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Repetitive Adrenaline Surges

Good day to you.  I've recently had symptoms that made me think I was having a heart attack.  After two trips to ths hospital, appropriate tests (all negative for heart attack) and some prescription meds (metropolol to keep my heart rate slow and steady per/doctor and nexium because my mom said she had all the same symptoms and it was reflux)...the only symptom I am left with is the feeling of adrenaline surges when I am trying to sleep.  It is accompanied with the feeling that it's hard to pull in air, like my lungs won't expand or I'm trying to breath pudding.  These feelings were giving me fullblown panic attacks that I thought were heart attacks, but since starting the nexium, I feel like my heart and lungs have been released from a vice grip.  But these 'surges' of adrenaline are still kind of frightening.  I often have them every couple minutes when I'm really tired and try to go back to sleep right away.  Constant adrenaline surges, feels like my heart is racing, but it's actually not.  Feels like fear, but I'm not afraid of anything.  Could this just be anxiety?  I wasn't feeling worried about anything until some of these symptoms, then got worried about my heart and entered a vicious domino circle.  Doc gave me klonopin to take at the onset of anxiet, but I think I'm more afraid to take another pill than I am of the adrenaline surges.  Do you have an explanation for such consisten adrenaline surges?  Is there something I should be considering besides heart and anxiety, like CNS problems?  I appreciate your help.  Thank you.
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Avatar universal
Hi, Yes It is anxiety and adrenalin surges sounds like---- no fear, just take the klonepin he gave you and do anxiety  classes somewhere and get books on reframing your thinking patterns.  Take meds to stop anxiety in the meantime- You'll be fine-- I have always gone thru peiods in my life like this...Dont forget to get off the sugar and caffeine.
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hi, my name is david jenkins and i am a 19 year old freshman in college. i think i have a similar situation. during the summer going into my freshmen year of college i had an adrenaline surge situation that caused me to go into afib... now whats funny is i had never had any history of any heart problem.the cardiologist did chest xrays and took blood but they all were fine... anxiety and panic runs deep in my family... i also have these adrenaline rushes that start in my stomach and rush up thru my chest and neck causing pounding beats or palps..... ive been recently prescribed celexa.... does this sound like anxiety?
Avatar universal
I have had similar symptoms recently and just went to the endochronologist.  She is running a couple of 24 hour urine tests to determine if there is a malfunction of the adrenal gland caused by a growth.  You should not let a doctor simply give you anti anxiety pills and go on your way. These pills will work in the very short term, but simply mask the very real symptoms.   Often times these things have concrete physiological causes that can be quantified and treated.  Even if they are in fact true "panic attacks", you should persue physhological counseling and/or hypnotherapy to help you to manage the underlying issues.  Simply taking pills or thinking possitively is passive and generally completely innefectual.  Believe me, I tried for weeks to "ignore it so it would go away" and it simply does not work.
1176337 tn?1263715136
I just recently began getting these strange anxiety surges while trying to sleep, I've had other anxiety related symptoms before (constant light headedness e.c.t)
but this i do not understand! it was so bad the other night i didn't sleep at all! ;)
i only get them when i am about to fall asleep....feeling relaxed and thinking of nothing, and then wham! i'm wide awake with that sickly feeling in my stomach and a pounding heart.
does anyone have any leads on what this is and why it happens, if anxiety related why does it strike at rest?
i feel like i am loosing it! ;(
Hi! Did you get an answer for these issues? I’m having same thing and I’m desperate.
Avatar universal
Hi there, I have experienced a lot of the same body symptoms that all of you have mentioned! I never had these symptoms in the past and then something traumatic happened to bring this on. I have researched it a lot and even had doctors prescribe me antidepressants for my anxiety. I refuse to take them because I would rather deal with my anxiety then other side affects on top of it too. I know that B Vitamins really play a huge role in helping with stress and anxiety, cause there's certain ones that help with stabilizing your adrenaline. Also, vitamin D is also essential. Stay away from caffine, refined sugar, and alcohol. These do not help. Eating oatmeal before bed time can help and a banana too. There's a lot of different remedies out there, you have to look them up. Tryptohan really helps to calm you down and it can be found in turkey, eggs, and other foods. Its an essential amino acid that your body needs and can not produce on its own. Sometimes when we have a depletion of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, our body can start to do weird things. So research these ideas and also keep in touch with your doctor about anything you change or take in