Anxiety Juice: Adrenaline

Anxiety Juice Factory

So, when you feel an episode of anxiety and panic overtaking you, what exactly is going on inside your body?

Most of the symptoms that I used to complain about the most were a racing heart rate, uncontrolled breathing, sweating, and the feeling that I wanted to bolt down the street running (FEAR).

Sometimes when we are overwhelmed by stress and anxiety our bodies react by releasing a chemical called adrenaline, or what I call ‘anxiety juice.’

You can think of adrenaline as the fuel behind a lot of the symptoms and sensations that you endure.

Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is a hormone and neurotransmitter that activates the fight or flight mechanism in your brain and body.

The flight or fight mechanism is turned on when your brain registers danger or a high stress situation. It’s basically a survival tool that all animals have.

Once your brain receives a message that your in trouble, adrenaline is pumped into your bloodstream and causes your heart rate to increase (increased oxygen), dilates pupils (for better vision), increases sweat production (keeps you cool in case you need to run), suppresses immune system (not needed in danger situations) and creates a general (but awful) feeling of fear.

This reaction is supposed to help you survive a potentially life threatening situation, but 99% of the time your reaction is a false alarm and even though you feel like your ready for action, there is nothing going on.

The anxiety juice is kept in adrenal glands (see the above image) that sit on top of the kidneys. All this anxiety juice production is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, which help to control our bodies movements and control anxiety juice production (and associated organs).

When we are racked by stress and anxiety, which can be caused by either a chemical imbalance in the brain, heredity, or just high levels of stress, we lose the balance between the two systems and this can lead to the intensification of the bodies normal functions.

When we are in balance we normally don’t feel the heart beating or the speed and rhythm of breathing. But when we are anxious or highly stressed the body produces and releases anxiety juice which excites your organs and causes you to be fully aware of your bodies normal functions.

This can of course freak you out and make you think your dying or that something serious is happening.

The truth is that this pattern of fear, anxiety juice, anxiety/panic is always the same. The body will always create the same type of sensations and these sensations will not harm you.

Of course, you want to get checked by a medical doctor to make sure you don’t have any underlying conditions.

But once you have been reassured by a medical professional, then be confident that this anxiety juice and the things it makes you feel will not kill or harm you.

I know this is hard to accept, but you have to know that this is your body and mind playing tricks on you.

I will expand on the best ways to cope with anxiety in other posts and will introduce you to natural anxiety remedies that can be used to cope and even eliminate this hated state of mind.


  1. Marco says

    Thank you for your words Gaby,it is nice to feel you are being listened to.
    I agree with what you say,i do feel incredibly sensitive to foods and have been looking at addressing that.
    I have in fact,kicked out caffeinated coffee for over a month and I think it’s made me feel better. I’m never taking drugs ever agin,but i fear all the skunk i smoked in my teens may have permanently made me feel like this,I hope not.
    I will look into Beta Blockers but I’m going to carry on with my zero caffeine and hopefully soon zero sugar diet. The Cigarettes will have to be addressed at some point too! I’d recommend all to give it a go!!
    All the best,

