Four Neurotransmitters that Affect Your Mood
Learn how Renew Youth can help you put a stop to age-related mood problems
The human body is very complicated. When all parts of the system are working as they should, it’s amazing. When any one part of the system gets out of balance, it can have a ripple effect, causing problems in other areas of the body and resulting in unpleasant, uncomfortable, and unhealthy symptoms.
This is certainly true when it comes to your neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that allow the roughly 100 billion neurons in your brain to communicate with each other and with the rest of your body. When neurotransmitters become imbalanced, a variety of problems can result including:
- Brain fog
- Mood disorders
- Behavioral disturbances
Neurotransmitter imbalances and hormonal imbalances often go hand in hand, so if you are experiencing menopause or andropause symptoms—especially mood-related symptoms like mood swings, depression, irritability, or anxiety—it is a good idea to consider treatment for both issues.
The 4 Most Important Neurotransmitters for Mood
When it comes to keeping your moods stable, you need a balance of inhibitory (calming) neurotransmitters and excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitters. While there are many neurotransmitters involved, the four most important are:
Serotonin: Serotonin is a calming neurotransmitter that is essential for feelings of self-worth and happiness. Low serotonin is a common cause of depression and other mood disorders. Age-related hormone decline—specifically declining testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, and thyroid—will affect serotonin levels in the brain. By replacing these hormones, we can give the body what it needs to produce more serotonin for better, more stable moods. There are also a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that play a role in serotonin production, so supplementation should also be considered.
GABA: Sometimes called “Mother Nature’s XANAX,” GABA is essential for helping neurons recover after firing, thereby reducing anxiety. When GABA is too high, you can feel sluggish. When it is too low, you get anxiety and irritability. Supplementing magnesium or Vitamin B6 can help GABA do its calming work, while supplementing pregnenolone can inhibit GABA receptors to prevent sluggishness.
Dopamine: When it comes to stimulating reward and pleasure centers in the brain, dopamine is essential. Without enough dopamine, you lose your zest for life. You’ll have trouble with motivation, concentration, energy, and memory. People often develop issues with drugs, alcohol, overeating, or cigarettes in an attempt to compensate for low dopamine. Because stress has a very destructive effect on dopamine production, managing the stress hormone cortisol can help protect dopamine and improve your mood. Supplementing the amino acid SAM-e and Vitamin C can also help boost dopamine.
Norepinephrine: This stimulating neurotransmitter works in two ways: burst firing and tonic firing. Burst firing is part of your body’s fight or flight response. If you are under too much stress, this response will be triggered too often, causing anxiety. Your system will be flooded with the stress hormone cortisol, and you can end up with adrenal fatigue. This condition prevents your body from producing the small amounts of cortisol and tonic noepinephrine firing that you need on a daily basis. The result will be fatigue and apathy. Adrenal fatigue treatment as well as Vitamin C supplements can help boost tonic norepinephrine firing.
Get Neurotransmitter Testing
Have you noticed more and more mood problems as you age? Renew Youth can help. We typically recommend starting with hormone replacement therapy, as balanced hormones provide the foundation for balanced neurotransmitters. If you need additional help with your mood, we also offer neurotransmitter testing and supplementation. To learn more, contact us at 800-859-7511 today.