supplement form. Just keep in mind that there's always a natural alternative to healing instead of prescriptions. Maybe consulting with a nutritionist would be helpful too! Exercise helps to release endorphines which help heal your body and help make you happy. Sometimes your body can have a build up of to much adreneline and you just have to work out to alleviate it. Whatever you do, be careful not to over do anything. Take care of your body and in return your body will take care of you. Adrenaline fatigue can also get you too. So do your homework and try to see what works best for you. It's important to remember that your body cannot make certain amino acids, vitamins, and minerals on its own and that why we get them through foods and supplements to give our body what it needs to properly function mentally and physically. Sometimes all it takes is a chemical imbalance in our body or brain to start up these symptoms to let you know that there's something going on and it needs to be fixed. Don't let the doctors throw meds in your face without ruleing out other causes or other options for treatments. They are supposed to be there to help you get better from the cause, not just tearing your symptoms. So be tough and stand your ground. Good luck and God Bless you all!!
Avatar universal
I also experienced an attack, not caused by fear or anxiety, I was at rest and had a surge of adrenaline and my heart jumped to 144 bpm for several minutes, couldn't breathe, a bad tremor, nausea. called 911. after about 10 minutes, it slowed to 110 bpm, then, more attacks  5 more times on the way to the hospital, I was in and out of consciousness. since then, I have had 6 more episodes, the md prescribed toprol and ativan, I had a  24 hr holter monitor, 24 hr urine (no results yet) , normal ecg,  all normal ekgs,. the heart md said you are not going to die from it, just lay down until it passes. well, when it happens, it feels like I am going to die, they don't understand because I am a healthy 38 yo. female, no smoking or drinking. the medicine has lessened the severity of recent attacks, but I'm afraid constantly I will have another one, and they are debilitating.
Avatar universal
Dear kath77..
just to let you know. you are not crazy and you are not alone.  I am a 44 year old female and experience the same thing at least 3-4 times a week.  I'm awoken from a deep sleep to a reality of terror, with fear, heat palpitations, chest pain, tremors and the the most awful feeling of impending death; as if I was having a heart attack.  I've been searching the internet and and am taking comfort, unfortunately, in knowing that I'm not alone.  in severe cases where i can't calm myself down, i too have to take ativan. i find, listening to 'solitudes' music really helps and splashing my face with cold water sometimes as well.  Stay strong.. We will get through this.. sherieb
Avatar universal
what did the afib cause?  was it something you could feel?  
did you need medial attention?
Avatar universal
You have given me comfort is knowing I am not alone either.  I have attacks about every couple of weeks.  Adrenaline surges, chest and arm pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and that over all panic feeling of "this is it".  I have been taking Klonpin now for about 3 years off and on--after an embarrassing call to 911. Can this just be a woman thing?  I worry about EVERYTHING and nothing at all.  Let me know if you have found any other solutions.  I hate to keep running to the doctor claiming the sky is falling but it's so scary - and expensive.
J in NM
Avatar universal
I am a 41 year old male.  I was put in hospital for three days last spring for what I felt was a heart issue.  My chest was having pains and spasms.
I continue to have chronic stomach cramps and adrenaline rushes.
Just this past weekend I went to the ER because I didn't feel right. I felt lightheaded, scared, and difficult breathing.  I held my daughters hand in the car thinking it might be the last time I might see her.
Panic disorder is real and we need to push for help!
Avatar universal
Hi. I'm a 37 year old male in the UK. I went to the doctors recently with mild chest pain/ache and an ECG was done. The ECG picked up an abnormality typical with someone who was suffering a heart attack. I was taken to hospital and seen by cardiologists. All tests came back negative which ruled out any heart trauma but ECG showed a constant abnormality. I was seen by a consultant who diagnosed me with Type 1 Brugada Syndrome. The pain I was feeling was put down to muscular skeletal from weight training. Last Sunday morning, I was in bed snoozing. I could feel an adrenaline rush building and then suffered a huge hit to my heart which made me shoot out of bed and I suffered a panic attack. I have never had this before and I thought I was suffering a heart attack. I was taken into hospital and put on a heart monitor for 24 hrs. Nothing other than my ECG abnormality showed so I was fitted with a heart trace / recall to register any further episodes. Since then, I too have been suffering these feelings of adrenaline in my chest while trying to go off to sleep. I.have recorded these feelings and cardiologists have examined the data. There is no sign heart issues so I have put  it down to anxiety ( which I have suffered since a child ). I have been assured these episodes are not heart related so would like to offer you all some reassurance.

