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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
Welcome to Ask Dr. Kennedy. We encourage you to post your comments and questions here. We look forward to challenging questions as they are an education for us as well as for you. Please consider the following guidelines when posting:

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exercise / adrenalin fight or flight
Posted by: Lorene
Date: August 3, 2001 4:05 AM

My husband is a very keen triathlete who suffers from anxiety after exercise. Can exercise trigger a reaction in the adrenalin gland that leaves the body in an elevated state, i.e. the sympathetic nervous system stays in an elevated state and the chemicals generated by the body are not reabsorbed and therefore keep the nervous system in its flight or fight state? If this can happen, what is the best way of testing for this and/or stopping it from happening altogether?

exercise / adrenalin fight or flight
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: August 3, 2001 4:55 AM

Yes, this is a known syndrome. There is also a tumor called pheochromocytoma which can produce such a complex of symptoms. This should be ruled in or out before considering therapy. If pheochromocytoma is present, it can be surgically removed. There is a drug called Propanolol which blocks the action of adrenalin at its receptor sites. This drug is used as an anti-hypertensive and certainly has side effects. Needless to say, use only at the advice of a physician. As far as I know there is no other way to deal with it other than put up with it or stop exercising.

exercise / adrenalin fight or flight
Posted by: Lorene
Date: August 4, 2001 5:54 AM

Thank you very much for your prompt reply to my query. It certainly gives us food for thought and although not really cureable it is comforting to know what the problem really is

This Thread has been closed


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