What Are The Symptoms and Causes of Serotonin Deficiency
For the purposes of this article, our focus will be on serotonin as a neurotransmitter, how to identify serotonin deficiency, and the potential causes of serotonin deficiency. Serotonin also plays a role outside of the brain but the causes and symptoms listed here are in relation to serotonin levels within the central nervous system.
Serotonin is the key brain chemical that generates feelings of optimism and relaxation. Additionally, serotonin plays a role in certain brain functions such as the ability to focus, motor coordination and reflexes. As you would expect, when we lack sufficient Serotonin a wide range of symptoms appear including edginess, insomnia, depression, poor concentration and an inexplicable predisposition to negativity.
Symptoms of Serotonin Deficiency
So how do you know if you are deficient in serotonin? While tests do exist to measure serotonin levels in the central nervous system they are not practical for the purposes of diagnosing serotonin deficiency. As an alternative, it is best to look at the symptoms of serotonin deficiency and determine if you have symptoms that match. The following are common symptoms of serotonin deficiency:
- Anxiety in typically low stress situations
- Impatience without explanation
- Fatigue when you should feel rested and energized
- Cognitive impairment (inability to focus, poor memory, lack of mental clarity)
- Negative thoughts with no apparent cause
- Mood swings
- Strong sugar cravings
- Indifference to situations you typically would care deeply about
- Excessive worrying
- Inability to fall and stay asleep
- Moderate to overwhelming sadness
- Feeling worse and agitated during bad/dark weather
The good news is that serotonin deficiency is highly treatable (we talk about options in future articles). Consult your doctor or a holistic health practitioner if you are experiencing severe symptoms before embarking on any program to treat your neurotransmitter deficiency. Your health care professional will help you gauge the severity of your deficiency and give you an individualized treatment plan to restore your serotonin levels quickly and effectively.
Special note: If you are experiencing thoughts about suicide, even if you do not intend to act on them, you should see a mental health professional immediately. These thoughts are consistent with mild to severe depression and undertaking a self-guided treatment regimen could dramatically worsen your condition.
Causes of serotonin deficiency
Some people have a genetic pre-disposition to serotonin deficiency. Genetic causes can vary widely, but can take the form in low or inefficient production of serotonin, inefficient absorption of key amino acids, lower then normal production of vitamin-D or countless other causes. However, for most people that experience mild serotonin deficiency, the condition can be traced to a wide range of behavioral, environmental, physiological, and dietary causes. The most common causes are listed here:
- Lack of sufficient sleep
- Not managing your stress levels
- Lack of exercise/physical activity
- Insufficient exposure to sunlight
- Exposure to toxic chemicals found in plastics such as bisphenol-A (BPA)
- Consuming pesticide-laden meat and produce
- Exposure to pesticides without sufficient protective gear
- Insufficient consumption of high-protein non-processed food
- Consuming too much caffeine and alcohol
- Food allergies
- Multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Omega-3 deficiency
- Insulin resistance
- Progesterone deficiency
- Chronic infections
- Glutathione deficiency
- Human growth hormone deficiency
- Insufficient blood flow in the brain
- Inborn abnormalities in serotonin receptors
So if you suspect you have serotonin deficiency, what do you do now? First, if you are experiencing and severe symptoms, see your doctor. On the other hand, if your symptoms are relatively mild, read our article on how to increase serotonin levels without prescription medication.
Hopefully you have found this article useful. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Biocursor Research is the creator of Serotune Amino Balance, an all natural serotonin supplement.