How to Increase the Happiness Hormone
What is serotonin? This substance is a brain neurotransmitter and a hormone. Entering the blood, causes an increase in strength in a person, improves mood, increases resistance to adverse factors. Serotonin is called the happiness hormone, because the feeling of happiness and the amount of serotonin are directly linked. Furthermore, this connection works in both directions, since with an increase in the concentration of this substance, our mood improves and a good mood stimulates the production of serotonin.
Serotonin is a product of the chemical conversion of tryptophan.
The synthesis process of serotonin requires some trace elements, vitamins. Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body receives when it digests food. Serotonin synthesis itself takes place in the pineal gland located in the brain.
Many people notice that sweets, chocolate and sunny weather improve mood. This is due to an increase in serotonin production. Sweet foods increase glucose levels, stimulate insulin synthesis, which leads to a higher concentration of amino acids in the blood, including tryptophan. More of this substance means greater synthesis of serotonin. The production of happiness hormone is directly related to the presence of sunlight. This is why in cloudy days our mood is worse and the feeling of happiness is less.
Functions and mechanism of action of serotonin
This substance is responsible for transmitting impulses between nerve cells in the brain, ie it contributes to the dissemination of information from one area of the brain to another. This explains its complete effect on our body.
“Areas of responsibility” for serotonin
Effect on the natural pain system,
Control of blood clotting,
The functioning of the heart and blood vessels, the endocrine and muscular systems.
The main function of serotonin is considered to be the effect on psychological processes in the body, in particular, the effect on a person’s mood. The mechanism of its action is not that it brings pleasure, but that, thanks to it, we can experience this pleasure. The structure of the serotonin molecule is close to some psychotropic substances, for example, to LSD. This explains the body’s rapid dependence on such ways of experiencing pleasure, such as the use of psychotropic substances.
Serotonin as a neurotransmitter
As a neurotransmitter, serotonin guarantees the normal functioning of the central nervous system. With enough of his concentration, we feel a lift, a wave of strength. At the same time, it maintains a high level of intellectual processes such as memory and attention, which is directly related to work capacity. An important influence on the pain sensation. A high concentration of serotonin acts as a natural opiate, ie it reduces pain, relieves physical discomfort. Low levels of this substance lead to greater sensitivity to pain, reduced performance, and constant fatigue.
As a neurotransmitter, serotonin is involved in the reproductive system. In particular, the level of libido, the efficiency of labor, the release of breast milk depends on its quantity.
Serotonin as a hormone
The main action as a hormone is carried out after serotonin in the blood. It directly affects intestinal motility and the production of digestive enzymes. Therefore, with an increase in the level of this hormone, the gastrointestinal tract improves, the appetite increases. By activating platelet production and capillary spasm, blood coagulation is increased, which reduces the likelihood of heavy bleeding from injury. Pharmacists use this feature of serotonin and use this hormone to inject into the body if there is a threat or symptoms of blood loss.
Blood serotonin concentration
The normal concentration of this hormone in the blood is 50-220 ng / ml. With normal performance, all serotonin functions are performed, a positive attitude is maintained, sufficient activity is maintained and the person is able to resist stress and illness. If there is a deviation from the norm, problems inevitably arise. The lack or excess of serotonin always has its reasons, which can be rather serious, even threatening.
The dosage of serotonin is not common and is performed only for specific indications in large clinical laboratories. A surgeon, an endocrinologist, a therapist, a psychiatrist or other specialists can prescribe this analysis.
Reasons for exceeding the standard
Fibrocystic neoplasms in the abdominal cavity,
The presence of a metastatic tumor in the abdomen,
Medullary thyroid carcinoma.
In the last two cases, there is a significant increase in the performance of this hormone. It can be above the norm of 5 and even 10 times.
Causes of serotonin reduction
The presence of Down syndrome,
Insufficient treatment for congenital phenylketonuria,
Serious depressive disorders.
The results of blood tests, which revealed a deviation from the norm, are a reason to send the patient to additional tests for an accurate diagnosis.
Above we talked about pathological conditions that lead to significant deviations from the norm. However, most of the time we experience a lack of serotonin, which is not due to diseases, but to the soil, nutrition or nervous system disorders.
Symptoms of deficiency
Dark thoughts, disbelief,
The constant desire for “sweet”
Loss of self-confidence, reduction of self-esteem,
Headache, muscle pain, unexplained,
Disruption of the digestive tract for no apparent reason.
The reason for this condition is the lack of light or unbalanced power. When a person lives in the northern latitudes, for a long time he is in a situation of a shorter day. The body does not have enough light to produce enough serotonin. If there are signs of autumn-winter depression, you have to walk more during the day, you should improve the lighting in the room. Serotonin in men does not affect the state of the body as much as in women. It is associated with the level of sex hormones, which in women fluctuates during the menstrual cycle, and in men it is stable until they reach middle age.