It is very interesting to read the comments above and would welcome any questions anyone may have.
Avatar universal
I feel everyone's pain here. It's so awful. I hate the adrenaline feeling. I go to cognitive therapy and it works but I just hate hate the adrenaline. We should start a online support group up with everyone on here :) to exchange tips etc.
Avatar universal
Kath77, I'm a healthy 37 y.o. female, perfect blood pressure. Started out with insomnia, on the 2nd day noticed a strange feeling in my stomach, like crawling, visceral squeezing, like while on a roller-coaster, and lack of appetite. On 3rd night had a rapid heart beat episode that lasted a few minutes, went to ER, had another one - in a way, a blessing, cause they didn't believe anything was wrong. ER doc said that it wasn't life threatening, that it was supraventrical tachycardia and sent me on my way. I'm going to see a reg. physician today. I now think that the strange sensations in my belly is due to surges of adrenaline, I also get chills, lightheadedness, I feel pressure and heat in what appears to be my jugular veins and my heart pounds loudly. I took a 5 mg melatonin pill last night and had 8 oz of red wine before bed to help me relax and after 2-3 hours I finally felt myself relax and was able to sleep till early morning. Symptoms came back soon after.
Avatar universal
I too have been suffering from these adrenaline surges, which then causes a very rapid heart rate.  I've been to the ED 4 times and every time they say "you must be stressed".  But on none of theses occasions have I felt stressed at all.  Three times I was getting ready for bed.  The cardiologists put me on atenonol (beta blocker), but says there is nothing wrong.  Besides the adrenaline rush and the rapid heart rate, I also experience an increase in urination during the episodes and terrible shaking in my arms. The worrying about when these random attacks will happen again is exhausting.  Has anyone had a definitive result/outcome that they could share?  
Have you been tested for autonomic dysfunction or dysautonomia? Many of the symptoms described here I have and have a condition of the autonomic nervous system called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS. There are tests done by a neurologist or cardiologist that can diagnose it or another form of dysautonomia like it. It is not life-threatening but can be difficult to live with. The symptoms include adrenaline surges, blood pressure ups and downs, high heart rate at times, temperature regulation problems, and even urinating more like someone mentioned above. It's basically the "flight or fight" response occurring inappropriately. The symptoms mimic panic disorder and anxiety disorders because of this. There is an advocacy website for information if this is the case for anyone at www.dinet.org Good luck!
Oh my gosh! I literally am crying reading this. This is EXACTLY what happens to me for the past 3 months. I thought I was alone & have been to the ER twice with all negative heart tests after being kept overnight & had an echo & stress test with multiple ECGs & a monitor. I tell myself I'm ok & try to breathe it out & it comes on when I'm trying to sleep the worst. I am not a person who has a history of panic attacks or severe anxiety. However, since this has started the anticipation of having yet another horrible night MAKES me anxious. I have tried multiple supplements & my doctor put me in Celexa saying I need counseling for my stress. I did have a LOT of stress right before this started, but have reduced that significantly. And I'm not depressed, but this is MAKING me feel frustrated to the point I could see it going to a depressive state. Doctors look at me like it's all in my head & make me feel like I'm losing my ever loving mind. I have stopped all meds & supplements, except my Nexium because I have always had reflux & that's the only thing that works. I cannot tell you what a relief it is that I am not alone in this. But I have found no answers.
Avatar universal
I like that idea
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Hello , just another person looking for answrs , that just never seem to be anywhere . I'm 25 years old ,  male , I have been very athletic my whole life , until the most recent year, this past two-three months I have been having a sensation of adrenaline rushes right before I fall asleep . It happens about 2-3 times a week. I close my eyes and right as I start to doze off,  I'm woken up by a feeling I can only describe as if a friend popped out from behind the couch and scared the living sh** out of you.  I jump up from my sleep and grab my heart, and my heart is racing . This can happen to me about 20 times a night . Starting from 12am until 7am when my body is so frustrated and exhausted it finally falls asleep. After these episodes started happening ,  I started to wear my Fitbit to bed to track my sleep. When these episodes happen, and I jump out of bed from the scare, I check my Fitbit and it will say 120 bpm, and then it will drop back down 60 where I start to doze off again and then the cycle repeats itself . Also my heart rate goes very fast then slow, then fast again, within seconds . I have had slight anxiety my whole life but never full blown panic attacks. I have taken a very small dose of  Klonapin for years and have recently stopped 6 months ago. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions . I have seen cardiologists and other doctors pertaining to this issue and they say all my tests are negative and I'm healthy and to stop worrying , but this is not healthy .
