Low Serotonin Level

Low Serotonin Level: Overview

When serotonin levels are low, many psychological problems can develop including serious depression.

Diagnosis and Tests

Serotonin levels are not routinely checked before prescribing serotonin-elevating agents.  Since blood serotonin levels correlate poorly with brain levels, a therapeutic trial with agents that are known to raise levels is a reasonable and cost-effective approach.

Treatment and Prevention

One must be cautious not to combine too many SRIs (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, St.  John's Wort (hypericum), and 5HTP to avoid the medical condition known as serotonin syndrome.  Here the brain has too much serotonin (the opposite of what happens in depression) and this may result in symptoms such as sweating, agitation, confusion, lethargy, tremor, and muscle jerks.  If such symptoms occur, consult your doctor immediately.

Low Serotonin

Information On This Page

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Low Serotonin Level:

Symptoms - Food - Beverages

Symptoms - Food - Preferences

Symptoms - General

Symptoms - Mind - Emotional

Symptoms - Sleep

Conditions that suggest Low Serotonin Level:

Mental

Depression often suggests Low Serotonin LevelDepression
Serotonin levels can dictate if you feel depressed or not.  Antidepressant medications like Paxil, Zoloft, St.  John's Wort, and Prozac work by preventing serotonin destruction and loss.  These antidepressants inhibit serotonin uptake ( or reuptake) by the neurons in the brains.  Low serotonin levels cause depression.
Anxiety often suggests Low Serotonin LevelAnxiety
Serotonin levels are often low among people with anxiety disorders.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) often suggests Low Serotonin LevelObsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Although the exact cause is not known, experts believe that OCD may be caused by low levels of a chemical in the brain called serotonin.

Metabolic

Musculo-Skeletal

Restless Leg Syndrome may suggest Low Serotonin LevelRestless Leg Syndrome
See the treatment link between RLS and tryptophan/5HPT.

Recommendations for Low Serotonin Level:

Amino Acid / Protein

Tryptophan / 5HTP is highly recommended for Low Serotonin LevelTryptophan / 5HTP
Tryptophan is the dietary amino acid precursor for production of serotonin in the body.  First it is converted into 5HTP, and then into serotonin.  Both supplements are available, but tryptophan may require a doctor's prescription.  It is recommended that these be taken under a doctor's supervision.

KEY

Weak or unproven link: may be a sign or symptom of; may suggest
Weak or unproven link:
may be a sign or symptom of; may suggest
Strong or generally accepted link: often suggests
Strong or generally accepted link:
often suggests
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for