Catecholamine blood test
What are Catecholamines?
Catecholamines are a group of similar hormones released into the bloodstream in response to physical or emotional stress.
Catecholamine testing measures the amounts of these hormones in the urine and/or blood. Urine testing is recommended over blood testing.
Functions of Catecholamines:
- Catecholamines are released into the bloodstream in response to physical and emotional stress to:
- help transmit nerve impulses in the brain,
- increase glucose and fatty acid release for energy,
- dilate bronchioles (decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs),
- dilate the pupils.
The above functions only increase during and shortly after a stressful situation and the broken down catecholamines are then eliminated from the body through the urine. However a group of rare nervous system tumors (such as pheochromocytom, paragangliomas or neuroblastoma) can produce large amounts of these catecholamines and cause havoc inside the body, such as:
- Sudden hypertension
- Severe headaches
- Heart palpitations
- Tingling in hands and feet.
Catecholamines, TotalOptimal range: 242 - 1125 pg/mL
DopamineOptimal range: 0 - 20 pg/mL
Dopamine is widely distributed throughout the central nervous system and is involved in the control of movement.LEARN MORE
EpinephrineOptimal range: 0 - 95 pg/mL
Epinephrine, often better known as adrenaline, is synthesized from norepinephrine in both the CNS and the adrenal medulla. Much like norepinephrine, this excitatory neurotransmitter helps regulate muscle contraction, heart rate, glycogen breakdown, blood pressure and more, and is heavily involved in a stress response. Elevated levels of epinephrine are often associated with hyperactivity, ADHD, anxiety, sleep issues, and low adrenal function. Over time, chronic stress and stimulation can deplete epinephrine stores leading to difficulty concentrating, fatigue, depression, insufficient cortisol production, chronic stress, poor recovery from illness, dizziness and more.LEARN MORE