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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Serotonergic signal transmission may be a target for therapies to reduce alcohol consumption. The good news is that the solution although might involve a bit of trial and error with foods/supplements
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Serotonergic signal transmission may bea target for therapies to reduce alcohol consumption. The link between low Serotonin and alco...
Serotonergic signal transmission may bea target for therapies to reduce alcohol consumption.
The link between low Serotonin and alcohol misuse/dependency is nothing new as it is a well established fact.

Perhaps you might recognise some of the symptoms of low serotonin like Chronic fatigue, disturbed sleep, loss of appetite or carbohydrate cravings, hot flushes and temperature changes, headaches, stomach pains, low libido, social withdrawal, sadness and frequent crying spells, low self-esteem and self-confidence, loss of personality, feeling emotionally sensitive and taking things personally, Irritability and so on.
These are a few of the symptoms there are many more but I am sure that many of you like me are quite familiar with many of them.

So where does the Alcohol come in ? well if you look at the symptoms you are basically talking about depression/anxiety and other similar mental illnesses and we all know that when we have had these feelings in the past or even now we have reached for the alcohol or in some cases drugs or even high calorific sugary foods as all of those temporarily raise serotonin levels only for it to fall much lower than it was before. This is when we get into the addictive habit of continually trying to raise our serotonin levels by drinking or eating in order to feel better. A vicious circle if you like, Incidentally low Serotonin is also linked to obesity.

So the problems gets worse and worse, you drink more and more until you feel there’s no way out and eventually you end up at the doctors or hospital who will usually prescribe some form of anti-depressants along with some counselling if you are lucky or perhaps refer you to a mental health team or substance misuse service.

But while this helps some people for a period of time and they remain alcohol free they very often they relapse and the whole episode starts all over again. Yes I have seen it done it, been there as I suppose many of you have or will.


So what goes wrong ? well quite simply they only deal with the symptoms of a problem and not the actual cause, after all the alcohol use, the drug taking, the over eating are a symptom of an illness and not the actual illness itself. You might say but the surely the SSRI,s or MAOI’s more commonly known as anti-depressants will be addressing the low Serotonin problem? Well yes and no as they will only address the problem if you have enough Serotonin in the first place as they basically stop your brain from losing it. What happens if you don’t have enough Serotonin in the first place? Well to put quite simply they have little or no effect other than some rather nasty side affects, in fact as in my case they were almost totally useless.

Perhaps at this point I should explain Serotonin a little more. Serotonin is derived from Tryptophan which is an essential amino acid found in small quantities in meats such as chicken, turkey and beef, milk, cheese, pumpkin seeds, bananas, etc.
Tryptophan is converted to Serotonin in the brain, it is responsible for a whole range of emotions, but basically when your brain has an ample supply it makes you feel good and able to cope it is also converted into melatonin which aids sleep. So do you get little idea just how important it is ? It’s paramount for good health, it’s paramount to feeling good and not craving for alcohol or whatever.

So if I eat a good diet high in Tryptophan I should be OK shouldn’t I ? well no I am afraid this is where the problem often begins. Many people like myself have a faulty transportation system and only limited amounts of Tryptophan ever get into the bloodstream. I must just point out that that this is often an hereditary problem and runs in families, which goes along way to explain why depression, alcoholism is often described as genetic and runs in families.

There are several reasons why people are low on Serotonin it could be as simply as bad diet, but more likely it will be malabsorption or intolerance problem. Mine was caused by Fructose Malabsorption, But I understand that both Lactose and Gluten intolerances will also have the same devastating effects in that they block nutrients like tryptophan from entering the bloodstream.

The good news is that the remedy although might involve a bit of trial and error with foods/supplements it is relatively simple and well worth investigating and it might just solve you 40 something years of bother like it did me.

I might just add that I have no medical qualifications, but I doubt whether a medical professional could pull this apart, as here I am feeling well, no feeling good, with no alcohol cravings, on no prescribed medication whatsoever for the first time in donkeys years
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