Avatar universal
does anyone here tried "zafrine" thers not mich details about this med.
Avatar universal
I get the exact same symptoms & it's almost always when relaxed, but especially when starting to doze off to sleep. It rushes up through my chest & jerks me wide awake & nerve wracked. Usually goes on for hours & I either get zero sleep or a matter of an hour or two if I'm lucky. I am completely exhausted, frustrated, unnerved & at a loss. I have been to the ER twice for heart work ups to only come back normal & no answers. Only told I was having a severe stress response & anxiety. I have never had panic attacks before in my life. Just very anxious in certain situations like public speaking or test anxiety type stuff. I did have a LOT of stress for the few months prior to the onset of this happening to me every night. And was having dizziness, palpitations, heart racing & pounding very forcefully. Started having short rushes gradually here & there when at work through the day randomly, but short lived at first. Now every single night this haunts me & makes me feel like I am literally dying & every morning that I get up I thank God I actually woke up or survived another traumatizing night. My mental state is starting to suffer, as I am exhausted & beyond frustrated. But I am going to keep trying to figure this out. I just turned 48 so not sure if hormone related, stress related or potentially looking at possibly something along the lines of adrenal fatigue as I have several symptoms related to that, as well. I tried Celexa for a short time but still had bad episodes & read that it can have MAJOR side effects with my Nexium which I need for my stomach. I pray daily for guidance from God to help find a reason behind these symptoms & a way to eliminate or at least manage them.
Avatar universal
I am experiencing similar symptoms of adrenaline with rapid heart rate that fluctuates even at rest. I am getting tested for adrenal fatigue. Most western medicine docs do not consider this a condition so see a naturopath. I am taking the 24 hour cortisol saliva test along with sex hormone testing. Sometimes saliva tests can be helpful if snapshot blood tests are not enough.  It ***** when you feel awful, but docs say everything is normal. Also, think about adding magnesium taurate to your supplements. Start out with a low dose if you are on a beta blocker since magnesium acts in the same way to normalize blood pressure and heart rate. I'm also researching CoQ10 and running it by my cardiologist and naturopath. Don't give up on your health. Only you know how you are truly feeling!!
Avatar universal
Do you know how to reduce the random uncontrollable adrenaline rushes that causes the heart to beat fast ? I do get them everyday when I go outside or see someone i love or hate ..
your response will help a lot please..
I went to the Er a lot and did a lot of tests and all came back normal so it must be a panic and anxiety disorder
Avatar universal
I am a 48 yo male with these same exact symptoms for the last 7 mo's. in and out of ER's. 6 mo's ago full cardio workup, with no heart issues, ECP 4 months ago to rule out Hiatal Hernia, or upper GI issues. numerous blood test over the months with each hospital visit. nothing significant for that. CT scan of entire abdomen (no significant findings) during one episode a month ago i even broke out in small hives all over my body, so saw an alergist MD for food alergies test (not alergic to any foods). Just got blood work from another MD GENPRAC who finds my Testosterone level at 260 (evteremely low) started Andogel patches today, and will go back to alergist in a few days to test for environmental allergy's.  Keeping hopes up, even though each episode is so unmotivating and sad.
Did you ever find out what the cause of this was? I am experiencing very similar symptoms
Avatar universal
I am a 55-year-old woman and have been experiencing what I believe to be adrenaline rushes constantly for over seven months now. They start in my stomach and feel like a surge of coolness through my stomach and chest. In the past three weeks, I have also been experiencing heart palpitations and fluttering and flopping in my chest, which is not new for me, having been diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse at age 18. But lately, it has gotten much worse. Could all of this be menopausal?  Is there any reason to think it could be something serious or life threatening?  Stress, caffeine, alcohol, and worry make it worse. Help!!!
