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Question About Adrenaline Surges.


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Hi everyone,

I have a question about adrenaline surges. I believe they have sent me to the ER 3 or 4 times in 27 months. The worst was the first time when I almost blacked out driving. Here is my question.

Does anyone feel the surges running down their legs and into their feet? The first ones that hit me I would swear started from my kidney area(adrenal glands) ran down my leg into my feet and my feet would begin to sweat and then I would have to hit the toilet. Lately I feel only light rushes mostly in my feet. I had some the other night that didn't bug me too much until they wouldn't stop, I got extremely lightheaded, and started shivering. I had my wife take my temp and it was 96.3 so I thought it might be a good time to visit the ER (everyone knows that feeling, driving home embarassed but happy it was nothing seirous) My potassium was slightly low at 3.3 but I had sweated (for like the first time in a while) doing some work at my mother's the day before.

Basically, I'm interested in seeing what people feel because when I ask Drs they say it has been described like that to them (and the whole parasympathetic surge thing also). It's strange because 99% of the time I just deal with them but the other times they just got worse and turned into a panic attack (though strangely I'm fairly composed during the ordeal). Thanks and take care.

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Sorry, I don't get them the same way as you do.

Mine I usually feel from the pit of my stomach, through my chest, my head gets tight and loopy and I start teeth chattering/shivering. The weak knees and running to the toilet all usually come in during or after the surge has ended. I do know if it sets of the panic, it seems everything and everywhere can and does kick in. :o Not pleasant. I too, have come up low in potassium at times. More so after a few bouts of surges.

I'm sure there are many different ways people feel them. I even sometimes think one can say that there weakest spot is where they notice it. For me, it's my stomach then the tightness in my esophagus/chest.

I've had them happen while driving too, it kept me from driving any great distance for quite a while because I was worried it would happen again.

I assume you have been worked up thoroughly and checked for pheo and other endocrine problems. I wish I had something more to offer other than support, but I don't. Hang in there. :lol:

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Mine usually starts with a sudden lightheaded/dizzy feeling, with pressure in my face and than my stomach quivers , my heart starts racing, sweat like crazy and I need to hit the bathroom immediately. My legs get very shaky/weak and then the chills hit. I haven't figured out exactly what to do yet either in how to prevent these, but beta blocker seems to help some and also an anti-anxiety seems to be helpful during those.

When you mention that it goes from your legs into your feet, it's funny how you say that because my husband kind of had that happen when he got the flu and right before he threw-up, he said something about this sensation he got that went from his legs down into his ankles immediately before , so apparently adrenaline can present it self that way even in healthy individuals - except we deal with it very frequently rather than just once a year with a stomach flu.

Take care,


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Thanks for the posts. I'm not really sure what the pheo work up would entail. I had an extensive workup April '06 that included Tilt, Autonomic testing,MRI, EMG, Nerve conduction and extensive blood work. Everything came back completely normal with exception of HR increase on tilt, excessive response to Valsalva and increased standing norephinephrine (870) decreased standing adrenaline (10<) (resting values were fine 157 and 13). All my nutritional values B12 B6 etc. were great. Fasting AM Cortisol was 16.6. Basically the diagnosis I got was:

The findings are most compatible with a central nervous system disturbance of cardiac and vasomotor control, with differential diagnosis including post-infectious, brainstem structural (seemed to be ruled out by MRI) and migrainous etiologies.

I have felt the surge in my chest also. Sometimes I feel like my heart stops, then I get a surge from my chest to my toes.

It's interesting the comment on your weakest spot. I have had more problems with my legs than anything. I definitely have blood pooling in my lower legs, they get a little swollen at my worst other times nothing. Since the er visit last week they feel weak and I was able to stand for up to 3-4.5 hours with little sitting over this summer. What a wonderful and strange disorder we have all aquired. ;)

The funny thing is I read on the forum and my wife and I are like wow and I only have a milder version. Sometimes it sure doesn't seem like it. Mom4cem, any tips on the driving? I'm usually okay driving around my city but the highway is my nemesis. I did it for a year before all this was made clear but I had another attack driving home from my EMG test with my dad on the Cleveland Innerbelt with nowhere to pullover so I basically said &^%$ it after that.

I really cant go on a beta blocker because my resting HR runs around 48 alot of the time (33 during sleep according to Holter) and my current doc an ANS nuerologist wont let me take Xanax again. From Oct. 05 - Mar. 06 1mg of Xanax xr a day worked absolute wonders. I drove, exercised lived like I had only a mild, annoying disorder. Again thank you all and have a great day.

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adrenaline surges *typically* hit me about 2-5am.. i will get waken up with sever gut pain.. and i will shake uncontrollably from the inside out.. and get the chill and be hot all at the same time.. i will get goosebumbs all of as well.. uhm i get nausea really really bad.. and severe diarhea.. some time vomitting...visual problems..

I will feel like i have electricity surging thru my body.. i generally feel it first .. the electricity feeling in my head.. its like it goes from ear to ear across the head.. then i can just feel the adrenaline surging thru my whole body..and i get bad body flushing i turn red red red..beat red...they last for several hours some times ..

i have a few differnt types of adrenaline surges.. some times i paralyze.. some times i faint laying down.. other time i get a whoel host of other symptoms to go along with the stuff above...(ie sensation of bee stinging..tight jaw..)

they are no picnic to deal with.. i hope that you can find something medication wise to help you with them..

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Mrs. Burschman

Dr. Chelimski specializes in ANS issues and I think alot of neurologists don't like using tranqs, even milder ones because of the addictive nature. I got off it once with no problems and never had to increase from a 1mg extended release for 6 months so I truly don't see the big deal. Some people get addicted to things (drugs) easily, I have never had that problem. Actually, I hate how has a country many people (not any of us!!!) rely too much on medication when education, diet and exercise can relieve many non-genetic issues (like mild Adult onset diabetes, borderline high BP, high cholesterol(non-genetic), childhood obesity). I struggled for months to even try the Xanax and finally my wife and parents urged me to try it. (Not to mention drug companies making 300,000 different drugs for impotence, High BP etc. which jacks up our prices and makes the lobbyists stronger than the voters but I wont get into that now) It sometimes causes problems for people who really need the meds like all of us, not to mention more dollars going into research for certain medical issues for lets say..... POTS and other ANS issues.

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Hmm. It seems like if it helps, who cares if you get "addicted"? You could say I'm addicted to Paxil. I can't stop taking it -- my ANS goes haywire. And my grandfather took phenobarbital for years and years and years for ANS issues and never had a problem.

But what do I know, I'm a patient, not a doctor! :)

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