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Question
Posted by: VIV | 2011/03/25

Serotonin

Dear DietDoc,

Hope you are having an awesome morning. I need advise re the above mentioned subject. How does one know they have this and how d you treat it and with what? are the over the counter supplements?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Viv
Thank you, I hope you also had a good day. Serotonin is what is called a neurotransmitter, a chemical that helps to transmit the signal between nerves. It is possible to measure serotonin levels in the body, but this is not done often as far as I know. The symptoms of a serotonin deficiency include depression, so in most cases, patients who receive medications like serotonin-reuptake inhibitors suffer from depression. The levels of serotonin in the brain are increased if you eat carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and proteins. It has been said that individuals who binge on carbs are selfmedicating their low serotonin levels! Basically eating a diet that is rich in low-fat, high-fibre carbs and some lean protein should improve serotonin levels without making you gain weight.
You can try eating a balanced, energy-reduced, low-fat, high-fibre diet (click on 'DietnFood' at the top of this page, then on 'Healthy Diets' and then on 'Slimming Diet' for a copy of such a diet) and do daily aerobic exercise (e.g. skipping, swimming, cycling, jogging, brisk walking, etc) for at least 30 min a day. The exercise helps to produce endorphins (another chemical that affects and lifts the mood).
I would rather avoid over-the-counter supplements seeing that you can obtain a serotonin-boosting effect by eating normal foods.
If you suffer from severe depression then it is important to obtain medical advice.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2011/03/25

Dear Viv
Thank you, I hope you also had a good day. Serotonin is what is called a neurotransmitter, a chemical that helps to transmit the signal between nerves. It is possible to measure serotonin levels in the body, but this is not done often as far as I know. The symptoms of a serotonin deficiency include depression, so in most cases, patients who receive medications like serotonin-reuptake inhibitors suffer from depression. The levels of serotonin in the brain are increased if you eat carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and proteins. It has been said that individuals who binge on carbs are selfmedicating their low serotonin levels! Basically eating a diet that is rich in low-fat, high-fibre carbs and some lean protein should improve serotonin levels without making you gain weight.
You can try eating a balanced, energy-reduced, low-fat, high-fibre diet (click on 'DietnFood' at the top of this page, then on 'Healthy Diets' and then on 'Slimming Diet' for a copy of such a diet) and do daily aerobic exercise (e.g. skipping, swimming, cycling, jogging, brisk walking, etc) for at least 30 min a day. The exercise helps to produce endorphins (another chemical that affects and lifts the mood).
I would rather avoid over-the-counter supplements seeing that you can obtain a serotonin-boosting effect by eating normal foods.
If you suffer from severe depression then it is important to obtain medical advice.
Best regards
DietDoc

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