These issues are a few that require balanced, healthy levels of Serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that transfers information from one brain cell to another. These transferred impulses are linked to all aspects of your physical and mental health. All ages can be affected, but it really becomes noticeable in the elderly as they become more “quarrelsome” as they age.
In our nutrition practice we try to address the issues before they become chronic. When you try to tell the doctor about your different issues that is how they are treated…all differently.
What If Serotonin is Low?
If you don’t have enough Serotonin it effects your mood, memory, sleep, night sweats , pain, aggressive behavior, excessive eating or carb cravings, anxiety, arthritic problems, weight issues or any addictive behavior. They feel as if they are all different, but they have their common connection in a nutritional deficiency of Serotonin.
Can you Have Too Much Serotonin?
If you have too much Serotonin, you are an extremely nervous person that is distracted easily. You may take everything said as a personal attack. You are more of a worry wort and fear not being liked. Very shy people that see themselves as “not good enough”.
When Serotonin is unbalanced your brain cannot recharge and you are unable to get adequate sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep or have too much mental stimulation your brain and body get overtired and you head into “burn out”. You then experience chronic physical, mental and emotional issues. Everything from arthritis, OCD, depression, tremors and weight gain. There are a whole host of medical issues that fall under this level of “burn out” and many of you are resorting to medications to help you deal with them.
Neurotransmitters can malfunction and that effects all of your brain to body functions. For Example: When women have night sweats and are unable to sleep, they immediately think or are told it is “hormones”. It may possibly be a lack of serotonin and not your monthly cycle or menopause. (men have night sweats too!)
Craving Carbohydrates is the body’s way of getting you to eat a food that triggers a release of Serotonin. Unfortunately, it raises cholesterol levels and stores as fat and that is over abundant in our country. Look how out of control child obesity has become. Children are not the only ones who eat foods to raise serotonin as a way to feel better emotionally. Most everyone I know is hooked on Carbs.
Is There Anything Natural to Help Reduce These Issues and Increase Serotonin?
Yes, Yes and Yes! Your diet and daily habits raise or lower the precursor called L-Tryptophan that is needed to keep the balance of Serotonin.
Balancing your food consumption of Carbs, Proteins and Fats, while leaving out all the processed foods, is your best self-help for a healthy lifestyle. Fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy fats keep your glucose levels from bouncing around and causing an imbalance of hormones.
Eating only carbohydrates can offer the quick fix, but do nothing else except cause health problems with long term use. I’ve heard many of our clients say that they sleep better if they eat a carb in the evening. It is easier to improve your health when you understand why you even want or crave particular foods. Learning to choose foods wisely and use supplements to offer the body the things it lacks does work. Most just need to be more educated and guided in the use of supplements. We don’t want you to stop carbohydrates completely. A few nuts, brown or basmati rice or even utilizing beans with meals can be enough to help.
Eating proteins that have a higher L-tryptophan content such as turkey, eggs, chicken or fish. Some types of cheese even help.
Using Olive oil, eating fish, flaxseed oil or any other organic sources to get those Omega’s is necessary for you to produce healthy Serotonin levels.
Balance, Balance, Balance!
Lack of sleep is one of the biggest disruptions of hormone balance. It is another culprit in the inability to produce enough Serotonin. At night we produce Serotonin in the form of Melatonin. Try to stop the stimulation of violent programs, exercise or any over activity in the evening so the body has a chance to calm down and begin it’s night time rejuvenation for the next day’s activity. Sleep is a necessity! Try it!
Exercise in moderation is also helpful for increasing all neurotransmitters such as Serotonin level. Walking, swimming and alternating with resistance exercises is helpful. When you work out too vigorously, especially when you are tired, you are depleting the hormones that boost your moods. You might achieve an adrenaline rush, but it reduces your neurotransmitters.
Try light therapy or utilizing sunrise to get your body to switch from Melatonin production for sleep to the daytime supply of Serotonin for a more positive mood and higher energy levels.
Coffee, Alcohol, Sugar and even Sugar substitutes cause depletion of hormones. Moderation is always the key, but if you find over use of any of these, it is time to make a change or at least a reduction.
Supplements such as L-tryptophan, 5 – hydroxy-tryptophan, Melatonin are three of the most popular supplements that are used consistently and safely. Never just buy any type off the shelf. When trying to improve your health, it is wiser to start with a professional that understands using supplements and can guide you to which are best for you. When it comes to using amino acids that effect your neurotransmitters may be tricky as your whole lifestyle is part of the issue. Balance is the name of the game. Balancing your Serotonin, Melatonin, Acetylcholine and Gaba levels is a better place to start your journey to healthy longevity. Muscle testing zeros in on what and how much to take. Call for your start at taking control of your personal health path. We are here to help you choose wisely!