Posted by: blocked | 2004/10/09


If seriton levels increased thru meds for the gut can help IBS - or likewise seroton levels in the brain stabilized with tranquilizers can help the chronically constipated patients ...which means the sufferer needs to RELAX... then how come excitment, fear, nerves or even smoking a cigarette can do the trick in reverse ( not relaxed at all - heartbeat increases and blood pressure increases )

Wot chemical in the brain triggers this reaction ?

Not really a shrink question or is it - because in some constipation sufferers the problem seems to be stress related and that stems from the brain.

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Our expert says:
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Hello blocked,
Stress, of course, causes a wide range of chemical and hormonal changes in the body. As for serotonin, there are slightly different types of serotonin receptors in different parts of the body, having different functions. And a variety of drugs / chemicals can be relatively active or inactive, at these different receptors, therefore having differing effects. One type of drug is useful in affecting serotonin in the brain, in anxiety and depression ; another type of drug working differently, can help more in migraine, and so on. I'm not familiar with using serotonin active drugs in constipation, but because serotonin can be relevant in gut function, I can imagine that this could be so.
Other chemicals are also be involved in gut function, and drugs or situations which affect them, similarly.
Two different components of the body's nervous system, the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic, also affect the gut differently. One broadly functions to provide efficient body arousal, so we can fight against danger or run away from it ; the other is more atuned to relaxation and its related functions. Noradrenaline, and other chemicals, get involved.
The whole field you're asking about is in fact awesomely complex, especially because whatsver stimulates or down-regulates one of these inter-related chemicals, may suppress or stimulate others, too. You might find a physiology test interesting in this regard.

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