Serotonin a monoamine
neurotransmitter, biochemically derived from tryptophan. Serotonin is mainly
found in the Gl tract, blood platelets, and the central nervous system. So,
what exactly does serotonin do? It actually does way more than we think it does
for the human body; serotonin impacts every part of our body, from our motor
skills to emotions. It is also well thought-out to be a natural mood
stabilizer. It’s the element that helps with sleeping, eating, and digesting
(Scaccia). Serotonin also helps to reduce depression, regulate anxiety, and
maintain bone health. We previously mentioned what serotonin does for the body
and one of the many things mentioned was how it helps with our emotions.
Serotonin helps normalize our mood naturally. We tend to feel calmer and
happier and less anxious and emotionally stable when our levels of serotonin
are on average. A study found that people with depression often have low levels
of serotonin, because it has a shortage that has been linked to anxiety and
insomnia. Arguments about the accountability serotonin is involved with the
medical department (as in mental health), has caused some researchers to
question whether an increase or decrease in this element can affect depression.
Speaking of depression, serotonin is not always good for our bodies, there are
drugs that cause serotonin levels to rise and collect in our body which can
lead to “serotonin syndrome”. This syndrome can occur after an increase in the
dosage of an existing medication or when we start taking a new drug. Some of
the symptoms one can experience are; shivering, diarrhea, headache, and
confusion. Even more severe symptoms include twitching muscles, high fever,
rapid heart rate, etc. The bottom line is that serotonin affects every part of
our body and it’s responsible for many of the important functions that get us
through the day. If our levels aren’t balanced, it can affect our mental,
physical, and emotional well-being. At the end of the day its popularity is thought
to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.
Scaccia, Annamarya. “Serotonin: Functions, Side Effects,
and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 18 May 2018, www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin.