Norepinephrine was first discovered in 1946 by a Swedish biologist Ulf von Euler. And for that, he won a Nobel Prize.
Norepinephrine (formerly called noradrenaline) is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is responsible for stimulatory processes in the body and concentration. It is synthesized from dopamine, and brings our nervous systems into the state of “high alert”. It takes its place in the sympathetic nervous system and is responsible for our heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure to jump up. It can stimulate bronchi muscles in order to help to breathe and is also very important for storing memories.
High level Norepinephrine
It seems that high levels of norepinephrine cause the feeling of fear and anxiety. Noradrenaline circulation in the brain increases in stressful situations. Increased levels of this hormone raise our liveliness, elevates the mood and sexual desire. But an excessive amount of noradrenaline increases blood pressure, heart rate, causes hyperactivity, feeling of fear, anxiety, panic and stress, irresistible terror, irritation and insomnia.
Low level Norepinephrine
Low levels of norepinephrine influence us in the opposite way. We lose our energy, concentration and motivation. Noradrenaline deficiency can cause depression, the absence of liveliness and poor memory.
The difference between Epinephrine and Norepinephrine
Our adrenal glands release norepinephrine into the blood stream, along with its close relative epinephrine (also known as adrenalin).
To be precise – it is the adrenaline that causes the feeling of fear, and it is the noradrenaline that causes anger.
Adrenaline increases our heart rate; causes vessel constriction of the abdominal cavity, muscles, mucous membrane, and it assists muscles of the intestine with relaxing and pupils of the eyes with dilatation.
The main function of this hormone is to adapt our organism to the reaction for stress. Adrenaline is responsible for skeletal muscles functioning. If this hormone influences our organism for a long period of time, myocardium and skeletal muscles start to enlarge. Prolonged effect of high concentration of this hormone leads to increased protein metabolism, loss of weight and sometimes utter exhaustion.
Norepinephrine is both hormone and neurotransmitter. Its levels also increase affected by stress, shock, and similar conditions. Noradrenaline effect lasts less than that of adrenaline. But both hormones cause tremors. The stimulative effect of nicotine depends on the secretion of these two hormones into the blood. At the same time heart rate and blood pressure increase. This is the moment when the brain is provided with more blood and dopamine is secreted. Knowing that this dopamine secretion happens every time – harmful nicotine addiction is formed.
Since the adrenaline is synthesized from noradrenaline, we can claim that the effect of hatred and anger is similar to that of fear, and they also breed one another.
The importance of Norepinephrine
Both epinephrine and norepinephrine are too important for our bodies. Without them, we would turn out to be completely powerless facing stress or any other dangerous situation. Researches have proved that animals, whose medullary substance was removed from adrenal glands, were incapable of protecting themselves and even getting the food.
Norepinephrine is also responsible for the positive perception of reality and, what is more, for an elevated mood. If there is a low level of noradrenaline in the human body – that person is under the risk of getting depression. He or she will feel apathy and hopelessness. And to improve the well-being, the vitamins that contain zinc, selenium, manganese, copper and iron are prescribed. And the doctor is the one to determine and to recommend the needed treatment.
To stimulate the secretion of noradrenaline naturally, try to observe a nature for a little while. It can be any wonderful landscape you may find – prairie, mountains, the sea or a beautiful sunset or a sunrise. The noise of the surf is also worth mentioning. You can find the recordings with relaxing music. And actually, it can be any sound of Mother Nature. Thus, by listening to this kind of music, you stimulate the important hormone, known as noradrenaline or norepinephrine to be secreted into your organism, elevating your mood and satisfaction with life.
Norepinephrine in medicine
Norepinephrine, as well as adrenaline, stimulates the contraction of cardiac muscle, but slightly less strong. It also regulates metabolism. When the compound is being injected intravenously – bradycardia happens. It means that the heart rate lowers from normal 60-90 beats per minute to 40-50 beats. Noradrenaline is used as a shock therapy after complete cardiac arrest.
Analogs of noradrenaline are known under the trade names of Norepinephrine and Noradrenaline hydrotartrate and are used in medicine for:
- Increasing the blood pressure after a surgery;
- After severe traumas and injuries, including visceral injuries, which have caused a significant blood loss;
- During diaplasis;
- To stabilize arterial pressure;
- After the surgery on removing adrenal glands tumor.
- In dental practices for filling the teeth, extirpation of tooth pulp, and for external turning the teeth when preparing for crowning.