General Health

Serotonin: What you didn’t know about this “feel-good” chemical

Chances are that you have heard of serotonin; you may even know that it’s a “feel-good” chemical. But did you know that it is also produced by your digestive system, and controls everything from eating behavior to sleep patterns?

Yes, it is true!

Serotonin or 5-Hydroxytryptamine is noted for change in a person's behaviour and mood. Likewise, low level serotonin keeps an immense impact on your physical and mental health.

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Understanding Serotonin:

The chemical nerve cell is made up of “essential amino acid tryptophan.” Apparently, this amino acid is extracted from common food such as red meat, nuts and cheese. The nerve cells dominate our body from emotions to different physical movements. Serotonin acts in disparate body functions including bowel movement, nausea, sleep, sex function etc.

Consequently, a normal serotonin level brings you happiness, calmness and emotional stability.

Serotonin Deficiency:

Even if you are suffering from the deficiency or not, there is no exact test to examine the condition or diagnosis criteria. It is more about the symptoms that one relates, discusses and observes the results; it leads to several bodily and psychological changes.

There is still a medical wrangle between serotonin and depression; the medical research continues to come to a conclusion yet.

Serotonin deficiency can be observed from different physical and psychological symptoms such as:

Physical Symptoms:

  • Sleep disorder
  • Blood clotting
  • Digestion
  • Liver function
  • Metabolism
  • Developed pain

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Insomnia
  • Low mood
  • Dementia

More than 90 percent of serotonin produced in the body is lined in the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and the rest is developed in the brain. According to research, the serotonin developed in the GI tract flows in the body circulating in tiny blood cells and platelets. The flow modulates intrinsic body processes such as:

  • Bone development
  • Digestion
  • Immune response
  • Cardiac function

Serotonin Causes:

Well, medical practitioners are still not sure about how the deficiency is caused in humans. Whereas, some researchers found the reason to be early life stressors that put a negative impact on the serotonin transportation in the body.

Besides, there is research that indicates that it is caused due to the disturbed microbes production in guts. The reason could be anything such as stress, any disease or inappropriate diet.

Other causes of serotonin deficiency:

  • Digestion issue
  • Hormone changes
  • Drugs
  • Lack of sunlight

Related Read: 5 ways to keep cholesterol low

Struggling with any of the above symptoms?

It is integral to understand and pay attention to your body changes, and consult a doctor straight-away if any issues are perceived. Working with an imbalanced serotonin may lead to serious concerns sometimes.

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