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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Symptoms of Serotonin Deficiency
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Serotonin Syndrome (Photo credit: Life Mental Health ) So how do you know if you are deficient in serotonin? While tests do exist to...
Serotonin Syndrome
Serotonin Syndrome (Photo credit: Life Mental Health)

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
  • Chronic pain (fibromyalgia, migraines, back pain)
  • Indifference to situations you typically would care deeply about
  • Excessive worrying
  • Inability to fall and stay asleep
  • Masochism
  • Moderate to overwhelming sadness
  • Feeling worse and agitated during bad/dark weather
The good news is that serotonin deficiency is highly treatable. 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.

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