Serotonin: Why Is It Known As The ‘happiness Hormone’?

Why is serotonin known as the happiness hormone? What happens if we have a serotonin deficiency? Discover what serotonin is and the psychological functions it has.

What is serotonin and how does it affect us?

Have you ever wondered what hormone is responsible for mood and feelings? The serotonin It is one of the key neurotransmitters to regulate our mood, feelings of well-being and therefore, the happiness we perceive. This substance is therefore known as the ‘happiness hormone’ and in fact, its deficiency is usually one of the signs of depression.

What is serotonin?

The serotonin It is a neurotransmitter, that is, a chemical substance that transmits nerve signals. It is known as the ‘hormone of happiness’ since this substance in the blood behaves like a hormone and in the brain it acts as a neurotransmitter. It is manufactured in the brain and is found throughout the body, especially in the digestive system and blood plates. Popularly, serotonin is known for its association with mood and feelings of pleasure.

Within the brain, serotonin is responsible for regulating our mood and memory, but this neurotransmitter also has very important functions in other parts of the body. In fact, most of the natural serotonin of our body resides in our intestine since this substance is required to promote healthy digestion.

What is serotonin used for?

The serotonin function It is related to many bodily processes, ranging from the regulation of our mood to the digestion of food. According to research, serotonin has an influence on the following.

  • Mood: That it is popularly called the happiness hormone It’s not by chance. The effects of serotonin on our brain are closely related to our mood. In fact, its ability to relate to well-being makes increasing serotonin one of the main targets of medications to treat depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
  • Digestion: Serotonin also contributes to normal intestinal function. Additionally, having a good level of serotonin has effects on appetite, since it helps us know when we are full. When a person eats something irritating or toxic, our intestine responds by producing more serotonin. This excess serotonin It ends up eliminating unwanted foods, since it expels them more quickly.
  • Sleep: According to different research, there is an influence between the serotonin molecule and our ability to sleep well. Other substances such as melatonin also influence this process.
  • Blood clotting: Have the high serotonin causes the arteries of the circulatory system to narrow. When these become smaller, blood flow slows down and slows the wound healing process.
  • Bone density: Studies have shown that serotonin It also affects our bone density, that is, the strength of our bones. In this way, having low serotonin could be one of the causes of having lower bone density.
  • Sexual function: In addition to altering our mood, serotonin It is also known as the ‘happiness hormone’ because it can influence the frequency and intensity we have towards our sexual desires. In fact, a high serotonin level has been associated with a decrease in our sexual desire.
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How do we know if we have a lack of serotonin?

Low Serotonin: Symptoms

People who have a serotonin deficiency They usually experience the following effects.

  1. Depression and sadness: Although depression and other mood disorders are closely linked to lack of serotonin, the reality is that there is more than one reason why these happen. Therefore, having a serotonin deficiency is not a sufficient reason to suffer from depression. On the other hand, having low serotonin can contribute to experiencing mood swings, lack of sleep, and digestive problems that can lead to depression.
  2. Feelings of anxiety: The low serotonin It can also lead to symptoms related to anxiety.
  3. Low self-esteem: Due to mood swings or low mood caused by lack of serotonin people can feel bad about themselves.
  4. Memory problems: As we have mentioned, having less natural serotonin than it should can end up producing certain memory deficits. In fact, it can influence people’s ability to concentrate.
  5. Insomnia: Suffering from insomnia may also be related to the levels of this ‘happiness hormone ‘.

When there is a lack of serotonin reuptake People can experience all of these effects. Therefore, it is important to stay alert and act before the consequences worsen.

If you believe that you suffer from any of the psychological problems derived (in part) from a serotonin deficiency it is important that you consult with a professional psychologist.

How to increase natural serotonin?

serotonin syndrome

Surely, seeing all the benefits that this substance has for our interior, you are wishing to have the high serotonin The reality is that having an excess of serotonin can also be harmful to our health. In fact, when this happens it is called serotonin syndrome.

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This can occur when people take medications to treat a lack of serotonin. When doing so, symptoms such as confusion, dilated pupils, headaches, among others, appear. In these cases, the increased serotonin and its effects They disappear when the medication is stopped.

How to increase natural serotonin?

There are a series of actions you can do if you want increase serotonin naturally in your body. Despite this, we must emphasize that there is currently no evidence regarding its effectiveness, although there are professionals who recommend it.

  • Practice meditation
  • Sunbathing (moderately and with the use of sunscreen)
  • Do regular exercise
  • Eat foods high in tryptophans (such as turkey, eggs, cheese, soy products, and salmon).

The Serotonin is one of the hormones of happiness better known, but its functions go much further. Therefore, it is important to know its effects and the characteristics of this substance.