morgan

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Mine seem to happen after an emotionally charged event. For example, an argument, really scary movie, or even something that pisses me off (without need for an argument) can give me a horrible adrenaline surge. I tach out, then start shaking uncontrollably, and get very cold.

It's been a real strain on my relationship because I simply cannot tolerate fights. Whenever my boyfrined and I are heading in the fight direction I cut it off. Somtimes we're able to resolve our differences calmly but more often, things go unsaid and bitterness begins to develop.

I wish there were some way to stop these surges. I feel like I have to turn myself into a robot to keep from having them :unsure: At least they seem to be common among us, which makes me feel a little better.

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morgan, your post sounds almost exactly like what i go thru when i start eating, this happens everytime, and makes me so miserable that i so dread eating, and eat so so little, but just wanted to say it was nice to read someone else giving such a close description of what i go thru!


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:D Like others who have posted, sudden noises, large meals, long journeys, caffeine, alcohol, and sitting in the sun too long are almost guaranteed to set me off. Stressful events do it also. I had to give a presentation yesterday and I thought people would be able to see my heart beating out of my chest. I left sweaty prints all over the lecturn and I felt decidedly woozy for the first ten minutes of my speech. I have hyperadrenergic POTS and this just adds to the normal anxiety anyone would feel under pressure situations like this. I hate it and I feel embarassed because I think people watching will notice think I am a total wuss. (especially as I am female and work in a male dominated field) But I've been public speaking for 20 years and it really doesn't faze me psychologically. It's just my body over-reacts to any little adrenalin surge.


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'But I've been public speaking for 20 years and it really doesn't faze me psychologically. It's just my body over-reacts to any little adrenalin surge.'

I can relate to this - I used to do weekly training sessions at work but once POTS set in I wouldnt be able to stand still and I would get all spaced out and jittery just from the normal nerves of having to talk to a large group of people. When i was really bad i couldnt even watch a scary movie - quite sad really... :D

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