What Are The Symptoms and Causes of Serotonin Deficiency

Posted on February 04, 2011 by Serotune | 22 comments
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
  • Agitation
  • Mania/obsession
  • 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:

Behavioral Causes:

  • Lack of sufficient sleep
  • Not managing your stress levels
  • Lack of exercise/physical activity

Environmental Causes:

  • 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

Dietary Causes

  • Insufficient consumption of high-protein non-processed food
  • Consuming too much caffeine and alcohol
  • Food allergies
  • Multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Omega-3 deficiency

Physiological Causes:

  • 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  Biocursor Research is the creator of Serotune Amino Balance, an all natural serotonin supplement.  



    • saifur rehman

      sir we are six sisters and brothers suffering from serotinin deficiency/plz recommend the best medication to relieve deficiency

    • CHRIS

      i stopped taking lexapro 10mg after 10 years 4 weeks ago cold turkey due to seratonin syndrome and a trip to the er…still feeling terrible, dizzy, ache all over, bloating, unable to have bowel movement unless i take magnesium i need more serotonin or am i still on overload

    • jinesh

      My casine is looking for a marige to a patiant who have sarotony deficiency.

    • Laura

      I’ve suffered from chronic insomnia for a few years, but a medication that I’m on, mirtzapine, solves this problem easily. In researching this drug, I found that it increases serotonin in an indirect way. For all you who suffer from insomnia because of serotonin deficiency, you may want to ask your doctor about low doses of mirtzapine.

    • Serotune Support


      We would recommend you talk to your doctor about Serotune (or a similar product) as an option. The most important thing is to find an option that will not aggravate your liver, and he/she will be the best person to say if Serotune could be helpful for your specific medical condition.

    • Tammy

      My name is Tammy i am 25 years old, and is was diagnosed with a serotonin deficiency disorder when i was about 10 years old. my grandmother, aunt, sister, uncle all have this disorder. i have currently stopped taking my medication because i have learned that i have a bad liver, my question is what type of home remedy can i take to help my serotonin levels?

    • Aylwin

      Cannot sleep well,if fall alseep dream alot.easily agitated,loss temper unessary,stomach feeling unwell like discomfort,bloating,heartbeat sometimes beat faster etc.

    • Marina

      When I was in high school I would get in these unexplainable weird/sad moods when I would try to tell people I just said I was in a “funk.” They continued every so often when I started college and until one semester it didn’t happen at all. Now in my third year of college I lost someone very close to me and they’re back, my “funks,” I of course equate it to my recent loss. But the other day I started to experience something like vertigo while watching tv, I just closed my eyes until it passed. Could this be low serotonin?

    • Anna

      I pretty much have most of the symptoms on the list it’s quite scary, also I suffer with really bad blinding migraines over the past year, I’d go to my docs but im always there about different symptoms and they are quite useless at putting two and two together and probably think im some sort of hypochondriac

    • Serotune Support

      @Seshu, what you describe could be any number of things. We recommend talking to your doctor to diagnose your condition.


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