Serotonin is known among people as the hormone of happiness and joy, and we notice its presence in the brain, intestines, and blood plates. In fact, serotonin is a neurotransmitter used to transmit messages between nerve cells; That is why it is noted in its active form in the smooth muscles contracting, and its contribution to the human feeling of joy and joy.
It should be noted that serotonin is the primary source of melatonin, which in turn contributes to the regulation of sleep, wakefulness, and the body’s biological clock in the organism’s body.
A relationship emerged between serotonin and the individual’s feelings, his body’s motor and cognitive functions, and his appetite for food, but so far the nature of this relationship has not been determined; If it directly affects the above or if serotonin has a general role in coordinating the nervous system.
But the direct relationship appeared in a large and main way between the levels of the serotonin hormone and the maintenance of the individual’s mood levels, and then the low level of the serotonin was linked to the person’s feeling of depression.
The normal level of serotonin in the blood ranges between 101-283 ng/ml, but it is important to take into account the small differences in these results, due to the natural differences between people, so you should consult your doctor and inform him of this result.
In fact, it may be difficult to diagnose a deficiency of serotonin in the body because accurate results cannot be obtained for its amount in the brain, and there are no specific criteria for diagnosis. As examining the level of serotonin in the blood does not necessarily reflect its levels in brain cells, it is generally used to check for tumors that produce serotonin or not.
And some studies have shown that using urine tests to measure the level of serotonin may help to detect a deficiency in its levels in the brain, but on the other hand, it must be taken into account that serotonin does not cross the blood-brain barrier; Therefore, the readings resulting from his examination in the blood or urine are not worthy of trust, and are not completely relied upon in the diagnosis.
The best solution is to follow up with the doctor when noticing or suffering from symptoms of serotonin deficiency and trying to treat the deficiency, and reduce or alleviate the symptoms.
Symptoms of serotonin deficiency
A low or severe deficiency of serotonin in the body causes many symptoms ranging from physical symptoms to psychological symptoms, and the following is a detail of these symptoms:
Doctors have not found the main reason linking the lack of serotonin level with some psychological symptoms, and a study conducted in 2007 showed that the effect of serotonin deficiency differs between women and men, as low levels of serotonin in the brain cause depression and other mood swings in women.
While low levels of serotonin in the brain cause depression and other mood swings in women. In men, it made them more aggressive and impulsive, and the following is a group of psychological symptoms that occur when the hormone serotonin is lacking in the body:
- Feeling anxious.
- Act aggressively.
- Feeling restless.
- Mood swings and irritability.
- Lack of self-esteem.
- Memory disorder.
Psychological disorders such as: eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic and fear disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and social anxiety disorders.
The appearance of physical symptoms in those who suffer from a severe deficiency of serotonin in the body is due to its important vital functions, and the most important of these symptoms are the following:
- Cravings for carbohydrates.
- Feeling very tired and tired.
- Digestive problems, such as: Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Treating serotonin deficiency
There are sources from nature without resorting to nutritional supplements that may help raise the level of serotonin, by focusing on foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is primarily responsible for the production of serotonin in brain cells, and the following are mentioned the most important of them:
- Nuts and seeds.
- spinach leaves
Bananas contain serotonin, which indirectly improves mood, and is a rich source of vitamin B6, which stimulates the production of serotonin in brain cells.
Medicines that increase serotonin levels
Some medications can be used to treat serotonin deficiency and stimulate its production regardless of the cause of serotonin deficiency, under the supervision and advice of a doctor. These medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Examples of this drug group include:
Other ways to increase serotonin
It is worth noting that there are natural methods whose effectiveness has been demonstrated by research and studies in increasing the proportion of serotonin, so it is not only to rely on foods, nutritional supplements, and medicines to raise serotonin, and the following is a mention of some of the natural methods that studies have shown to be effective:
- Exercising regularly.
- Daily exposure to the sun.
- Think positive and optimistic.
- Eat high-fiber foods that feed gut bacteria.
There is another term given to the high level of serotonin in the body, which is Serotonin Syndrome (SS), which has a serious and dangerous effect on the body; As the accumulation of large amounts of serotonin inside the body affects its function in regulating the digestive system, blood flow, body temperature, breathing, and its primary role in the work of brain cells, and in adjusting and adjusting mood.
In most cases, this syndrome is caused by taking an overdose or using two or more medications that affect or increase the level of serotonin in the body, such as: medications that are used to treat depression, migraine headaches, and also some Medicines that treat pain. The syndrome appears in the form of moderate to severe symptoms that affect muscles and brain cells. Some of these symptoms are mentioned below:
- Suffering from high blood pressure.
- Feeling of irregularity and disturbance of the heartbeat.
- Dilated pupils.
- Muscle spasm.