Some issues within your body can come from low levels of Serotonin. Even depression can stem from this deficiency. How can you improve these levels?
Guess what? You could be suffering from low levels of Serotonin and just unaware of its effects. Many people aren’t familiar with how Serotonin works, however, and it could be why you’re in the dark. Regardless, this chemical can cause underlying problems which can be hard to detect.
Low levels of Serotonin can cause digestive problems, changes in mood, and even sleeplessness. So, what exactly is Serotonin?
Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter which regulates many processes within the brain. It sends signals from one area of the brain to the other. Its importance is highly underrated.
Here’s a surprising fact: Although Serotonin is manufactured in the brain, most of the ends up being located in the gut. That’s right, the digestive system uses Serotonin on a regular basis, as does the blood platelets.
With this being said, it should be pretty easy to discover when there are low levels of Serotonin in the body, right? Well, maybe.
Recognizing low levels of Serotonin
The widespread distribution of the cells of Serotonin ensures that a variety of physiological and bodily processes are influenced. In fact, about 40 million brain cells are affected by the levels of Serotonin present. Here are a few ways you can tell when you’re experiencing low levels of Serotonin.
It has been found that those who suffer from anxiety also have lower levels of Serotonin. They also exhibit low levels of dopamine. In fact, medications that boost Serotonin levels are given to those who suffer from this mental illness.
If you deal with anxiety, it would be smart to check your Serotonin levels because they could indeed be lower than normal.
2. Sex drive
A decreased serotonin level can actually cause an increase in the sex drive, but a decrease in the emotional connection during intimacy. This can cause severe confusion and misunderstanding between partners. It can also cause a decrease in physical functioning during sexual activities.
Look for these indicators of low levels of Serotonin during intimacy.
3. Food cravings
When Serotonin levels are low, you may start to crave foods that are full of carbohydrates. Sweets and starchy snacks provide a quick jolt of serotonin. Unfortunately, they also increase glucose levels in the body as well. Watch for this sign of low levels of Serotonin.
4. Memory problems
Another indicator of low Serotonin is memory issues. Cognitive abilities seem to be impaired when the brain isn’t receiving the right signals or incomplete signals provided by the Serotonin neurotransmitters. Memory and overall thinking capabilities are influenced when Serotonin drops.
5. Digestive issues
People who suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) may also suffer from low levels of Serotonin.
This neurotransmitter is responsible for sending signals from the brain to the digestive system, and since IBS causes no physical changes during tests, it helps explain the reason why this disease exhibits “mood-like” symptoms in the gut instead of growths or lesions.
Pay attention to your digestive health to understand how your Serotonin fairs.
You can trick your levels back up!
There are ways you can increase your low levels of Serotonin. These tricks are separate from what your doctor may recommend. With depression and other mental illnesses, mood stabilizers will work. Otherwise, try these solutions on for size.
The sun can boost your production of Serotonin which increases your melatonin by evening time. The best and easiest way to boost your Serotonin levels is by taking a brisk walk in the early morning hours when the sunlight is strongest.
2. Reduce sugar
When Serotonin levels are low, you will crave sugar. Too much sugar is detrimental to your health and should be avoided as much as possible. Instead of ingesting large amounts of sugar or sweets, try a sugar substitute. This will help you avoid future illnesses such as diabetes.
Scientists have found that exercise boosts your mood in monumental ways. This, in turn, also boosts your Serotonin levels as well. If your levels are low, any form of exercise will gradually build those levels back to normal.
4. Fermented food and drink
Considering your Serotonin levels are tightly connected to your digestive system, and fermented foods and drinks aid in your digestion, you can see how the Serotonin levels can benefit in this way. A little at a time, add fermented beverages to your diet to improve your levels of Serotonin.
Fermented foods and drinks manufacture B vitamins which also boost your mood and energy. They also decrease your cravings for sugar too!
5. Massage therapy
The power of massage is underrated. Serotonin levels have been known to increase by almost 30% when the body undergoes massage therapy. At the same time, this therapy decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, by 30% as well.
Now that you know the signs and the tricks to combat these low levels, how is your Serotonin? If you think you could be suffering from low levels of Serotonin, consult with your doctor first. There are tests which can confirm your concerns.
In the meantime, get outside, enjoy the weather and get a little exercise. This, by itself, can make you feel so much better.
I wish you well.
By Sherrie H.