Hi! I have exact symptoms and am desperate. Did you ever get answers?? Help...
Avatar universal
This probably isn't anxiety at all. Anxiety is something else altogether. You may have Cushings or some other adrenal disorder that increases your adrenaline. Do not let someone chalk up any symptom you are going through as "anxiety".  Consider checking to see if you have dysautonomia of some sort (maybe POTS).
Avatar universal
I have had the same thing the rushes and the fear of the episodes its has been going on for over a 2 years in between i have dayly crashes where out of the blue and no reason i cant even hold.my eyes open my rushes sometime last days and all the drs i have seen just say im fine my test all show normal except the high blood pressure during. Im now so discouraged that i fear the er they just treat me like im crazy i now have a lump on my left side on my neck the size of a golf ball but it doesn't show up on ct so the pain doesn't matter to them  thank god i found this i though i was completely alone my general dr just keeps saying your making yourself sick and novody will listen just keep giving me beta blockers and adavan that dont work thank you guys for posting your experience
Avatar universal
I just wanted to add my 2 cents to this listing. I am a 44 year old male who has never had panic attacks until last year. Of course like most I did not know that they were panic attacks. The symptoms started as little odd pains in my left arm. Not crazy just pressure here and there. This then started to lead to pressure in my left side of my neck like my jugular was bulging and burning. This then lead to me feeling nauseous and sick. I started to wonder if I was having heart issues. I had gone to the ER a year ago for similar symptoms and did all the typical test and came back clean. EKG, Stress test, blood, 24hr monitor. Eventually this all went away. Then October of 2016 I started to have it again. This time I tried to just ignore it. Two days go by and now I am sweating while working at my desk. No reason for it. Nauseous etc. I was to travel to a client site and when driving the symptoms got worse. Pain in the left arm. Left side of my neck pressure, dizzy, nauseous etc. I immediately went to the ER which was one my way anyway. Last thing I wanted to was affect someone else if I couldn't drive. Spent the day in the ER. No issues found. EKG and blood fine. Blood pressure perfect but I still had the odd pressure in my neck. They wanted to send me home after 6 hours of observation. I asked him about the neck issue and he consulted the cardiologist. They admitted me for testing. Blood work every 2 hours all night long. The next day they did a chemical stress test with die. Test came back inconclusive. Now I had to have a heart cath. If you are not familiar with what this is they insert a camera into your main arteries and check all your arteries all the way to the heart and down your leg. If that was not enough to put in into another attack nothing was. Came back with flying colors. Cardiologist says my heart is as strong as a horse. Then what the hell is wrong with me. He explained that the mind can play drastic tricks on you and he thought I that I was just having major panic attacks. After being cleared to leave I visited my normal doc and he has put me on a Xanax regimen. Whenever I think that I am going to be put into a situation where I may suffer anxiety I take half a mg and I am fine. There are days like this morning where I got a call from my boss which immediately put me into an attack. I have come to realize that these not life threatening but still the sensation is horrible. The minute I heard his voice I get pains in my left armpit and the left side of my neck started to fill pressure again. I immediately took a half mg of my Xanax it am starting to calm down after about 30 mins. While I have learned to deal with the issues I am tired of dealing with the issues. There has to be some sort of prognosis as to way or adrenal gland if firing off the way it does for these otherwise normal situations. Now I am not saying that everyone should take half mg of Xanax but find what works for you in the time being. I have already changed my entire diet and lost over 25 pounds hoping that this would help and it has not. Don't get me wrong I feel great with I do not have the anxiety but I still would like an answer as to why. Even if it turns out to be a mental issue. It is starting to affect my family and what I can and can't do with them.
Most if not all symptoms posters above are just self-diagnosed and they don't suffer from adrenal surges. So they are just anecdotal and not to be relied on.

