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Adrenalin can also be spelled adrenaline. And adrenalin and adrenaline are merely the common names for what is more formally referred to as epinephrin or epinephrine. Adrenalin (aka adrenaline, aka epinephrin, and aka epinephrine; I wish that the people who names these things would make up their minds) is a hormone produced by, not surprisingly, the adrenal glands.

Here’s a question for medical lexicographers: If adrenalin (or adrenaline) can also be called epinephrin (or epinephrine), why can’t the adrenal glands also be called epinephral glands? It seems only fair.

Adrenalin (aka … well, you know) serves a lot of useful purposes in our body, including regulating our heart rate and our blood vessel and air passage diameters.

The adrenal glands usually produce more adrenalin during times of stress. This gives us a surge of energy, which helps with our “fight or flight” response. (Not being particularly strong or macho, I tend to favor flight over fight, particularly if I get frequent flier points for it.)

Your adrenal glands would, for example, likely produce a surge of adrenalin if you were unexpectedly confronted with a hungry, ferocious wild animal. This is why people should listen to me when I tell them that humans were not meant to leave the greater downtown areas of major cities. Wild animals are rarely present, let alone attack, in urban areas in the developed world. I really don’t need the adrenalin rush that badly.

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