What Is Serotonin and How Does It Regulate Bodily Functions? - Deepstash
What Serotonin Is

Serotonin (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) is a naturally occurring substance that functions as a neurotransmitte to carry signals between nerve cells (called neurons) throughout your body.

Most commonly, people are aware of serotonin's role in the central nervous system (CNS).

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What Serotonin Regulates
  • Mood - Serotonin is often called the body's natural "feel-good" chemical. It's also why it's often a target of medications that are used to treat depression, anxiety, etc.
  • Digestion - Serotonin contributes to normal bowel function and reduces your appetite to help you know when you're full.
  • Blood Clotting - Increased serotonin levels cause the tiny arteries to narrow - a crucial step in the process of wound healing.
  • Sexual Function - High serotonin levels have been linked to a decrease in sexual desire.

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Causes of Low Serotonin

There's no single cause of low serotonin levels, but it typically occurs for one of two reasons:

  • Not having enough serotonin - Your body might not be able to produce enough serotonin because of other factors, such as nutritional and vitamin deficiencies.
  • Inefficient use of the serotonin you have. This can happen if you don't have enough serotonin receptors in your brain, or if the ones you have don't work well (for example, they break down and absorb serotonin too quickly).

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