The answer to your situation was here. "He explained that the mind can play drastic tricks on you and he thought I that I was just having major panic attacks."

You \will benefit if you can accept that you have no medical training so relying on the doctor's diagnosis would provide a sounder foundation to face the anxiety.

Your adrenal surges you refer to are just self-diagnosed and in reality don't exist because they are just panicky thoughts that make you sweat and tense up in fear.

. Consider therapy to see if they can find some coping mechanisms including to see if you can accept the diagnosis.
I had similar situacion I was able to get control and now I'm fine.  go  to  panicfree.tv  it will help you.
The way i describe the surges are as a sudden  rising feeling in the chest. Sometimes I can even hear a what sounds like liquid moving right after. That part is probably heartburn forming from the bodily response.

Once it happens I'm wired awake. The issue with my problem is that I obsess over it to the point I can make it happen on demand.

I had it in the past before, many years ago. I had to go on serzone for 3 years. And was given ambien. A recent stressful event started whatever series of events that lead to it reoccurring. Now it happens most of the time I lay down or think about sleep and intermittently while trying to fall asleep.

It's a vicious cycle I can't mentally get myself out of and Ambien usually knocks me out, but the sleep isn't restorative for me, and I can't fall back asleep when it wears off.

Any tips?

Avatar universal
I had a similar experience for quite a while.  It was awful so I definitely empathize.  It eventually went away.  It was attributed to disregulation of autonomic nervous system.  In my case, it was probably due to Sjogren's syndrome. I went montha without knowing what was causing a cluster of bizarre symptoms and was ultimately diagnosed with Sjogrens- which can flare and affect the nervous system. Lupus can also have a similar impact. Thankfully my ANS seems to have stabilized and those symptoms have stopped for the most part.   When I eat gluten, however, these symptoms resume.
Avatar universal
My husband has the same adrenaline surges that are discussed in this thread… We are investigating possible root issues, such as adrenal tumor, Autonomic Nervous System disorder and sleep apnea, etc. Curious to know how your condition is coming along, and if you’ve found true solutions?

Ive started a private FB page so its easier to discuss things. To join, click link below.


The name of the FB page is "Adrenaline Surges (sleep induced)"

Hope to see you there!

Avatar universal
I've been having the same on and off for months. Pretty much as someone previously described- as I'm falling asleep I'd get hit with a sudden rush of adrenaline which can sometimes happen continuously all night. Last night i got to sleep ok but for the first time woke up and felt all buzzy and had restless and legs. Had to take a sleeping pill. Dr had put me on antidepressants. I saw two drs and they didnt listen to me saying it was just anxiety when i was fine and happy before all of that started. Its getting worse and im going to try and find a dr that will actually test my cortisol levels. I can't bear the feelings. It's stayed with me all today too.
As all these posts reveal, the people posting probably aren't having adrenaline rushes.  It's just an expression, not a reality.  Your cortisol levels change throughout the day and depending on what you're doing and how much stress you're under when you get tested so only repeated testing can tell you if there's a problem, and few people actually have a problem that originates with the adrenal gland.  That being said, if you weren't an anxious person when this started, it either means you are now and it was your time, something happened that triggered this, or there's some underlying problem such as a thyroid problem or other problem that most doctors aren't particularly good at looking for or finding -- much easier to put you on those magic pills and forget about you.  So do follow up, but don't discount that the doc is right and you have developed an anxiety problem.  I am surprised your doc didn't send to therapy before putting you on meds, though.
Avatar universal
I went to another doctor who actually wanted to help me and listened to my issues. All my blood tests came back normal except for iron because I have a type of anaemia. He said I had restless leg syndrome and gave me Sifrol to take when I had the episodes as I started to have hypnic jerks a lot, alternating between these and the adrenaline rushes.
I have done a further blood test for folate and prolactin as I mentioned my Dad has a prolactinoma. So will await results of that. Researching things online made me think I could have a possible brain tumor similar to my Dad that is affecting my adrenal or cortisol levels. I will be happy if, of course, I am just overthinking it all. But I'm glad the doctor is at least willing to explore other options and rule out anxiety.
As an update, my blood tests all came up normal and I got a brain scan which came back normal. Tumours run in our family so was happy that I could get that done and rule it out. I have now been referred to a sleep doctor for restless leg syndrome.

