If you have been experiencing symptoms of unknown origins, such as trouble sleeping or mood swings, then this could be the cause of unhealthy levels of serotonin. Easily test your Serotonin levels at home by testing with GetTested’s Serotonin blood test.
Serotonin is a central nervous system neurotransmitter that is responsible for many regulations inside the brain. Therefore it is crucial to maintain healthy levels of serotonin.
A serotonin deficiency may lead to mood disturbances, sleep disorders, and depression. On the opposite spectrum, an overabundance of serotonin can cause headaches, diarrhoea and heavy sweating. Find out if you may need medical treatment with our Serotonin Test.
👉 Test done at home
👉 Analysed at an ISO 13485 certified lab
👉 Comprehensive report incl. recommendations
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What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter made from the essential amino acid tryptophan. It is important for several functions in the body, including the brain and gastrointestinal tract. This neurotransmitter regulates the mood and also promotes a smooth digestion. Additionally, it also affects the blood circulation by helping the platelets (platelets) coagulate in wound healing.
Healthy levels of serotonin greatly contribute to a high quality of life. Healthy serotonin levels are related to feelings of confidence, emotional stability and good memory and learning skill.
Serotonin levels depend in part on the amino acid tryptophan, as it is a precursor to serotonin, but also on gut health, since 90% of our serotonin is produced in our intestines. Several vitamins and minerals are also important for the production of serotonin – too much alcohol, caffeine and sweeteners can inhibit the production in the body. Chronic stress and anxiety also prevent the brain from producing enough serotonin. Serotonin deficiency can affect physical and mental health and can sometimes be difficult to identify. When there is a great lack of serotonin, it can, for example, cause moodiness, stress and depression. Pay attention to some of the warning signs listed below if you suspect you may have low levels of this neurotransmitter:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Digestive issues
And in more extreme cases:
- Suicidal behaviour
- Panic disorders
Cause of Serotonin deficiency
There can be two reasons as to why you may be suffering from a serotonin deficiency. Either your body is not producing enough serotonin or your body’s serotonin receptors are not working well enough or you don’t have enough of them. Genetic disorders can play a role in the amount of serotonin a person produces. What is also of influence is whether your diet includes many foods containing tryptophan, as tryptophan is the amino acid from which serotonin is made. Lack of exposure to sunlight can also cause a serotonin deficiency.
Serotonin is naturally produced by the body, but there are cases in which medications build up levels of serotonin in the body that are too high, which is unhealthy. This phenomenon is referred to as Serotonin Syndrome.
The effects of high levels of serotonins on the mind and body depend on the amount of serotonin found in the body. Mild symptoms of high serotonin levels include:
- High blood pressure
- Lots of sweating
- Twitching muscles
- insomnia and restlessness
- Dilated pupils
In more severe cases, excessive amounts of serotonin can cause:
- muscle rigidity
- Irregular heartbeat
In extreme cases, Serotonin Syndrome can even be deadly, if left untreated.
Cause of Serotonin overabundance
Serotonin Syndrome is a drug reaction and often occurs when you increase the dose of a medicine that includes serotonin, or when you start a new drug that contains it. This serotonin is found in medicine that treat migraine and depression, as well as in some illicit drugs or dietary supplements.
Serotonin and the gut
Most of our serotonin is produced in the gut; about 90%. Research is beginning to find more and more connections between imbalances in our gut flora and conditions such as depression. Due to this correlation, it is important to maintain good gastrointestinal health since it affects our mental health.
Before taking the Serotonin Test
If you take SSRIs (antidepressants), 5-HTP or tryptophan, it will affect your test result. 5-HTP and tryptophan can increase the body’s own serotonin production, which thus affects your levels on the test result. Because SSRIs (antidepressant drugs) cause the serotonin to stay longer in the blood instead of being absorbed into the cells, they will also affect your test results. If you want to know your level in combination with taking these supplements, you can continue to take them as usual, but if you want to know your natural production without the impact of these products, you should avoid taking them 5-7 days before collecting the test.
How does the Serotonin Test work?
The serotonin test is measured in urine. After you have placed your order, we will send you a complete test kit with everything you need to be able to collect the sample yourself at home. The urine is collected in the morning from your morning urine and then sent to our lab for analysis. You will receive your test result digitally after the lab has analysed your test.
Who should take the serotonin test?
Anyone suffering from the aforementioned symptoms associated with low levels of serotonin or high levels of serotonin can take this serotonin test to find out if their symptoms are caused by a serotonin deficiency or serotonin overabundance. The negative effects of a serotonin deficiency or overabundance can be severe, which is why it is important to check if you suspect anything.
Where can I get a Serotonin test?
You can get your own Serotonin test from us, delivered to you and ready to use at home. The Serotonin test analyses serotonin in urine and is easy to use.
How long does it take to get the results?
As soon as the samples have arrived, they will immediately be tested at the lab, so you can expect the test results should be back to you within a week.
When do I take the Serotonin test?
Because the sample should be collected from your first morning urine, you will have to take this test in the morning, after you get out of bed. We also recommend taking the test on an empty stomach.
If you are taking antidepressants, you should stop taking these 5-7 days before taking the test, because they will mess with the end results (unless you specifically desire to test your serotonin levels whilst on antidepressants).
Are low levels of Serotonin bad?
Yes, low levels of Serotonin can cause unwanted mental and physical problems, such as anxiety, depression and trouble sleeping and should therefore be taken very seriously.
How do you treat low levels of Serotonin?
There are some ways in which you can naturally increase your serotonin levels. One of which is eating more food containing tryptophan. Many foods contain tryptophan such as:
- Seeds, oats and (wal)nuts
Additionally, be sure to get more sunlight, and take regular exercise. Stress has a big influence on the serotonin levels, so find ways to release stress.
You may also want to consider taking certain supplements.
Are high levels of Serotonin bad?
Yes, high levels of Serotonin can cause symptoms such as heavy sweating, trouble sleeping, headache and diarrhoea and in severe cases even seizures and unconsciousness. It should therefore be taken very seriously and treated quickly.
How do you treat high levels of Serotonin?
The best way to treat Serotonin Syndrome is by taking away the drug that causes it.
Mild symptoms of serotonin syndrome may go away within a few days of stopping medications. Sometimes, you can take medicine that blocks serotonin production (a medication called cyproheptadine can keep your body from making serotonin).
In a severe case, you may need to stay in the hospital so a doctor can give you adequate treatment.
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