The 4 Neurotransmitters
If you got here from my Treating Depression Naturally Is Possible article, great…if not read it here before going any further. Below you will find the four types of neurotransmitters that must be at normal levels in our brains in order for us to have a stable mood. When any of these 4 are low we get a specific set of symptoms for each, all leading to depression and mood changes.
Thankfully, getting these guys back up to normal levels are easier than you think…supplemetation with amino acids and good eating habbits. Below you will also see the treatment for each deficiency, the name of the amino acid that boosts that specific neurotransmitter. I don’t specify the dose because you can find that in, The Mood Cure (a must buy if you are going to try this), or from your holistic practitioner, or by googling it.
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that allows us to have emotional stability and flexibility. It provides self-confidence, good humor, and a positive look on things. With a lack of this hormone we start to feel emotional and blah.
Low serotonin symptoms
- worry and anxiety
- low self-esteem
- panic attacks/phobias
- insomnia or disturbed sleep
- dislike hot weather
- winter blues
- obsessive thoughts
- fibromyalgia/TMJ or other somatic pain
Use/crave these substances often: Sweets, starch, tobacco, ecstasy, marijuana, alcohol, Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, other SSRIs
The amino acid needed to treat low serotonin is 5-HTP or L-tryptophan (find yours here)
Catecholamines are responsible for energy and drive. They are adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are the stimulating chemicals of the brain. When you go bungee jumping or crash your bike and are shaking afterwards you can thank these guys. They also allow us to gain mental focus and enthusiasm.
Symptoms of low catecholamines:
- low energy and drive
- easily board
- easily cold
Use/crave these substances often: sweets, starch, chocolate, aspartame, alcohol, marijuana, caffeine, cocaine, speed, tobacco, Ritalin, Adderall and other neurostimulants.
The treatment for low catecholamines are L-tyrosine (find it here)
GABA is the calming neurotransmitter, sometimes called “natures Valium”. It is used by the body to cause relaxation and lower stress. Here are the symptoms of low GABA:
- tense/stiff muscles
- burned out feeling
- unable to relax
- tense attitude
- easily overwhelmed
Use/crave these substances frequently: sweets, starch, tobacco, alcohol, Valium, Ativan, Neurontin, Klonapin or other relaxers.
The amino acid needed for low GABA is actually free form GABA. (Get it here)
Endorphins, the last neurotransmitters, are the pleasure hormones. They are naturally released in the body when we experience joy and happiness…think childbirth, exercise, sex. They also relieve pain both psychological and physical and make us feel loved.
Symptoms of low endorphins:
- overly sensitive
- crying easily
- craving comforting or rewarding treats
- loving certain foods, behaviors, or drugs
- difficulty getting over losses
Use/crave these substances often: sweets, starch, chocolate, tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, caffeine, Vicodin, heroin.
The amino acid to treat low endorphins is DL-phenylalanine (Find it here)
So, you see each of the neurotransmitters has a very different and specific set of symptoms. Remember also that we can be low in more than one type as well. Chances are you found yourself thinking you fit into one or more of those symptom sets above. So, now that you have a better idea of which neurotransmitter your body needs start discovering more.
Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary or other types of compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I always give my honest opinion and findings of the products and would not recommend anything that I do not use for myself or family. All of the products recommended will adhere to the Standards of Clean, listed here.
Disclaimer: The information found on cleansthenewblack.com is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness/disease. Nor is to intended to supplement the advice of a licensed physician or the like. You should not rely upon the information in this blog to make medical decisions prior to consult with your medical doctor.
- Gelenberg AJ, Wojcik JD, Gibson CJ, Wurtman RJ. Tyrosine for depression. J Psychiatr Res. 1982-1983;17(2):175-80. Review. PubMed PMID: 6764934.
- White BD, Du F, Higginbotham DA. Low dietary protein is associated with an increase in food intake and a decrease in the in vitro release of radiolabeled glutamate and GABA from the lateral hypothalamus. Nutr Neurosci. 2003 Dec;6(6):361-7. PubMed PMID: 14744040.
- Young SN, Leyton M. The role of serotonin in human mood and social interaction. Insight from altered tryptophan levels. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002 Apr;71(4):857-65. Review. PubMed PMID: 11888576.