  2. Jen says

    I started getting night panic attacks about 5 years ago. It started with a stressful job and then spiralled out of control. I had a baby in Jan 2011 and my panic attacks went into overdrive all night. I lost 30lbs in two weeks, because I couldn’t eat or sleep due to my fear of my nighttime attacks. I went on Zoloft in March. In April I saw an ND/MD and she made me realize that my panic attacks were completely caused by my stomach signaling my brain. I have IBS. I also used to eat terrible and put all sorts of unhealthy things in my body. My job was stressful on top of all this, so when I got home and tried to relax from the stress of the day my adrenals would go into overdrive before bed and cause my night attacks. So to cure my attacks I first had to learn and BELIEVE that the attacks were an incorrect signal my body was sending out and that I could change it and make it stop. Getting over the fear of the attacks was my biggest hurdle, that and learning to eat well. Once I got past the fear the attacks happened less and less and now I don’t have them anymore. I still have a little nighttime anxiety some evenings, but nothing like I used to have and I don’t wake up in a panic. It is less and less anxiety each day. Oh and i’m off my Zoloft as of a month ago and I feel good. I’m in the process of cutting out gluten and dairy for a few months and i’ve started eating more fresh fruits & veggies. The Linden Method and Panic Away helped me get past my fear. I still use some of their tricks to calm myself down. My ND helped me realize it was my stomach signaling my brain to panic and now it is just up to me to eat right and exercise to reduce stress and cortisol in the evenings. Stress raises cortisol in your body. If it gets elevated at night, you’ll have panic attacks while you sleep. There is a product called Cortisol Manager that helped me with the night attacks too in the beginning. I took it right when I got home from work to reduce the cortisol that was elevated at bedtime. I hope this helps someone. It took me years to figure this all out and I wished I would have known sooner.

  3. Tim says

    In my case there was little doubt what sent me in into an anxiety state. I was working full-time, going to grad school at night, consuming high amounts of caffeine to stay awake to do homework, bad diet. not working out, etc….. Not to mention I had the boss from h-ll during that period which significantly added stress and fear to my life. Then, one night while sitting in class it all came crashing down. My body was shaking uncontrollably. It was something that I had never felt before. I was bewildered beyond belief spending countless hours researching and worrying about my condition. This was in June 2007. I was put on 50mg of zoloft for 30 months. I worked with my Dr. to ween myself off of zoloft. In January 2010 I was drug free.

    I credit the zoloft for alleviating the symptoms, but more importantly I credit Claire Weekes for sending me on a permanent path to recovery. And this is what so many of us seek. I had never heard of Claire Weekes until two years into my illness. Purchasing her book will be the best $9 I will ever spend in my life. Everything she mentioned in her book made so much sense. In my case, I actually put on a few pounds instead of losing weight as she indicates in her book. My abdominal area was little heavier. And I am usually a very fit person. I think the weight gain had more to do with physical and chemical changes brought on by the stress response than it did with any medication I took.

    Som many of us in this anxiety state feel as if we are the only one feeling what we are feeling. But not so. It took me two years to find the book that would explain everything I needed to know. I was also shown how many people truly suffer from oversensitized and exaggereated nerves. We are not alone and you can and will recover once you understand the path to recovery!

  4. Dorothy A Stolte says

    I am trying to find out how much adrenaline/epinephrine your body releases when you have a bad scare. In others words, the MAXIMUM amount that the body could release. Someone told me 2 QUARTS. I found that unbelievable – but I also found out that no one is saying anything about the quantity that is released. I have MS and when I am scared, or something out of the ordinary happens suddenly, i.e., car almost hitting him, my adrenaline rush hits me from head to foot, instantly, and it is very painful – albeit for only a short time, especially if I get out of the car, (or situation), I walk for awhile and it helps. Do you know how much the body realeases in fight/flight response? I understand that the “fight” response will increase the amount of epinephrine where walking away lowers it. Sorry I don’t know much about it, somehow I feel like I should know these things – thanks for your help and taking the time to do this. Best Regards, Dorothy Stolte

  5. Dorothy A Stolte says

    I am trying to find out how much adrenaline your body releases during a “fight/flight” response. Someone told me 2 quarts – that seems like a lot to me . . . could this be right?
    Thanks, Dorothy Stolte

  6. Melo says

    Hi all, I am also a sufferer of this adrenaline/anxiety/whatever the heck this is crap also.

    I had suffered years ago with my hubby’s first deployment, and it lasted for 3-4years. I did not have any medicine to help me as I am prone to adverse or allergic reactions in even the most simplest of medications.
    Thankfully it just went away one day.

    I just had surgery back in November this past year, and a week after my surgery, I went to lay down to sleep and got this huge surge of adrenaline rushing through my body, kinda like I just drank a whole Starbucks!
    I got extremely cold, pretty much freezing, and felt like I was shaking inside. My muscles started twitching, it made me feel like I was going mad, and I could not sleep at all.

