In this article, we will learn about serotonin, its effects on the body, and its relationship to happiness.
What is serotonin?
Serotonin is a hormone produced in the body and is a neurotransmitter that is exchanged by nerve endings in the brain.
To produce serotonin, the body primarily needs the amino acid tryptophan, which we get from our diet, mainly through nuts, cheese, and red meat.
A deficiency of tryptophan can lead to a low level of serotonin, which can lead to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
How does serotonin affect the human body?
Serotonin not only affects your body, but it affects your emotions and motor skills as well. It affects depression, anxiety, wound healing, nausea, bone health, and more.
Let's acquaint ourselves with the functions of the body that affect serotonin:
- Bowel Movement: Serotonin is primarily found in the human stomach and intestines, so it helps control bowel movement, function, and regulation.
- Mood: Serotonin as a neurotransmitter is thought to regulate anxiety, happiness, and general moods, while its low is associated with depression and its high appears to contribute to feelings of arousal and enthusiasm.
- Nausea: It seems that serotonin is also responsible for the case of diarrhea or nausea that may affect you as a result of food poisoning, as the body secretes it when it is absorbed by the presence of food you don't like, and thus stimulates the body to vomiting and diarrhea.
- Sleep: Serotonin is vital for sleep, as well as for waking up, as it depends on the type of nerve receptors it receives, but in general, its level must be appropriate for a person to have enough of both cases.
- Blood clotting: Platelets work to clot and heal wounds by secreting serotonin, which narrows small arteries and helps in the occurrence of local blood clots and thus clotting of wounds.
- Bone health and strength: An increase in serotonin levels in the body would threaten a person with osteoporosis, making them weaker and more prone to fracture, and thus more difficult to repair.
- Sexual performance: High levels of serotonin in the body are associated with decreased libido, so it is necessary to maintain its normal level.
Serotonin and Mental and Emotional Health
Serotonin appears to help maintain a more positive and calm mental health. When serotonin levels are normal in your body, you will be happier, focused, emotionally stable, and less anxious.
In addition, depression, sleep disturbances, and insomnia are associated with low levels of serotonin.
What is the appropriate level of serotonin in the body?
The normal range for serotonin levels in the blood is 101-283 nanometers per milliliter of blood (nm/ml), of course, there may be a slight difference in values as they relate to the sample and method of measurement
High levels of serotonin may be an important sign of the body's tendency to develop some types of cancer, such as small intestine, colon, and bronchi, so it is very important to see a doctor in this case.
How can serotonin levels be raised?
We will review a range of options for increasing serotonin levels in the body, either through medication or by natural means:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs): These are the most common type of antidepressant. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors work by preventing the body from reabsorbing serotonin, which makes it stay longer in the brain, allowing it to be affected. These medicines interact with other medicines, so if your doctor prescribes any of them, you should tell them that you are taking any other medicines.
- Exposure to bright light is often the best solution for seasonal depression, as it appears to boost serotonin levels in the body.
- Exercise: Regular exercise improves mood and improves serotonin production.
- Diet: As mentioned, serotonin is needed to produce tryptophan from the amino acid, so your diet should include eggs, cheese, turkey, nuts, salmon, and pineapple.
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