Serotonin is a chemical substance that makes us happy. In general, it gives us the sensation of an overall well-being.
However, its functions go far beyond a gratifying emotional state.
Besides acting as a neurotransmitter within the brain, serotonin also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), can function as a hormone when found in our bloodstream.
Serotonin influences an immense variety of physical and psychological functions: in fact, it plays a great role in controlling our bone metabolism, our liver regeneration and even our body’s cellular division.
The chemical components found within our body are very fascinating.
Thanks to 5-HT, for example, we can count on an internal equilibrium that grants us an overall well-being of the processes that contribute to our general health.
9 Negative Effects of Low Serotonin Levels
Today, we’d like to explain how low serotonin levels can affect your body.
It’s worth having in mind these symptoms. Many times, they’re associated with other problems when in reality, a simple imbalance of neurotransmitters and hormones is to blame.
1. Causes Digestive Problems
It’s possible that you’ve never heard of peristalsis before. This term refers to the muscle contractions that take place throughout our whole digestive tract with a very concrete mission: to effectively move food and liquids through the digestive system.
When levels of serotonin are low, our cells stop producing an adequate amount of calcium.
With less calcium, the digestive muscles degenerate and stop contracting efficiently. Hence, our digestion process becomes much heavier and a lot slower.
2. Irritable Intestines
This fact is interesting: almost 95% of serotonin is produced and stored in the intestine. A deficiency in this neurotransmitter causes intestinal function changes.
This makes it possible to experience repeated episodes of constipation.
Besides, due to muscle deterioration of the digestive system, it is also very common to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Therefore, under these circumstances, it’s a good idea for your doctor to order bloodwork and a complete evaluation of our symptoms to be done in order to confirm if your problem in reality is related to low serotonin levels.
3. A Weaker Immune System
If you’ve been going through a period of decline such as muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, moodiness and more infections or colds than usual, don’t hesitate to go to the doctor.
A low serotonin level can also make your immune system ineffective and a lot weaker.
4. Changes To Your Biological Clock
Low serotonin levels can also change your circadian rhythm. In fact, a common symptom experienced is also feeling sleepier during the day rather than at night time.
In fact, that daily drowsiness is also said to be a common symptom of depression.
It’s known that endogenous depressions are caused precisely by a deficit in serotonin.
5. Salty Food Cravings
This fact is without a doubt is very interesting: people who suffer from a decrease of serotonin in their bodies have a greater need of sodium and therefore have cravings for salty foods.
Nevertheless, we can’t consider this symptom an absolute indicator of a 5-HT deficit. There must also be other factors present such as: being discouraged all the time, tiredness, digestive problems etc.
As we said previously, a deficit of serotonin levels is linked to a decline in our mood.
In fact, there is a direct link between low serotonin levels and the development of depression.
All of this originates with a lack of receptors able to receive serotonin or tryptophan, an amino acid able to regulate serotonin.
On occasions, if depression isn’t very serious, something as simple as improving your diet and practicing some kind of sport can improve our mood.
However, in a great majority of cases, it is necessary to resort to prescribed drugs in order to restore serotonin levels.
7. Greater Anxiety
Our body has at least 14 different serotonin receptors, and the 5-HT1A is the most important of them all.
If at some point in our lives, if this receptor faults we will immediately notice greater susceptibility, nervousness, concern and anxiety.
This is a very important fact we must have in mind in order to understand that many times both anxiety and depression have a chemical imbalance origin.
Serotonin levels are also important in the development and appearance of migraines.
The cause of a good part of this type of debilitating headache lies behind tryptophan deficiency, the precursor of serotonin that mediates its adequate production.
9. Small Memory Problems
A lack of attention, fatigue, difficulty concentrating on specific facts and retaining information is also associated with a serotonin problem.
This symptom is very common in people who suffer depression. A problem which at the same time tends to improve effectively when a pharmacy treatment is obtained to treat it.
To conclude, serotonin levels interfere in an infinite amount of body processes. In fact, the 9 that are stated within this blog are just a handful of examples.
Therefore, it’s necessary that in the presence of any problem, physical or emotional discomfort, to consult a physician.
A good diet, exercise and adequate medicine can return our well-being.