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Title: What is serotonin? As mentioned earlier, serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the human brain that helps in transmitting signals from one area of the brain to another.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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This chemical is also known as 5-hydoxytryptamine (5-HT) and is produced through a biochemical process using protein blocks like tryptophan and tryptophan hydroxylase. Though the chemical is manufactured in the brain, most of the serotonin in the body can be found in the digestive tract, pineal gland and the blood platelets. The deficiency of serotonin in the body is known as Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome. This can disturb your daily routine by affecting your sleeping pattern, sexual desires, appetite, your emotional stability including your moods, learning, anxiety, and depression. Apart from that, research also relates conditions like SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), cardiovascular functions, and milk production in women; to serotonin deficiency.

Symptoms of Serotonin Deficiency in the Human Body

Studies show that almost 40 million brain cells are affected directly or indirectly by the level of serotonin in the body. So, you can well imagine how serotonin deficiency can affect the functioning of the human body. There are many causes of serotonin deficiency in the human body. It could be due to constant stress, lack of sleep, improper diet, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, or some forms of recreational drugs. These can adversely affect a person's social behavior and make the person feel more depressed and isolated from others. This is the reason why lower levels of serotonin in the body is associated with depression. In fact, experts believe that antidepressants are made to boost up the serotonin levels in the human body which helps lift up the mood of the person and makes him feel much more relaxed and happy. Though it is very difficult to determine the deficiency of serotonin in the human body, there are some symptoms and signs that can help you raise concern regarding the same. The serotonin deficiency signs and symptoms are mentioned below.

Mood Disorders: The classic sign of serotonin deficiency in the human body is when a person suffers from frequent mood disorders. As mentioned earlier, studies reveal that serotonin affects a person's mood. People suffering from depressive disorders are known to have lower levels of serotonin in the brain. It is believed that if the brain has adequate amount of serotonin, the more relaxed and depressed one feels thereby reducing the mood disorders. This is the reason why antidepressants (SSRIs) help a person feel better as they help in increasing the levels of serotonin in the body. A person with serotonin deficiency may suffer from the following mood disorders.
Depression
Anxiety
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Low Self-esteem
Feeling worthless
Dislike towards dark weather
Feeling guilty
Lack of interest towards daily activities or socializing
Violent behavior
Anger
Aggression
Panic
Suicidal thoughts
Eating Disorders: Another symptom of serotonin deficiency is craving for foods, especially foods that are rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Studies show that deficiency in serotonin makes the body crave for sugar, which is used to absorb tryptophan which helps in producing serotonin. It is also said that one of the main functions of serotonin is to give signals to the brain which helps the person realize when he is full while eating food. The deficiency therefore, will lead to a feeling of constant hunger and the body will crave for more food. Mentioned below are the food disorders that are associated with low levels of serotonin in the body.
Binge Eating
Bulimia
Anorexia Nervosa
Obesity (due to excessive intake of food)
Sleep Disorders: A healthy person needs adequate amount of sleep in order to have a healthy body and an alert mind. However, if a person is suffering from serotonin deficiency, then he or she may suffer from various sleep disorders which can further affect the functions related to his mind and brain. These symptoms are listed as follows.
Insomnia
Sleep Apnea
Disrupted Sleep
Forgetfulness
Lack of Concentration
Inability to make decisions
Impaired Cognitive Function
Repetitive thoughts
Irritation
Light Sleeper
Other Symptoms: Apart from the aforementioned symptoms, there are some more signs and symptoms that can help you diagnose the condition. These are,
Headaches
Backaches
Constant muscle ache
Constipation
Stomach Upset
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Phobias and fears
Pessimism
Post Menstrual Syndrome
Alcoholism
A common serotonin deficiency symptom in children or infants is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) which results in death of the infant in the first year after birth.
Indulgence in recreational drugs
Lack of sexual desire
Although research and studies are still in progress, it is learned that the serotonin levels are different in men and women. This can actually be associated with the explanation as to why women are considered to be more moody and emotional than men. Nevertheless, if you can identify with these deficiency symptoms, then it is advisable to get in touch with a trusted health care specialist as soon as possible before the condition worsens. The treatment for the same would depend upon the exact cause behind it. Meaning, if it is due to improper diet, elevated stress levels, or something else. Doctors believe that sunlight can actually help trigger the levels of serotonin in the body along with vitamin D. Therefore spending at least 10 minutes daily under the UVB rays of the sun can help. As far as medication is concerned, certain antidepressants like SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors) and Prozac are used to bring emotional stability. Also following a proper diet with foods that increase serotonin levels in the body like chicken, turkey, tuna, soybeans, etc., can also help. Though the solutions are many, it is only through consulting a doctor that your individual case can be treated depending upon the cause. Have a healthy and safe tomorrow. Take care.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/serotonin-deficiency-symptoms.html
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