Nutrition and serotonin
Low levels of serotonin may appear due to imbalance or malnutrition. It is impossible to get it from food, but there are products containing tryptophan, from which the happiness hormone is synthesized in the body. A significant amount of tryptophan in cheese, in bananas, a little less in mushrooms. The oyster mushroom is the richest of all mushroom species.
Increase the level of “joy hormone”
How to increase serotonin levels? A slight decrease in the concentration of this hormone can easily be corrected by simple popular methods. If you have recently noticed signs of its deficiency, and are not too pronounced, then it is entirely possible to cope alone. To increase serotonin levels, it’s worth taking simple steps:
introduce dark chocolate, dairy products, bananas, seafood, leafy salads, millet porridge, walnuts, various types of cabbage into the diet
give up alcohol, fast food, instant coffee
provide an adequate level of physical activity,
walk outside during daylight hours
provide the opportunity to achieve positive emotions, pleasant communication and high quality rest.
Elevation of serotonin in the drug
With a great deficiency of this hormone drugs that influence its level can be prescribed. They provide a constant concentration of the hormone in the blood. As a rule, they are antidepressants. These tools should only be used as prescribed by a doctor and under strict control, because they have many side effects.
One of the most dangerous, which can be life-threatening, is the serotonin syndrome. It develops with a significant increase in the level of this hormone. First, signs of gastrointestinal disorders appear, followed by tremor, anxiety, confusion and hallucinations.
Serotonin tablets are not available. It is produced in the form of a solution in vials. It is intended not to compensate for the hormone deficiency, but to treat anemia, hemorrhagic syndrome, conditions associated with low blood clotting.
Serotonin and endorphin – their functions in the body
Endorphin and serotonin are the hormones of happiness. They create a mood, so their lack affects the quality of human life.
Endorphin and its functions
Endorphine is called a natural drug. This hormone can bring a person into a state of euphoria. Bliss, unlimited fun, incredible surge of vitality: all this happens in the body due to the complex biochemical processes controlled by endorphins.
Scientists discovered special substances in the 1970s. They studied the Chinese method of eliminating pain using acupuncture and found that internal morphine is capable of being produced in the pituitary gland. When they interact with various receptors, the active substances give a signal to the brain, thus increasing the mood. So the body itself produces a strong drug: morphine. Unlike an artificial drug, it does not destroy the human body, but maintains its physical and mental state.
The main functions of endorphins are:
significant reduction of pain syndromes;
the formation of joyful emotions;
natural regulation of blood pressure and other important body functions;
acceleration of healing of damaged tissues;
to deal with stress and negative emotions.
If there is not enough endorphin in the body, then it becomes evident, as chronic fatigue, severe irritability, apathy, depression and crying appear. Reduce the level
Studies have confirmed that depression, anxiety and insomnia are often associated with a lack of serotonin. But if the level of free hormone in the blood increases, then the unpleasant symptoms decrease.
How necessary is serotonin for happiness?
Where to find it?
Eggs. The egg white increases the level of tryptophan in the blood plasma. Add the usual boiled egg for dinner or prepare an omelette for breakfast.
Cheese. Another source of tryptophan. Use with pasta to get the most out of it.
Pineapple. Pineapple, in addition to tryptophan, also contains bromelain, an enzyme with many beneficial properties: from improving digestion to reducing the side effects of chemotherapy.
Tofu. Soy-based products, like other legumes, are rich in tryptophan. Tofu is a source of amino acids and proteins for vegetarians. It goes well with peppers.
Salmon. Salmon appears on many lists of useful products, including the list of tryptophan favorites.
Nuts and seeds All nuts and seeds contain tryptophan. A handful a day reduces the risk of heart and respiratory diseases.
Turkey. We have no traditions related to cooking turkey for the holidays, but why not make them? For the good mood.
How are food and mood related?
Tryptophan must react with other amino acids to enter the nervous tissue. For this you need helpers – carbohydrates.
Insulin is released to process carbohydrates, which stimulates the absorption of amino acids in the blood, including tryptophan. Amino acid is concentrated in the blood and this increases its chances of passing through the blood-brain barrier (ie to penetrate the brain).
To improve your mood, often eat foods with tryptophan (meat, cheese, legumes) and eat foods rich in carbohydrates: rice, oatmeal, wholemeal bread. The formula is this: food with tryptophan + a large portion of carbohydrates = growth of serotonin.
Therefore, macaroni with cheese and mashed potatoes look so nice, especially when it’s cold and they are wet outside the window.
What happens if the mood of the products does not improve?
Along with these drugs, many other medicines cannot be used because of the risk of serotonin syndrome – a dangerous condition in which the functions of the nervous and muscular system are disturbed. So be sure to tell your doctor that you are drinking antidepressants.
What is serotonin syndrome?
Symptoms of serotonin syndrome:
involuntary muscle contractions;
increased temperature and blood pressure;
heart palpitations and arrhythmias.
Often the syndrome goes away on its own in a day, if drugs that block serotonin are prescribed, or the drug that caused the violation is canceled.
How to Increase the Happiness - /10
What is serotonin? This substance is a brain neurotransmitter and a hormone. Entering the blood, causes.