Altered Sympathoadrenal Activity Following Cold-Water Diving


Kelly K, Pautz CM, Palombo LJ, Jensen AE, Melau J, Turcotte LP, Solberg PA 23(3). 74 (Journal Article)

Introduction: Little data exist on the effect of extremely cold-water diving on thermo-metabolic hormone secretion. Moreover, the impact of repetitive dives on the stress response is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of two daily bouts of cold-water diving on the hormonal and metabolic profile of elite military personnel and to measure the stress response. Methods: Healthy, male, Norwegian Special Forces operators (n = 5) volunteered for this study. Physiological and hormone data were analyzed prior to and following twice-daily Arctic dives (3.3°C). Results: Core temperature was maintained (p > .05), whereas skin temperature was significantly reduced over the course of each dive (p < .01). Pairwise comparisons revealed adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol concentration significantly decreased across both dives and days (p < .001). Adrenaline and noradrenaline significantly increased across both time and day (p < .001). Leptin, testosterone, and IGF-1 significantly decreased over time but recovered between days. Conclusion: The main findings of this effort are that there is a rapid sympathetic-adreno-medullary (SAM/SNS) response to cold-water diving and a suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and hormones related to repair and recovery. While the sample size was too small to determine the role of SAM/SNS, HPA, and thyroid hormone effect on thermoregulation, it addresses a gap in our understanding of physiological adaptions that occurs in extreme environments.

  • Manufacturer: Breakaway Media, LLC

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