Most of us don’t think too much about the different chemicals our bodies produce. We learned about them briefly in school, but haven’t thought much about it since. Maybe it’s time to think about serotonin again?
Does your body have an adequate amount? How would you even know?
It’s not something that many people even think to touch on, but low serotonin levels affect your body in a multitude of ways that you’ll probably attribute to something else.
So, before you start with other forms of self-diagnosis, let’s explore serotonin a little more in-depth.
What is Serotonin?
It’s a substance that our bodies produce naturally and works as a neurotransmitter to send signals between the nerve cells and the rest of the body. Most people recognize it as a chemical that the body produces. Its more technical name is 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT.
Healthy levels of serotonin are crucial in the body because it supports some of the most major functions of the body such as regulating sleep, appetite, healthy digestion, and other processes.
Interestingly, 95% of serotonin is produced within our gastrointestinal tract and the other 5% is produced in the brainstem.
What Happens If You Don’t Have Enough?
When the body doesn’t have enough of serotonin flowing through the GI tract or existing within the brainstem, certain symptoms manifest. Some of the physiological symptoms are anxiety, depression, aggression, insomnia, irritability, low self-esteem, and impulsive behavior.
There are also some physical symptoms that occur such as fatigue, weight gain, premature ejaculation, inability to orgasm, craving for carbohydrates, and digestive issues.
What Causes Serotonin Deficiency?
There are a great number of things that contribute to serotonin deficiency.
Here are some of the most common causes:
Lack of sunlight: The sun’s UV rays are a vital source of vitamin D to our bodies, and it also plays a huge role in maintaining healthy serotonin levels. Interestingly, many people have reported lack of vitamin D amidst our global pandemic. When you’re inside the house more often, you’re not getting enough sunlight (vitamin D) and your mood might decrease. Check with your doctor for more information.
Prolonged periods of stress: We all know this to some extent, but the more you stress, the more of a negative effect it has on the body—serotonin levels included.
Drug use: Most drugs produce feelings of euphoria and the production of this feeling depletes serotonin levels. Additionally, it may be hard to get levels back where they need to be after extended periods of drug use.
Poor diet: We need to intake certain vitamins that allow neurotransmitters to create adequate serotonin levels.
Toxic substances: Some of your favorite products contain toxic substances such as heavy metals, pesticides, and artificial chemicals—which can damage your nerve cells.
How To Alleviate Some of These Symptoms
Serotonin is called the “happy chemical” because when we lack it we deal with heaps of anxiety and depression. People find their own ways of managing anxiety and depression, and most times, they might not realize that it’s linked to a lack of serotonin.
Since anxiety can manifest at any given time, a lot of people realized that keeping a CBD vape pen close by is a great way to keep those anxious feelings at bay. You could go the traditional route and get a refillable vape pen, or you could go the disposable route and toss it out when it’s empty.
If you opt for the more traditional route of using a vape kit, there are a ton of tasty vape juices from CBDfx. They’re crowd favorites because they contain all-natural ingredients with all-natural flavorings. If you encounter a pen made with a bunch of artificial ingredients and chemicals, it could potentially make your symptoms worse because you can’t predict how those random chemicals will interact with your body chemistry.
Aside from the vape option, you could go outside and get some sun because those rays contain helpful amounts of vitamin D that boost serotonin levels naturally.
Also, certain foods contain tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts serotonin levels that are found in foods like turkey and salmon.
Then, you can always boost your serotonin by working out.
There are also prescription medications that you can talk to your doctor about serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They don’t boost serotonin levels but help diminish those symptoms.
Key Things To Remember
Addressing the lack of serotonin in the body is a process that should be discussed with your primary care physician. Before you contact your doctor, take note of your symptoms and how long you’ve been experiencing them.
There are natural ways to boost serotonin levels, or you can take the pharmaceutical route, it’s up to you.
Overall, it’s about being healthy and happy, and you can’t do that when you’re lacking serotonin!