Published on April 20, 2013.
It is well documented that estrogen deficiency increases the risk of anxiety and mood disorders. Serotonin is a hormone and categorized as a neurotransmitter. It is an important part of the delivery or “transmitting” system of our nerve impulses.
Proper serotonin levels are crucial when looking at depression because serotonin strongly influences a “calming,” “happy,” “sense of well-being,” by regulating our moods.
Serotonin levels are so important that prescription anti-depressants are often developed to help regulate and increase the serotonin levels in the brain. Unfortunately these drugs come with a long-list of side effects.
Regulating Serotonin Naturally
Depression has been linked to problems or imbalances in the brain with regard to the neurotransmitters not only of serotonin, but of epinephrine, norepinephrine, GABA and dopamine.
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we analyze the urine to test the levels of these neurotransmitters, and use blood tests to look at levels of key amino acids. We also review the levels of fatty acids, namely Omega-3 fatty acids, and test for deficiencies in trace minerals such as intracellular magnesium and zinc, and vitamins including B-12, as low levels of any of these have been linked to depression. This comprehensive analysis enables us to treat the disorder using nutritional supplementation.
Recent research also suggests that estrogen is able to regulate the serotonin pathway at various levels. The researchers note, “These effects may have direct implications on female mood disorders such as premenstrual disorders and depression during pregnancy, postpartum, and during the menopausal transition.” (1)
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we thoroughly assess each patient’s physical state and treat any triggers of depression without the use of medication. We also look at food sensitivities and allergies – as reactions to wheat, for example, and other elements have been linked to depression. If such sensitivities are detected, we work with the patient to modify his/her diet and environment to eliminate the element’s negative impact. We also look at their exposure to mold and other environmental irritants, such as building materials and household chemicals, which often harm the nervous system and impact mood.
If depression is something that effects you or your family, consider an appointment with us.
1. Lokuge S, Frey BN, Foster JA, Soares CN, Steiner M. Depression in women: windows of vulnerability and new insights into the link between estrogen and serotonin. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011 Nov;72(11):e1563-9.