Serotonin: The Feel Good Hormone – Learn How It’s Made, What It Does, And More
Your hormones control how you sleep and eat. They control your well-being. They affect your happiness. In fact, your hormones make everything in your body work properly. At Renew Youth we know how essential it is that your hormones stay in balance. Keep reading to learn about the importance of the hormone serotonin.
What Is Serotonin?
Serotonin, known as the “feel good” hormone, plays a major role in a person’s sense of wellbeing. In particular, it’s a neurotransmitter that sends signals through the brain from one area to another.
How is Serotonin Made?
Serotonin can’t be made without tryptophan, an amino acid used as a “building block” to proteins. To produce serotonin, cells use tryptophan hydroxylase, an enzyme needed for its production. Specifically, tryptophan hydroxylase combines with tryptophan to make serotonin.
What Exactly Does Serotonin Do?
Serotonin performs a number of important functions within the body, including:
- Regulating bowel function
- Aiding in the feeling of being satiated while you eat
- Maintaining a healthy libido
- Improving wellbeing and a sense of happiness
Serotonin Must Be at the Right Levels for Optimal Wellbeing
Serotonin is indeed the “feel good” hormone – but only if it’s at the right levels. If you have too much or too little, adverse effects can result.
What Happens with Low Serotonin Levels?
Serotonin levels can be low for a number of reasons, including the hormone not being properly circulated or broken down, insufficient serotonin receptors in the brain, or a total lack of the formation of serotonin.
Scientists do not fully understand how serotonin affects a person’s mood or wellbeing, but they know it does. This can be evidenced by the fact that one of the most common ways to successfully treat depression is to increase levels of serotonin.
Aside from depression, other symptoms of low serotonin include:
- Low libido
- Irritability and mood changes
- Carbohydrate cravings
- Digestive issues
- Headaches and migraines
- Difficulty focusing
Over time, low levels of serotonin can also lead to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
High Serotonin Levels
Having levels of serotonin that are too high can also have adverse effects. Elevated serotonin levels can happen when beginning new medications, when increasing the dosage of an existing medication, when taking dietary supplements, or when using illegal drugs. Symptoms can be mild to severe, and can include:
- High heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Twitching or rigidity of muscles
- Extreme sweating
- Headaches or migraines
- Chills and shivering
If you have questions regarding serotonin or other hormones, call Renew Youth today at 800-859-7511 for a consultation.