Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that communicates between nerve cells in the brain and other cells throughout the body. Mood, sleep, digestion, nausea, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting and sexual desire are just some of the physiological processes it needs. Conversely, physical and mental health problems can result from serotonin levels that are either high or too low.

Serotonin deficiency can be reversed by changes in diet, activity level and sun-rays exposure. If any symptoms of depression or anxiety persist, you can talk to your wellness and mental-health coach from HealthifyMe. Several types of depression such as undermethylated, pyrrole, are associated with serotonin deficiency. A simple blood test can determine and correct this with proper supplementation and medication.

The chain of cellular processes known collectively as metabolism generates energy from food and the environment to fuel every bodily function. Our metabolic health refers to how well our body produces and uses energy.

A monoamine neurotransmitter, serotonin is also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT). Serotonin, which is also a hormone, sends and receives signals between nerve cells in your brain’s central nervous system and other parts of your body (your peripheral nervous system). The body gets instructions from these chemical messengers to act.

The body uses serotonin in a variety of ways to control appetite, body temperature, sleep patterns, and sexual activity. It also affects learning, memory and happiness. Low serotonin levels also lead to depression, anxiety, mania and other mental illnesses. Tryptophan, an important amino acid, is used to make serotonin. Our body cannot produce tryptophan on its own and thus you can get it only by eating certain foods, which we will discuss later.

The cells in the lining of your digestive tract, in particular, contain about 90% of your body’s serotonin. It spreads into the bloodstream, and then platelets take it up. Your brain produces only the remaining 10% of the total. Of this 10 percent, only a small fraction of serotonin, about 2% remains in the brain and central nervous system while the rest is mixed with the blood.

Despite the percentage being low, this 2% residing in the brain is of vital importance and plays an important role in mood disorders. A drop in this level can also cause problems with sleep and bowel movements.

Serotonin: functioning

It is involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including:


Serotonin is a brain chemical that regulates mood. It is popularly known as your body’s innate ‘feel-good’ chemical. When its levels are normal, you feel more focused, emotionally stable, joyful and calm. Depression is associated with low serotonin levels. Increasing serotonin in your brain is a common goal of many medications used to treat anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.


Most of the serotonin in your body is in your GI tract, which plays a role in protecting your gut and controlling bowel movements. As a result, your gut may release more serotonin, which speeds up digestion and helps your body eliminate unpleasant food and harmful items. Additionally, serotonin enables you to feel full after a meal.


Nausea occurs when serotonin is released into your intestines more quickly than it is absorbed. As a result, your brain receives chemical signals, which you experience as nausea. Many drugs used to reduce nausea and vomiting target particular serotonin receptors in the brain.


Serotonin and the neurotransmitter dopamine contribute to sleep quality (how well and how long you sleep). Serotonin also plays a role in the formation of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle.


Platelets release serotonin into your blood to help with wound healing. Arteries, small blood vessels, also narrow due to the condition, slowing blood flow and promoting the formation of clots. In the healing of wounds, this process is important.

bone health

Bone density is affected by serotonin levels, which can affect our overall bone health. Inadequate serotonin in the gut may contribute to osteoporosis and bone fractures by weakening bones.

sexual health

Serotonin and the neurotransmitter dopamine are involved in the desire for sex, which is related to sexual well-being.

ideal range

Serotonin levels in the blood typically range between 101-283 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). However, this standard may deviate slightly due to some test conditions. It is worth discussing specific test results with your doctor. Excessive serotonin levels may indicate carcinoid syndrome (tumors of the small intestine, appendix, and colon).

We have a good mood throughout the day and sleep well at night when serotonin levels are at their highest. Conversely, when serotonin levels are low our confidence is affected because it maintains a balance between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. An imbalance in this balance will cause a disconnect between reasoning and creativity on the left and right sides of the brain resulting in poor mood, depression, and difficulty sleeping.

Cause of imbalance in serotonin levels

low serotonin level

Low serotonin levels usually have more than one cause, such as:

  • Inadequate serotonin production by the body.
  • Inactive or inadequate functioning of serotonin receptors that lead to improper use.
  • Age-related health and brain changes.
  • Bad eating habits.
  • chronic stress.
  • reduced exposure to natural light
  • insufficient exercise level

high serotonin levels

Taking various drugs and supplements such as neurotransmitter inhibitors, antidepressants, anti-migraine medication, certain herbs and illegal drugs can lead to high levels of serotonin in the body.

The HealthifyMe Note

Excessive serotonin in the body causes serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of this syndrome usually appear several hours after taking a new drug or increasing the dose of a drug already taken.

