Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that facilitate the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next. Neurotransmitters work with receptors in the brain to influence and regulate a wide range of processes such as; mental performance, emotions, pain response and energy levels. Numerous clinical studies have shown that inadequate neurotransmitter function has a profound influence on overall health and well-being. A simple urine test collected in the privacy of your own home can be used to help identify improper neurotransmitter and hormone signaling. In fact, imbalances in certain neurotransmitters are associated with most of the prevalent symptoms and conditions seen in practitioners offices today:
- Appetite control, insulin resistance
- Low pain tolerance
- Sexual dysfunction
- Low libido
- Addiction and dependency
- Low physical energy and stamina
- Poor mental focus, or ADD, ADHD
- Fatigue and sleep disorders
- Mood problems such as depression and anxiety
There are numerous substances that will compound these symptoms of imbalance. Such as, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and many of the medications used to manage these conditions as well as some cholesterol lowering medications. These substances and medications can contribute to neurotransmitter depletion and resulting symptoms by suppressing or artificially stimulating neurotransmitter receptor function. At Natural Therapeutics our tests include readings for Serotonin, GABA, Dopamine, Epinephrine, Norepinephrine & Glutamate.
Serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that is partially responsible for regulating brain functions such as mood, appetite, sleep, memory and metabolism.
GABA is an amino acid that is the second most prevalent neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA has an inhibiting effect, that calms excited nerve impulses. This can promote restful sleep and ease anxiety. GABA can also help slow the effects of aging by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce human growth hormone (HGH). As a person ages, the production of this hormone slows down. This decrease in HGH causes wrinkles and degenerative diseases, such as arthritis.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that either increases or reduces the activity of neurons. Some of its notable functions are in: movement, memory, behavior and cognition, sleep, mood, learning and attention.
Epinephrine, or adrenaline, is a hormone released by the adrenal glands as part of a “fight or flight” response. Its function is to prepare the body to flee or fight back. As such, it must affect a wide range of bodily tissues, including the muscles, circulatory system, and lungs. Epinephrine increases metabolism, accelerates blood coagulation, and lowers pressure inside the eye in certain types of glaucoma.
Norepinephrine is a hormone secreted by certain nerve endings of the sympathetic nervous system, and by the medulla (center) of the adrenal glands. Its primary function is to help maintain a constant blood pressure by stimulating certain blood vessels to constrict when the blood pressure falls below normal. As a neurotransmitter, norepinephrine plays a role in alertness, emotions, sleeping, dreaming and learning.
Glutamate is the major excitatory transmitter in the brain and is involved in most aspects of normal brain function including cognition, memory and learning. Glutamate has to be present in balanced concentrations to help keep the two hemispheres in the brain communicating with each other. Both too much and too little glutamate has harmful effects on the body including the gut, brain and muscle tissue.
Contact us to receive a neurotransmitter handout to evaluate your level of need for testing.