MedHelp.org will cease operations on May 31, 2024. It has been our pleasure to join you on your health journey for the past 30 years. For more info, click here.
Avatar universal

Adrenaline causes stomach pain and panic attack symptoms

Whenever my body releases adrenaline, whether its from being startled, nervousness, excitement, or anything, I get a quick, sharp pain in my stomach/abdomen area that feels like an electric shock. I also begin to experiment panic attack symptoms like chest discomfort, and heart palpitations. The stomach area pain usually goes away within minutes, but sometimes it stays for a while, depending on how strong the adrenaline rush was.

Is this a brain issue, or a nervous system issue, and what could be causing the pain in my stomach area? Any suggestions on what this could be will help!
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
While I don’t have the stomach pain, I do have a panic reaction to adrenaline. It’s frustrating. Doctors don’t have answers so they are quick to push sedatives.  I’m exploring the connection between adrenaline and blood sugar as a clue to the anxiety response. People will be quick to label this anxiety and, in my 53 years experience with this phenomenon, it’s not that simple. I believe there are physiological factors at play, too.
Helpful - 1
Read what I said above.  How do you know your adrenaline is actually higher?  So there is a connection between cortisol, one part of adrenaline, emitted from the amygdyla in our primitive brain and the flight or fight reaction, but that reaction isn't necessarily an anxiety reaction.  It's a necessary survival mechanism that allows humans extra energy and awareness when danger is present or suspected to be present.  It can become connected to anxiety, but isn't always.  Most often when it is we're having a panic attack.  But you are suggesting your adrenaline is off, which would mean either your adrenal gland isn't working properly or your thyroid isn't working properly.  Both can be checked by a very thorough blood test, but only as they stand at the time you take the blood test.  Otherwise, you don't really know if your adrenaline is in fact higher, meaning the adrenal gland is producing excess amounts or not enough, both of which can cause anxiety, or you're feeling anxious and therefore assume your adrenaline is higher than it should be without actually measuring it or knowing it.  And then you run into the chicken and egg problem, which is, is the adrenal gland malfunctioning in some way and therefore causing anxiety or is your anxiety causing the uptick in adrenaline?  Everything we feel is physiological.  Our brains are physiological parts of our body.  The question isn't whether anxiety is an illness or not but how best to fix it if it gets out of hand.  We don't actually know how to do that, but therapy and relaxation techniques and medication do help many to stop thinking a certain way and if we stop thinking anxious thoughts we're not anxious anymore if we can do that, whereas if your thyroid is causing adrenal problems or if your adrenal gland is stressed somehow that would indeed be a physiological problem that you can measure and not a problem created by your thoughts.  
Avatar universal
You have no idea if your body is releasing adrenaline, right?  You aren't measuring it.  You're just assuming your body is releasing more than usual, but it actually might not be doing that at all.  The pain sounds like something akin to what we call butterflies some folks get when they get nervous.  You also would only know if you were having heart palps if you have been measured and diagnosed with that.  A lot of things feel like heart palps, but most aren't.  Anxious people have these kinds of sensations a lot.  Unless you've seen a medical professional and been diagnosed with a heart problem or an adrenal gland problem, you have no idea if you have those things.  What you do seem to have is an anxiety problem, and you deal with that first by seeing a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety.  If you get panic attacks, you're going to experience a lot of physical sensations along with it.  But the problem is the thoughts that cause the anxiety, again assuming there isn't an underlying physiological cause such as nutritional deficiencies, thyroid problems, blood sugar problems, etc.  And the brain and the nervous system are pretty much the same thing, as the brain controls most everything one way or the other.  So it's possible there's an underlying physiological cause, and it never hurts to get tested for all the things known to cause anxiety, but for most of us anxiety sufferers it's a mental issue in the way we think.  Therapists are your first stop in trying to deal with this.  
Helpful - 0
I don't need a  therapist cause I don't have any anxiety issues, it's just pain that I get in my abdomen caused by adrenaline rushes. I'm thinking it may be an autonomic nervous system issue.
Hate to repeat myself, but again, you have no idea if you're having adrenaline rushes, and if you were, that's a sign of anxiety but could also be a sign of a thyroid problem or a problem with the adrenal gland.  If you get panic attacks, that's an anxiety issue.  You are describing what we would normally call butterflies, a temporary stomach sensation such as you'd get on a roller coaster.  You're also describing heart palps, again, something you have no idea if you're actually having or not.  You might feel like that's what's happening, but unless you've got diagnostic evidence it is happening it's just something you're labeling it.  And these things are bothering you enough to write in to a website like this one.  If it's just a very small problem that's not much of a bother to you, ignore it and move on.  But it did impel you to post here, and again, this is a classic symptom of panic or anxiety.  But it can also just be the way you react to surprises, you know?  If it isn't getting in the way of your life and you don't sit around thinking anxious thoughts, I'd try something like meditation or increase your exercise or do yoga or anything that evens out your body flow and again, move on.  If it's more than that, see a doc and see if there's in fact something like heart palps or excess cortisol production happening, but those things are unlikely and very hard to find.  If it's anxiety, see a therapist.  If you're fine with it, and just curious, again, try to find something that evens you out and ignore it.  Peace.
Lol okay

You are reading content posted in the Anxiety Community

Top Anxiety Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1716862802
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Popular Resources
Find out what can trigger a panic attack – and what to do if you have one.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Take control of tension today.
These simple pick-me-ups squash stress.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?