    I started researching natural ways to treat this, so I don’t have to suffer another 3-4 years with this.
    I picked up some valerian root capsules which I take twice a day, I also take Suntheanine a pure form of Ltheanine, 3-4 times a day, I also take melatonin at night to help me get some sleep.
    They help me to feel calm normally.
    However, last night, I did not sleep but maybe 3 hours, and I had to wake up early for an appointment. I rushed, so I did not take my supplements until after I got back home, and now I am still feeling the adrenaline/coldness 2 hrs after I took them.

    I am going to drink a couple of cups of whole flower Chamomile tea, and hopefully it will finish calming the adrenaline and warm me up.

    If anyone out there has any other herbal/vitamin supplement that helps calm the adrenaline, I am open to suggestions.

    My idea is to exhaust every natural/herbal/vitamin I can try before going on some chemical compounds, that will more than likely give me an adverse reaction at best.

    Thanks for listening 8)

  7. Mikel says

    I am not sure if what happens to me is related, but i like to share;
    I study & work all the time, & i get stressed alot when i get stuck with a job or study . For a while, I been under alot of stress , & i mean for a bout a year now !
    I start to feel my heart beating faster , then suddenly I get my head back in the game & i feel this energy boost !! Like if i was on drugs .
    Could it be that my stress is giving this power boost feeling after I get my head straight ! I just cant explain it !

    Thank you

  8. Vincent S says

    Hello all, I recently suffered from anxiety attacks from moving to my new job. The doctor gave me Ativan, but when I ran out, I went back to the doctor and he gave me Xanax and Zoloft. I asked the doctor during our visit, which he witnessed me having a panic attack/anxiety attack, if I could take B-Complex over the counter, he said yes. So I bought Super B-Complex from walmart and used it with great success. I know that I have a stress/anxiety chemical imbalance, (I had them when I was younger, and I did not seek help because I was scared of what people might think, but I know the imbalance can last years) so that means that this is not a sure-fire way to cure the chemical imbalance completely, but it does a hell of a job of getting rid of the anxiety especially in high-stress situations. I get out of bed in the mornings with little anxiety, yes it is still there, but not nearly as bad as before and never gets to the panic mode level where it used to be. I think it has to do with the fact that if we have a chemical imbalance (anxiety), that the body produces excess adrenaline hormone in regular stress situations, which also causes physiological symptoms, fast heartbeat, sweating, pounding chest, feeling delusional etc., so what B-complex does is regulate nervous system, at least control the symptoms of the chemical imbalance product at the source. When the body is stressed, it will drain the Vitamin B-complex, when this is drained, the body will go into a redundancy cycle, the up and down roller coaster associated with panic attacks. I take 1 pill in the mornings, and it usually works out well during the day, but if I know there will be a stressful situation during the day (work troubles, etc.) I will take 1 1/2 pills and it keeps my symptoms and anxiety in check. I researched the B-complex after refusing to take the dangerous Xanax pills and funky Zoloft pills. I do not and have not taken a tranquilizer or SSRI for months now, I only take Super B-Complex. Now, I know that if one suffers from depression, the B-complex vitamin may help with regulation of the stress hormone cortisol, but it probably will not eliminate the actual depression psychological symptoms. I know that you do not have to specifically buy Super B complex from walmart, but i think they sell it elsewhere as well.

