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Hormonal regulation of responses to stress. Adrenal Glands. “Adrenal” = At the kidneys. The adrenal gland has an inner core called the adrenal medulla which is surrounded by the adrenal cortex. The adrenal medulla produces two hormones: epinephrine and norepinephrine.

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adrenal glands
Adrenal Glands
  • “Adrenal” = At the kidneys.
  • The adrenal gland has an inner core called the adrenal medulla which is surrounded by the adrenal cortex.
  • The adrenal medulla produces two hormones: epinephrine and norepinephrine.
  • Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline.
  • Norepinephrine is also known as noradrenaline.
  • Both of these hormones are released by the adrenal medulla in times of stress.
short term stress response
Short Term Stress Response
  • Both norepinephrine and epinephrine are released during times of stress. They help initiate the fight or flight response. (Hypothalamus  Spine  Adrenals)
    • They increase blood sugar levels by converting glycogen into glucose.
    • They increase heart rate and breathing rate for faster delivery of oxygen and glucose to the cells.
    • This results in faster energy production and higher metabolic rate within the cell.
    • Blood vessels dilate (widen) to deliver more blood.
    • Pupils dilate to allow more light into eye to gather as much information from surroundings as possible.
long term stress response
Long Term Stress Response
  • “Long term stress” means the threat is not incredibly urgent or threatening – though it is constant and ever present.
  • Hypothalamus  Spine  Adrenal
  • Adrenals secrete glucocorticoids & mineralocorticoids – they help the body meet the demands of stress.
  • Glucocorticoids, including cortisol, promote conversion of fat and protein into glucose – blood sugar level goes up overall.
  • Mineralocorticoids increase water retention by kidneys and this results in higher blood pressure and blood volume – greater delivery of blood to cells.