Signs and symptoms

low serotonin level

Low levels of serotonin may be associated with a number of health conditions, including:

  • Depression and other mood problems.
  • Worry
  • sleep problem.
  • digestive problems
  • suicidal behavior.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • panic disorder.
  • a type of mental disorder.
  • Fear.

high serotonin levels

High levels of serotonin are associated with serotonin syndrome, which includes:

  • agitation or restlessness.
  • insomnia.
  • Confusion.
  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure.
  • dilated pupils.
  • Loss of muscle coordination or muscle twitching.
  • high blood pressure.
  • muscle stiffness.
  • Heavy sweating.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • Shiver.
  • Inappropriate goosebumps.

Serotonin syndrome can be fatal. Signs include:

  • high fever.
  • Shocks.
  • tour.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • unconsciousness.

insulin regulation

Under normal circumstances, serotonin controls the release of insulin, which is the most important hormone in regulating blood sugar levels in humans and animals. according to a studyThere is a direct relationship between serotonin, blood sugar and insulin levels. Although the exact mechanism is still unclear, evidence suggests that serotonin may play an important role in controlling the release of serotonin and glucagon, the two primary hormones that regulate glucose and lipid homeostasis, enhance insulin sensitivity and metabolism. .

weight loss

The natural appetite suppressant is serotonin. This powerful brain chemical suppresses appetite and reduces cravings. It helps you feel satisfied even if your stomach is not full. As a result, eating less leads to weight loss. This powerful chemical in the brain can help you lose weight by reducing your appetite and appetite.

Heart Brains

According to ResearchSerotonin is a naturally occurring vasoactive substance with multiple cardio-physiological effects. For example, a less active serotonin system in the brain is associated with early artery hardening. High blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, smoking and lack of exercise are some of the well-known risk factors for heart disease and stroke that can influence our lifestyle decisions to some extent.

Gastrointestinal Function

According to ResearchThe gut microbiome aids in serotonin production. This production can be affected when the microbiome, or the entire gut bacteria, is disturbed by stress, disease, food, or other factors. This study suggests that the metabolic syndrome is related to reduced central serotonergic activity.

Ways to Regulate Serotonin Levels

The following are ways to control serotonin levels.

Eating more tryptophan-rich foods

Tryptophan, an amino acid that makes up serotonin, is found in a variety of foods. However, tryptophan-rich diets do not necessarily increase serotonin levels on their own. Your body needs carbohydrates to release insulin, which is important for amino acid absorption. Even if tryptophan does enter your bloodstream, it must compete with other amino acids to reach your brain. Foods that are rich in tryptophan are

  • salmon
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • turkey
  • Tofu
  • Pineapple
  • Nuts, Oats and Seeds

more exposure to sunlight

According to ResearchSerotonin is high in summer and falls and decreases after winter. The known effect of serotonin on mood lends evidence to this finding and the association between seasonal affective disorder and the occurrence of seasonal mental health issues. simultaneously, studies There are suggestions that your body can produce serotonin when exposed to sunlight.

Some people may develop seasonal affective disorder if they do not get enough sunlight. To increase serotonin and vitamin D levels, try to get 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight daily. If you live in a place where you don’t get sunlight naturally, consider adopting light therapy to get the daily sunlight you need.

taking specific supplements

By increasing tryptophan levels, some dietary supplements can help speed up the synthesis and release of serotonin.

  • Dietary Supplements: Tryptophan, Probiotics and Equals
  • Herbal supplements include ginseng, St. John’s wort, Syrian rue and nutmeg.


Exercising releases tryptophan into your blood. This can result in a decrease in the production of other amino acids as well. Because of this favorable environment, it will be easier for more tryptophan to reach your brain. Serotonin levels increase with regular exercise. Cardiovascular health and mood disorders can improve with thirty minutes of aerobic activity five times per week with two strength-training sessions.

Other beneficial aerobic activities include:

  • swimming
  • bicycling
  • walk fast
  • jogging
  • light hiking


Meditation can reduce stress, which increases serotonin levels. Meditation has many health benefits, including its ability to increase serotonin levels, maintain cognitive function, and ward off dementia.

The HealthifyMe Note

A serotonin imbalance can significantly affect your metabolic health. Therefore, it is best to take preventive measures to ensure that its levels are balanced. However, if you have a serotonin imbalance, you should eat foods rich in tryptophan, engage in aerobic exercise, and practice meditation. You can also take supplements if your doctor suggests so.


A special class of neurotransmitters called serotonin regulate mood and emotions. Its levels affect the whole body. It is in charge of many important processes that help us through the day. However, if your levels are out of balance, your mental, physical and emotional health may suffer.

When you experience happiness or contentment, the brain’s “happy hormone” serotonin is released. It controls the release of other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which can provide euphoric experiences. By stimulating serotonin-melatonin signaling throughout the brain, serotonin also helps improve sleep quality. Your mood and even your appetite can deteriorate when its levels drop. A serotonin imbalance can sometimes indicate more significant issues. It’s important to pay attention to your body and discuss any concerns with your doctor.

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