  9. Karla says

    I have been dealing with anxiety for 5 years now. I’m a 26 year old mom and some days I just feel like I can’t take it. I had felt much better in the last two years, I had very few attacks but recently those attacks have came back. I started full time school in January and since that point my anxiety has taken over. My heart will pound so hard and I feel like it wont stop and I get scared and think I should go to the Er. I’m terrified that I have a serious heart problem. Today I have been dealing with off and on heart pounding all day. I have felt calm for the most part but my heArt is beating as if I’m not calm. It’ll beat normally then suddenly I’ll get a short burst of what feels like excitement but I’m not excited at all. Does that make sense? Other days I get thoughts of losing control or extreme fear of fainting or dying. My 5 year old is constantly bugging me and being loud and that makes me feel anxious. Anyone else get anxious when the tv or radio is too loud? When there’s too many people talking in one room? It bothers me a lot. I alSo get anxious during certain movies like hard core action flicks, they cause a panic attack and I don’t know why. So strange! I’m noticing increased anxiety when I eat sugar, is that normal? I’m a mess mentally. I refuse medication because I’m phobic of any types of medication. I’ll have an infection for a year or longer before I can convience myself to take an antibiotic. I am seeing a therapist once a week and I see another therapist at school once a week as well. Breathing techniques don’t always help. I have tried yoga and hypnosis as well but sometimes I freak out when I feel too calm. I’m tired of feeling like I’m running a marathon all the time. Body feels so drained from a panic attack I just want to sleep. My therapist said I’m carrying too many roles in my life. I’m a mom, a student, a daughter, a girlfriend, a soon to be ex wife, and well I think that’s it. My life is too stressful.

  10. steven says

    Hi everybody. I appreciate everyone’s comments–it’s helping me to understand what’s been going on with myself lately. I think. A few weeks ago I was asleep after a completely normal, relaxing day, when suddenly I shot straight up out of bed with my heart feeling like it was going to burst through my chest. It was difficult to breathe and I felt extremely scared that I was having a heart attack or something. And I felt like my sense of reality/consciousness was… I don’t know how to put it… fading, I guess. I called 911, the paramedics came and gave me oxygen–it was really intense! I couldn’t sit still. They took my blood pressure and measured my heart rate… both were very high, especially the former. We finally made it to the ER (it felt like forever to get there!)–and at this point, partly due to the oxygen I assume, I was somewhat calmer, though not out of the water. They did an EKG, which came out fine, apparently. A doctor finally came by and said he thought I was fine, that I probably just had a panic attack. They gave me a Valium and sent me home. But ever since then, I haven’t felt well and have had a few pretty major flare ups of the same sensations. Every day really, I feel nervous about it happening again. And to a greater or lesser extent, it hasn’t stopped. I’m worried that it may have caused heart damage, or that maybe it really is a heart issue, because when I was walking up some stairs a few days ago it started happening. And again today after I briefly jogged to catch the bus. I saw a doctor, and she has sent me to have blood work done. But I’m not sure I can keep waiting… I really feel like I need some help and I don’t know how to get it or who to talk to. My palpitations have been especially bad today. It’s been weird, because I don’t really feel like I have any major stress in my life right now. I don’t have abnormally obsessive thoughts or much psychological anxiety. So I don’t understand. I found this sight after doing some research and looking up why my body might be releasing adrenaline for no apparent reason. And, anyway, it is good to see that others are apparently coping, however successfully, with the same symptoms/issues that I am dealing with. All your advice is appreciated.

  11. Vincent S says

    @steven. Steven, I have been in your shoes exactly. After a visit to a very nice, understanding doctor, he prescribed me Xanax and Zoloft. I eventually titrated to 150MG and have been on it for about a month and a half and I feel 100x better. I feel normal again! I recommend setting up an appointment with a doctor a general practitioner too if you want, tell them your symptoms and they will give you an antidepressant like Zoloft and a benzodiazepine to cope with the early side effects of the SSRI. Do not listen to some people here, SSRI’s work! It takes about 3 weeks to fully work, but when it does, one day you will wake up and not feel anxious. The side effects are terrible at the first few weeks, they make your anxiety worse at first, BUT that is why doctors will usually prescribe something like Xanax or clonazepam to cope with the side effects. Don’t worry about it. I remember going into the clinic one time and my BP was 172/90 and my HR was 145. So, yes, I know what you are going through. 100%. Get help from the doctor soon! They will help and your mind will thank you for it! BTW, the panic attacks cannot hurt you, as type body needs a vehicle like a drug to push your body to its limit so no your heart is an amazing muscle and it will be absolutely 100% fine and your body will be fine. You just won’t feel like it. Schedule an appointment to see the Dr. then tell him your symptoms and they will help you. The blood test that they gave you is to check your thyroid for a disorder no big deal buddy. But the doctor will help you and when the antidepressant kicks in you will feel like a million bucks. Have a good day.

