Find Out If You Have Low Serotonin In Five Minutes
Serotonin is a vital neurotransmitter that influence everything from your sleep cycle to your mood stability, sex drive, memory and appetite. Many people with low serotonin have identified this via symptoms of depression, and may have implemented lifestyle changes or started taking medication in order to correct the problem.
However, in some cases, you might not notice the more subtle signs of low serotonin—thereby missing important opportunities to boost your well-being.
What’s more, a lack of serotonin makes you vibrate on a low and ineffective frequency, making it much harder to manifest anything you desire. Take five minutes to ask yourself these seven key questions and find out whether you’ve been unknowingly suffering from low serotonin.
1. Do You Crave Complex Carbohydrates?
Eating complex carbohydrates has been proven to indirectly influence serotonin levels, so your body can start to crave these foods in an effort to rebalance your neurotransmitters. Common examples include all sweet and starchy ingredients, such as bread, pasta, sugary candy, potatoes and baked goods.
When you consume these sorts of foods, it increases the availability of tryptophan—an amino acids required to produce serotonin. However, this is only a short-term solution, as a high intake of carbohydrates can put you at risk of certain chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
2. Are You Suffering From Cognitive Impairment?
As suggested above, normal cognitive function depends on serotonin in a major way. Neuroscience has shown that without proper levels of this neurotransmitter, people can begin to notice a decline in mental acuity.
For example, you might be struggling to remember things that used to cause you no trouble, focusing may be increasingly difficult, and it might take you longer to process new information. All if this can make Law of Attraction exercises (e.g. saying affirmations and engaging in creative visualization) much harder, leading to a pervasive sense of frustration.
3. Are You More Anxious Than You Used To Be?
You may already know that medications that help to regulate serotonin levels are often prescribed to people who have anxiety disorders, not just depression. So, if you’re more nervous and socially anxious than you used to be, low serotonin could be the culprit (though neurotransmitters like GABA, dopamine and epinephrine also influence anxiety).
Neuroimaging studies that people who have high levels of anxiety have depleted serotonin availability in the parts of the brain associated with emotional control and impulse regulation.
4. Do You Feel Exhausted?
Fatigue or exhaustion can be caused by a huge range of physical and psychological issues, but it’s always worth considering the role of serotonin. Energy production requires adequate levels of serotonin, and so you can see a big difference in your fatigue levels if you ensure you have enough of this neurotransmitter available.
There is also evidence that this relationship works both ways—in other words, if you’re exhausted (say because you’re not practicing enough self-care) then you can reduce serotonin levels as a result.
5. Is Your Digestive System Acting Up?
If you don’t already have a diagnosed digestive disorder, an increase in symptoms like abdominal cramping, gas and irregular bowel movements could signal a problem with serotonin. Of course, you should always be tested for a full spectrum of more serious physical problems, but when all else has been ruled out it could be time to focus on changing neurotransmitter levels.
In particular, experts have established a link between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronically low serotonin. When the levels normalize, IBS symptoms sometimes vanish, or at least dramatically reduce.
6. Are You Having Trouble Sleeping?
Since serotonin levels are also connected with the sleep cycle, low serotonin can leave you struggling to fall asleep or making it hard to stay asleep once you go to bed. This is because a dearth of serotonin impacts on the production of melatonin, the chemical primarily responsible for regulating your sleep patterns.
Once again, there can be many causes of insomnia, but in the absence of other explanations (and in the presence of other symptoms) it’s sensible to consider whether low serotonin is the root cause.
7. Has Your Libido Changed?
Finally, don’t forget that serotonin can also influence how you feel about (and experience) sex. In particular, low levels of serotonin can leave you more interested in having sex while at the same time reducing your ability to feel emotionally close to your partner when you’re physically intimate.
So, if you notice this particular pattern and can’t think of an emotional cause that relates to the quality of your relationship, look to solutions that might influence serotonin.
What you eat, how you think and the lifestyle habits you maintain can all help you to boost serotonin without drugs (though medication is sometimes necessary). Check out our article on increasing serotonin to discover the most effective solutions.