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What Are The Symptoms and Causes of Serotonin Deficiency

Posted on February 04, 2011 by Serotune | 39 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 feedback@serotune.com.  Biocursor Research is the creator of Serotune Amino Balance, an all natural serotonin supplement.  

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    Comments

    • JohnM

      I got Low Seratonin after Cancer surgery and cytotic Chemotherapy destroyed my health,immune system and caused me Vitamine B12 mal-absorbtion, and have most of these for years which are getting worse as my irreversible Neurological damage spreads. I felt my retrograde health improve while on Lani Muelrath’s Plant-Based Journey whole food diet but as my chronic pain increased and all treatments i used to get relief stopped working my Low Seratonin symptoms are getting worse as chronic fatigue prevents me from exercising and just walking is extremely difficult now. I get weekly Methylcobalamin active B12 injections to fight Dementia symptoms but the Rx’s I used to help me sleep caused me to get frequent long lasting headaches so I can get rest to recover as I’m trapped in a downward spiraling catch-22 scenario. I plan to ask my PCP for a specific Rx to help increase my Serotonin level but every Rx I used to treat 99 Cancer and treatment caused health ailments caused me horrible GI and pain side effects so none help long term! Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    • sakiul basit

      sir/madam ……I am patients of chronic agarophobia…my psychraits give me flunil (120 mg)/day and clonil(75 mg)/day…..from 1 years …..BT no sufficient result for this..I am just 21 years age ………plz help me

    • Diane trujillo

      I too have experienced these depressive/ low energy symptoms after pregnancy. I have went thru the gamer of antidepressants. They made other problems and were not the fix made me feel not right! The issue is deficiency after pregnancy you must rebuild your system pregnancy will deplete you of the nutrients U need. Please listen
      So u don’t have to rely on antidepressants for the rest of your life. I promise u I have been there. Go see a natural path. Also there is a natural serosyn that u can take when needed without side effects. I hope this helps you as I have struggled for 5 years after my children and am finally back to normal.

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    • Stuart

      I have all of the above symptoms. I have had this a long time. Not sure what to do.

    • Meera

      I was given Luvox 50 (fluboxamine maleate)I am just afraid to take it. Too many side effects.

    • Joan

      I have ALL of the above symptoms! I felt a complete change from normal to varying degrees of depression after childbirth at 20. I have been on and off anti-depressants all of my adult life, and to my detriment, also self-medicated. Why is this condition not addressed by the mental health community?

    • onlyone

      I need a plan. and a good physciatrist and phscolatrist.

      nice read.

    • Ruth

      Found to have a serotonin level of 11 several months ago. I know that it is effecting how I am feeling physically but not doctor will address this. Including the doctor who ordered the test. I would prefer not to have to take a lot of medication. Any ideas?

     

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