Author: Charles Frank

How to increase serotonin

how to increase serotonin with drugs

Lower serotonin levels are linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Fortunately, certain lifestyle habits like exercise and stress management can increase your serotonin levels. Serotonin syndrome is an emergency and requires immediate treatment from a healthcare provider. You may be able to increase your serotonin levels naturally by eating certain foods, getting exercise, managing stress, and spending time in sunlight. Some herbal supplements, medications, and alternative therapies may also help.

how to increase serotonin with drugs

Research suggests a connection between diet and depression risk. Healthy fats, sweet potatoes, dark chocolate, and other foods highlighted in the Mediterranean diet can support mental and emotional health. Thinking about something that makes you feel good can help increase serotonin in your brain, which can help promote an improved mood in general. This creates an ideal environment for more tryptophan to reach your brain. In a nutshell, tryptophan-rich foods are usually higher in other types of amino acids. Because they’re more abundant, these other amino acids are more likely to cross the blood-brain barrier than tryptophan.

Having too much or too little of either can cause physical and psychological symptoms. Tell your doctor about any medications, supplements, or substances you are taking to avoid potentially life-threatening drug interactions. People with serotonin deficits generally do not need to increase their serotonin levels. The body is excellent at regulating itself and works best in a state of balance.

Prior to the introduction of SSRIs in the late 1980s, TCAs were the medication of choice for the treatment of major depressive disorder, panic disorder, and other anxiety disorders. TCAs are also used to treat certain pain syndromes and nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting). Studies have shown that long-term, moderate exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation can increase serotonin levels and decrease depression. This can lead to serotonin syndrome, a rare condition that can cause symptoms ranging from mild (nervousness, nausea, diarrhea, tremors) to severe (sweating, fever, confusion). Learning how to increase serotonin—a “feel-good” hormone—can have a host of benefits. Serotonin functions as a neurotransmitter, sending chemical messages that stimulate the reward center of the brain.

Consider Massage Therapy

Creating space for different types of social connections in a variety of venues can help you recognize which ones feel most supportive to you. Keep in mind that moods are complex, and it’s not always that easy to change your mood. But sometimes engaging in the process of trying to direct your thoughts toward a positive place can help. It’s responsible for many of the important functions that get us through the day.

In people who are not experiencing depression, it is unclear whether increasing serotonin will be beneficial. However, for those who are experiencing depression, some may find that addressing serotonin deficiencies could help with symptoms. Chronic stress negatively impacts serotonin production and impairs the function of serotonin receptors.

  1. You may need to try several antidepressants before finding one that works for you.
  2. The activation of these receptors in sleep-deprived individuals can mimic many of the same symptoms and get progressively worse—even triggering psychosis—if the sleep loss is severe.
  3. Physical activity triggers a release of mood-boosting chemicals—including serotonin.
  4. For many people, SSRIs can help them get to a place where they can make the most out of treatment and learn how to effectively manage their condition.
  5. For example, high doses of citalopram may cause dangerous abnormal heart rhythms, so doses over 40 milligrams (mg) a day should be avoided according to the FDA and the manufacturer.
  6. Which antidepressant is best for you depends on a number of issues, such as your symptoms and any other health conditions you may have.

All SSRIs are thought to work in a similar way and generally can cause similar side effects, though some people may not experience any. Many side effects may go away after the first few weeks of treatment, while others may lead you and your doctor to try a different drug. Most of the time, dangerously high serotonin is caused by drugs that increase serotonin activity. There isn’t a scientific way to measure your serotonin levels at home.

Get Enough Sleep

Too much, however, can cause a rare condition called serotonin syndrome. Chronic (long-term) stress can negatively affect your body in many ways—including reducing the amount of serotonin that’s produced and circulated. Cortisol is a hormone released during periods of physical or mental stress. It triggers a change in your mood and decreases the amount of serotonin available for use in your brain. Depending on your symptoms, you may be prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or another type of antidepressant. SSRIs help keep your brain from reabsorbing the serotonin that’s released.

You can maintain serotonin balance by trying strategies like daily exercise, stress management techniques, light exposure, a well-balanced diet, and prioritizing consistent sleep habits. See what helps, and do your best to incorporate those habits into your routine. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting a new supplement. Mention any over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications you’re currently taking, as well as supplements, to avoid potentially harmful interactions. Research suggests that chronic stress can lead to low serotonin levels and other health issues. Reducing stress may not only benefit your mood but also your overall health.

Thinking about something that makes you happy can actually boost your serotonin levels, according to research. When choosing an antidepressant, your doctor takes into account your symptoms, any health problems, other medications you take and what has worked for you in the past. Inherited traits play a role in how antidepressants affect you. If you have a close relative who responded to a particular antidepressant, tell your doctor, because this could be a good drug choice to start.

Treating High Serotonin

Hospital treatment is typically necessary to manage severe serotonin syndrome. Mood disorders may result from a combination of factors including changes in the brain, life experiences, and health conditions, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Many other medications, taken for many medical conditions, also increase serotonin. Some of these drugs include the triptan family of headache drugs, opioid pain relievers, dextromethorphan-containing cough suppressants and anti-nausea drugs. Several different classes of antidepressants block the reabsorption and recycling of serotonin, allowing more to remain in the brain.

What does serotonin do in my body?

Older research from 2017 has found spending time with loved ones can even increase serotonin levels. People on blood clotting medication should not take St. John’s wort as it interferes with the drug’s effectiveness. You also shouldn’t take it with medications, particularly antidepressants, that increase serotonin. Research suggests the following supplements may help increase serotonin and reduce symptoms of depression.

There are many theories about the role of serotonin in the brain. A widespread idea is that serotonin contributes to brain networks that regulate stress and anxiety. The chemical may also promote patience and the ability to cope.