The human body is made up of a system of nerves used to communicate information between the outside world, the body, and the brain. These nerve cells, also called neurons, use neurotransmitters to regulate process such as heartbeat, breathing, and digestion. Neurotransmitters, simply put, are the chemicals used to send these signals between the brain and the body. They can have an affect on mood, concentration, appetite, adrenal function, dependency and can cause negative symptoms when they are out of balance.
There are two main categories for neurotransmitters: inhibitory and excitatory. Inhibatory neurotransmitters are focused on calmness and balance, while excitatory neurotransmitters are focused on stimulation and focus. Here are some examples of neurotransmitters:
- Serotonin – inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps to regulate and calm any excitatory processes. Serotonin is necessary for a stable mood and also helps to regulate sleep, pain control, immune responses, and digestion. Caffeine and other stimulants can decrease serotonin levels over time. This neurotransmitter can help you if you are feeling sad or depressed or have trouble sleeping.
- Dopamine – considered to have both inhibitory and excitatory qualities, dopamine is all about focus and happiness. Both high and low dopamine can cause memory issues like walking into a room and forgetting why you went there in the first place. Dopamine is also responsible for our drive to get things done. This neurotransmitter can help you if there are things you know you like to do but you cannot get motivated to do them.
- Epinephrine – excitatory neurotransmitter that increases with stress . Epinephrine regulates heart and blood pressure, and becomes depleted from prolonged periods of insomnia or stress. In high stress mode, the body produces an overabundance of adrenal hormones such as cortisol, which has long term energy draining effects.
- Norepinephrine – excitatory neurotransmitter that serves as the ignition for stimulatory processes in the body. At high levels, norepinephrine can cause anxiety and have mood suppressing effects. Low norepinephrine levels can cause a decrease in focus and energy as well as sleep cycle problems.
Neurotransmitter and hormones are all linked together, and imbalances in one area often point to imbalances in the other. If any of the symptoms above resonate with you, please contact our office to learn how to test your neurotransmitter levels. Proper neurotransmitter balance can help you feel like YOU again, happy and balanced.
Nutritionally Yourshas a Naturopath, Holistic Minded Nutritionist, Medical Doctor, Life Counselor and a great customer service staff. We are here to help you feel your best and stay that way. We offer consultations in office, over the phone or via facetime for people not able to visit our clinic. We are located in Roswell GA, just 45 minutes north of Atlanta, GA.
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Alane Palmer, Naturopath, CNC
Medical disclaimer: Testing cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.
Laboratories, SpectraCell. “Spectracell Laboratories”.Info.spectracell.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
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By Alane Palmer, Naturopath, CNC