I have very low serotonin. My level is at 65 and the optimal range is b/w 150-200. I also have high dopamine, which is 243.5 and optimal range is 110-175. I had a neuroscreen profile test done through NeuroScience in WI. I have been taking 5 HTP for almost a year and haven't really felt a change in my mood or my sex drive. Sleep is getting better. It has been hard for me to stay a sleep during the night and now it is getting better since taking 5 HTP. My father has type 2 dieabetes and thyroid problems. Should I see an Endrocrinologist about this matter? I don;t want to take an anti-depressant. Any thoughts?
With all due respect, Kate, I don't think she would be asking if she hadn't considered the implications of not eating and acting healthily. Also, as you may notice, serotonin-deficients need an adjusted diet.
I haven't done much research into lowering dopamine although I have the same problem as you with the two neurotransmitters. Besides 5-HTP there are a few other things you should be/could be taking.
Neurotransmitter deficiencies are often caused by undermethylation, so many of the supplements are taken to reverse that problem: methionine or SAMe, calcium, magnesium, inositol, B-6, and zinc. It is, of course, best to get as many of these from food, as they are better absorbed. For example, I bought an inositol/choline supplement, but later found that they are better absorbed in the liquid form of soy lecithin. So lecithin is the best way to consume inositol, and the closer you are to liquid, the more you'll get.
As far as getting direct serotonin, your best bet is to eat high protein in the morning (to get the amino acids including tryptophan into your system) and then eat increasingly more carbs through the day. Protein in the morning will give you the lasting energy you need, and then eating carbs (with as little fat and protein as possible because they will inhibit the positive effects) will improve your mood. As you may know, when carbs are consumed, insulin lowers blood levels of all the amino acids except tryptophan, allowing it to get to the brain where it can help form serotonin.
For those of us who are serotonin deficient, timing is key. For example, the inositol should be taken with your last meal because it's a sleep inducer. On the other hand, SAMe should also be taken before bed, but on an empty stomach. While 5-HTP is also a sleep-inducer, it should be taken through the day with meals. I encourage you to look up foods that contain tryptophan and inositol and foods that are high in carbs and low in fat to find what will work best for you during the day.
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