I can't find the link, but there was a website which said adrenaline rushes are a symptom of rls. They likened it to having a near miss car accident which is exactly what I've always felt it was like. My body has had twitches and oddly, stomach spasms along with the rushes as I drift off to sleep so I feel it is all related to rls.

The worst time I had was when it happened every night for about 2 weeks over a 3 week period. Since then, I've reduced caffeine and exercised once or twice a week. I'm not sure this is the cause as for three weeks I didn't have them and was drinking coffee like a mofo with no exercise. Still, I am trying to improve my lifestyle, and reduce cortisol levels, if that is indeed a factor.

What I believe helps the rushes when they happen is to take magnesium tablets. The magnesium has stopped it from happening a few times, dead it in tracks. Last night I took them, persisted with trying to sleep through the rushes and did get there without using sleeping pills. This strongly suggests it is related to rls.
If magnesium is helping, it's not adrenaline rushes, it's a magnesium deficiency or a side effect of taking medication.  Many meds, especially those that affect brain neurotransmitters, can affect magnesium levels.  It could be you're not eating properly, not drinking enough water, and therefore causing an electrolyte imbalance.  if that's the case, then no medication for the brain will help with it.  You might try researching the best foods to eat for the proper balance of electrolytes, especially potassium and magnesium.  If they get out of electrical balance with one another, cramps and spasms are one of the symptoms you get.  I got this as a side effect of taking an antidepressant, and magnesium supplementation got rid of the problem, but you seem to have gotten it without taking meds, so again, if magnesium helped, that would seem a likely candidate for your problem, especially if you exercise.  That doesn't have anything to do with RLS, as far as I'm aware, it's a nutritional deficiency that is extremely common these days due to the overconsumption of dairy (very high in calcium, deficient in magnesium, which creates an imbalance) and not eating enough green leafy vegetables, which have the proper balance of calcium to magnesium.  This is also believed by many to be the cause of the increased cases of osteoporosis, as the dairy industry combined with gov't programs have convinced people to overconsume dairy and many of us just don't really like green leafy veggies.  I'm not saying it's not RLS, just saying I don't think that disorder is a magnesium problem.  On the other hand, it could be the med you're taking for the RLS could be affecting magnesium levels.  And just to understand cortisol, people are very confused about this.  During a panic attack, and most anxiety is not a panic attack, there is a release of cortisol, but it's thought to be on orders from a part of the primitive brain called the amygdyla, responsible for the flight or fight response.  It's not a constant problem, meaning it's not a problem with the adrenal gland.  You can burn out your adrenals, of course, with the constant stress of anxiety or because of thyroid problems.  There are a class of plants called adaptogens that are used to help balance the adrenals, but if you have a chronic panic attack problem, you will generate cortisol when you have one.  But not all the time and not every time you feel overly nervous.  So again, adrenaline surges is a colloquial expression, not a fact for the vast majority of people because they don't in fact have a problem with their adrenal gland.  Peace.
And most important, stay off Google unless you have a diagnosis and want to double check the treatment your doctor has ordered.  You can't just google symptoms -- everybody has symptoms, but the same symptoms can be a part of a ton of different situations.  You just can't Google that and get a correct answer, but you can drive yourself nuts.
Adrenaline rushes were the best way I could describe them. I was open to thinking it could be a problem with any part of me and wanted to explore that.
I recently read that gut health can affect sleeping and taking prebiotics can even help with insomnia. Everything is connected in the body so when something goes wrong it can be anything.

In the back of my brain I am still wondering - is this anxiety as I was initially told? The only thing that has stopped these "rushes" or whatever you want to call them, besides sleeping pills, is inhaling lavender oil. I don't know why, but it pretty much just knocks me out. Which is why I thought - is it all just anxiety? I am not anxious about anything, but as the brain and gut is related, I feel like perhaps it's my gut  causing it all.

I was having acid reflux constantly about 6 months ago, and stopped gluten upon the recommendation of a naturopath. It didn't help my reflux, but made digestion etc. feel normal for once in my life. What did help was deep breathing which he said would be the most useful thing. It pretty much cured me and I only get reflux every now and then and can make it disappear with mediation/deep breathing.