  12. Wilts says

    Has anyone ever had problems with breathing when sat down for long periods? My chest feels very tight when im sat down working and my breathing becomes very erratic and forced, almost as if i cant breathe normally as im trying too hard to breathe naturally. Its like a shallowness/shortness of breath and its makes every day tasks related to working at my desk very difficult to carry out.

    When im away from my desk, like when i go out for lunch my breathing returns to normal, but when i return from lunch it all starts to go wrong again. Its like a switch is flicked in my brain which causes my breathing to become erratic when i sit back down and return to my desk.

    This problem is effecting everyday activities which would be relaxing for normal people, like sitting when at cinema, sitting down reading a book, sitting down at work, and even sitting down watching tv at home. It is not linked to stressful situations as most of the activities mentioned are away from the work environment.

    It feels like i am never relaxed, my body is always fighting the anxiety and muscle tension, i can’t seem to ever switch my brain off from concentrating on breathing and as a results it nevers happens naturally.

    The more i practice breathing exercises, the worse it gets sometimes, deep breathing/meditation doesn’t seem to achieve anything.

    Exercise is the only release i seem to have, as my body is focused on moving and therefor doesn’t have much time think about this. Normally after exercising my breathing returns to normal for a few hours, sometimes for the remainder of the day, but when i get up for work the next day, the breathing issues return. Exercise only seems to provide a short term solution.

    Tasks where i am sat down and don’t have breathing issues include driving my car, eating food, writing emails. It seems that these are activities that allow my brain to switch off somewhat, maybe because my brain is preoccupied with the activity i am doing.

    As a result of these problems i now find myself avoiding doing enjoyable things like, going to cinema, reading books, watching tv for long periods.

    My increasing uncomfortableness is reflected in my constant agitated state. When im working at my desk i find it hard to hold both hands out in front of my as i always seem to need one hand free to move about and touch my stomach or head. i can’t sit in one position for too long, i am always shuffling in my chair, whether its sitting forward or leaning back. In fact sometimes i am overcome with a strong desire to leave the studio just to give my body a rest as getting up and walking about seems to calm my nerves. As before this is only a short term reprieve as when i return to sit down things will go back to normal.

    This all leaves me with a feeling desperation as it is effecting my performance at work, especially in terms of concentration levels. If i am performing well at work then other areas of my life feel good. Where i am not able to perform my job to the best of my ability, it then effects all aspects of my life and leaves me feeling desperate, frustrated, hopeless and despressed.

    I need to break the cycle but don’t know how. Nothing i have tried seems to work.

  13. Sandhya says


    Very informative. I am a 46 years old married & working mother of two. I walk (30-45 min) 5-6 times a week and also do light weight training for the upper body on alternate days to keep my obesity in check. I think I have anxiety issues, which is affecting my Blood Pressure on a daily basis, not to forget, I am also prone to the white coat effect every time I am being examined at my doctor’s. The problem is, the last few times I was checked at the hospital when I reported with flu or for a routine medical examination, the doctors/nurses have asked me whether I am on meds for BP and that I must do more tests and possibly start meds. And every time, a second reading after a half hr t 1 hr gap registers a lower BP.

    So, for the last 3 days, I have been carrying my wrist BP monitor with me to work. I find that my BP is elevated though the heart rate is usually between 70-80 the entire time that I am at work. While driving, both BP and heart rate sky rocket to crazy levels. But when I am home, BP is usually below 120/80 and heart rate sometimes in the 90s…(possibly I was doing some house work and suddenly remembered to take a measurement). The readings are consistent. Does it mean I am hypertensive? Can someone here advice me?

