Posted in Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole 11/13/16

For my rabbit hole this week, I started to look into the body’s production of hormones during what we call an “adrenaline rush.” As I looked further into this topic, I read that the actual hormone is called epinephrine as well as adrenaline. Everything I read about adrenaline had one phrase in common: “fight or flight.” The purpose of adrenaline is to prepare the human body for dangerous situations from which it needs to either run or defend itself. Now, clearly the original purpose for this hormonal reaction was exactly as it sounds: to keep us humans alive. Nowadays, we are (hopefully) not faced with life-threatening situations so much. However, most people have still felt an adrenaline rush for some reason or another. What has changed since those times millions of years ago that would change our hormonal reactions to different situations? Is this change in adrenaline production a result of evolution, or could societal changes have caused the human body to produce a hormone meant for life threatening situations, when a person is doing nothing more than speaking in front of a crowd? It’s clear that this change has occurred, but how and why do our bodies now react with a “fight or flight” hormone when faced with tasks that would have been considered tame a thousand years ago?

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