So, I kind of feel like me eating gluten could be causing stress for my gut and therefore sending these signals to my brain? Or it could be another effect of rls which the doctor suggested. Or it could be vitamin deficiency as you suggested. I am trying hard to eat better and I would not be surprised if I'm feeling better/would feel better from a proper diet/exercise which everyone always hammers on about. Easy to say but for some reason so hard to look after yourself.

There's so many mental factors behind behaviour like impluses, habits, cravings. It's all in the way the brain becomes wired. I struggle with all these when it comes to looking after myself.
This why they call it mental illness -- it's a disorder that causes us to work against ourselves.  It sounds like you're now working more and more for yourself.  Only good things will come of that.  As for gluten, that's a fad, but doing anything that changes your routine can be helpful.  Avoiding gluten probably doesn't help most people -- the problem is usually wheat, not all gluten-containing foods -- but avoiding it pushes you to eat more nutritious foods instead as long as you don't just eat a bunch of sugar-laden products trying to put some flavor into flavorless products.  Keep moving in a positive direction and you'll keep moving in a positive direction.
What do you suggest when someone has worked themselves up to the point of being able to create these rushes on command? It's weird though. When I have one I can't make it happen again immediatsly, but if I notice I haven't had one in a few minutes, just the thought of experiencing crossing my mind causes it to happen. This happens as I doze off too. For the past week or so it's been  preventing me from sleeping at all without Ambien., as it takes 10-15 mins to come down from it and it just happens again if it even crosses my mind.

I'm fearing the worst (thyroid or adrenal tumor) as I haven't been able to go back to sleep after the Ambien wears off for going on 2 weeks.
I was having this too. I hadn't had it for weeks and then I'd think of it during the day and suddenly would happen that night. Its been 5 weeks since my last episode and last night going to bed I thought of it and started to feel anxiety from it but it didn't cause it to happen. I cant say for me what has changed. The only thing I can think of saying is that it is in fact anxiety. I didnt want to believe this at first and I'm guessing it's an uncontrollable deep rooted anxiety which has nothing to do with my thoughts/feelings or anything I'm aware of. But I say its anxiety because the ONLY thing that has helped me sleep is inhaling pure lavender oil  from a handkerchief on my pillow as I go to sleep. Everything else I've tried including benzos has failed at some point. I dont understand it but this has what's worked for me.
I got a number of blood tests and a brain scan all which looked fine. I thought perhaps its a dysfunctional adrenal gland but not sure how far I want to go with testing and I seem to be fine for now.
Just want to say, again, neither of you are probably having adrenaline rushes.  You just think your are.  You have no testing saying anything the adrenal gland produces is out of balance.  People confuse the fight or flight response, which does in fact involve increased cortisol production, with every experience of anxiety or restlessness.  During a full fledged anxiety attack, cortisol is indeed released more than normal because the amygdyla, a part of the more primitive brain, is signaling it's time to fight or flee.  This isn't what's happening necessarily when you can't sleep or your thinking is running ahead of you.  As for the latter person, this just explains how your brain is more in your control than you give it credit for.  Lavender oil on a kerchief is about as mild a way to take a relaxant as exists, whereas benzos are pretty darned strong.  It works for you, which is great, and it works for others as well, and had worked for centuries because it's all the body needed was a mild relaxation response to calm the thoughts.  But it's the thoughts running out of control, for whatever reason, and who knows why, that causes the problem and is what needs to be focused on.  My worry is that all this focus on adrenaline moves the focus away from seeing a therapist or learning meditation or working on whatever bothers us to something that not only probably isn't happening, but is very hard to scientifically analyze.  There are herbs that have long been used to balance the adrenal gland, and it is intimately connected with the thyroid, which is why getting everything checked that can cause such problems should be done, but these things are hard to find and most doctors aren't all that good or thorough at it.  But if it is anxiety, and I'm one who has never successfully controlled mine, the ultimate solution is to stop thinking like an anxious person if you can figure out how to do that.  Peace, all.
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It’s likely the Metoprolol. I had the same issues and could NOT sleep because of it. I was switched to Labetalol and the issue went away
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