  14. Peter Tosh says

    EXERCISE! talk less. train your mind to forget the whirlwind and get into something else when your work is done. take a day off a week to rest and refuse to do anything other than chill. smoke herb if you hafta. Don’t get hooked on xanax, but it can work for temporary moments. as soon as you take it, your body will want more the next day. take deep breaths, and also remember that anxiety will pass eventually.

    I do however disagree with the author in that stress/anxiety is not going damage the body. I think stress, especially prolonged stress, is one of the most devastating things to a normal biorhythm. i think that prolonged and unchecked stress is sure to cause short and long term health problems. that is why exercise is so important. also, try taking short naps during the day.

  15. says

    Hey Peter,

    I think your tip on excercise is great! Please note however that I never said that stress can’t hurt you long term.

    The point of the article is to stress that anxiety symptoms, in the moment, will not harm you despite the belief that they might.

    Stress being harmful to you over time is a well known fact. Just wanted to clear that up.

  16. says

    Hi there! This article couldn’t be written much better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I’ll send this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a great read. I appreciate you for

  17. Harper says

    I wondered if other people get woozy head sensations? Mine come out of the blue and I have trouble sitting still as it feels like al this weird energy goes to my head and it makes me dizzy and I feel like I might pass out or have a seizure.

  18. carmilita says

    Hi everybody!

    I experience most of all of those symtoms too.
    I just woke up earlier today into a panic attack.
    I feel strange when my mind is quiet, so I begain to worry.
    I know it’s crazy but, I’m use to having a busy mind.
    I want so bad to create an emotinal and mental state of serenity.
    That’s why I ‘ve been researching to understand more about this and find healing holistically if possible? I need a miracle.
    I’ve been suffering since the age of 13, I am now 33.
    Of course with Gods’ help I am more stronger then I use to be, when dealing with anxiety and depression but, I desire to be completely healed from it. I lot of my stress comes from fear of , what if, im not good enough, what was done to me or why did i do that kind of thinking. I tried all kinds of meds on and off, symptoms were some what gone but, I was in fear of bad reactions due to allergy meds that I take also. I have tried chiropractice and it helped me out but, couldn’t afford to keep up with it. Like I said I need a miracle!!!

  19. skz says

    I’m 27 and started having anxiety attacks after going off cypro a year ago. At first it was slight. Now I can’t even leave my house without a constant adrenaline rush. I’ve tried setraline and xanax. They made it worse and gave me palpitations. I’m not taking t-vite multivitamin and L-thealine. It calms my brain down but I still get the adrinaline rush. I miss so many events in life cuz I can’t leave without freaking out. I’ll even bring food with me to calm my stomach in case it blood sugar related. It doesn’t help anymore. I just want to run away to a quiet place. Is there anyone with advice on how to stop the adrenaline rushes or ways to stop the anxiety. I’ve never had them before. Only for about 8 months. But it kills me. I’ve tried exercise and meditation and don’t want prescriptions. Anyone have advice or how I can deal with public again?

  20. Kseajo says

    I have been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks for 16 Yeats now. I’ve tried everything possible to get them better and I somewhat have. My doctor had to tell me “you are not dying from this. When u start having one, get up, do dishes, wall around and stay active while u tell yourself I’ve had many of these and I always end up fine”. Sometimes it takes it away but most all the time it at least makes it manageable. I see most are taking Zoloft or an upper or downer. I have had many doctors try many things until I found one who knew what he was talking about. He said I needed a mood leveler. Uppers and downers set u up to crash. A mood leveler in my words, makes me feel like my normal self again. I’m on 40mg Celexa that I take one time every morning and I have a pill for when I do have an attack and its ativan. Basically a muscle relaxer. As long as I don’t miss a dose of celexa I can go months with no attack. Try to tell yourself you’ve been through this before and laugh saying nice try body but I know this is going to pass also. Those not wanting meds for whatever reason is your choice but this medicine makes me a normal human being again so I will always praise how much its helped


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