Chronic illness

The Adrenaline Rush from Hell

So about two weeks ago at around 1 am, I was trying to fall asleep and suddenly jolted up in bed. Something felt very, very wrong. A warmth moved down the back of my neck, bringing with it intense lightheadedness. My heart began racing, surging what felt like battery acid through my veins. I became incredibly restless and anxious, wringing my hands and rocking back and forth. I couldn’t help it. Eventually, I couldn’t stop shaking. I felt like someone had hooked me up to jumper cables. I soon became intensely nauseous and had to run to the bathroom. I started to gag over and over…panicking when I couldn’t catch my breath in between vomiting episodes. I felt like I was going to pass out. I felt like I was going to die.

At first listen, this would sound somewhere along the lines of a panic attack, right? I don’t think so. I have dealt with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for the majority of my life and have experienced panic attacks before. This was different. It was horrible. It was traumatic. It was an adrenaline rush. I only learned this was what happened after some lab tests that revealed elevated TSH (4.03, the highest it had been in 5 years) and research about catecholamines. Apparently, the body can release adrenaline in an attempt to raise the decreased metabolic rate caused by hypothyroidism.

Because I quickly became dehydrated from vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating, this episode necessitated a trip to the Emergency Department. They couldn’t help me fast enough. I wanted to put in my own IV because they were taking so long. I didn’t know exactly what was happening to my body but I wanted it to stop as quickly as it started. After being pumped with fluids, Zofran, and Ativan…I felt better. Thank God. I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy. I think at one point I told my nurse, “I wouldn’t wish this on Donald Trump,” (And I can’t stand that man).

I have had several more of these adrenaline episodes within the last two weeks but I have been able to manage them at home. I am praying that my research explains what is going on and that taking a higher dose of my thyroid medicine will help. Otherwise, I have no idea what is going on. But each episode has been truly terrifying. And I have hated them. I don’t think I have ever felt worse. And that is saying A LOT!

If anyone has any experience with episodes like these, PLEASE let me know! For me, they have each occurred between 1 and 6 am with the following symptoms: extreme restlessness, anxiety, tremors/repetitive movements, severe lightheadedness, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea/bowel urgency, difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, palpitations, and elevated heart rate and blood pressure.


Hanging Tough,

Lindsay B.


2 thoughts on “The Adrenaline Rush from Hell

  1. Hey there, I came across your blog on facebook! I can relate to these episodes, they are terrible. For me, it can come out of nowhere and I immediatly get warm rushes up my body. I start to panic and get fidgety, trying to breathe the best I can. The nausea sets in and I panic even more. The only thing that helps is a somewhat repetitive motion with my legs which calms me down. Similar outcome with the rocking back and forth I guess. I have ativan and nausea medicine for these episodes which were told to me to be panic attacks, but why and what is causing them?? It happened to me once watching the movie “Malificent”…out of the blue! I take the medication at first sign of any symptom and basically wait for it to calm down. My insides feel like they are spasming, I often feel like I could vomit and have diarrhea, I go from warm to legit shivering and teeth chattering cold where my body cant stop tensing up. Once it stops, I am so tired after and a bit sore all over the next. One thing my doctor mentioned was the Vagas Nerve…a functional medicine doctor thinks its my adrenals. I have hypothyroidism, so I found it interesting that it happened when your TSH was high. I will be getting mine checked soon. My thought is that all of it is caused by hormones or some type of central nervous system issues! Let me know how you do!


    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with these horrible episodes. So far, the only thing that has come back from my blood tests is a B12 deficiency. I’ve started taking a supplement and that seems to be helping. Or it could be the increase in thyroid medicine. I’m not really sure. The last test I am waiting to hear back on is a marker for an Adrenal Tumor. Fingers crossed it isn’t that! I’ll try to keep everyone updated! Again, thanks so much for sharing! 💗


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