Serotonin is a chemical your body produces that’s needed for your nerve cells and brain to function.
But too much serotonin causes symptoms that can range from mild (shivering and diarrhea) to severe (muscle rigidity, fever and seizures).
Severe serotonin syndrome can be fatal if not treated.
What happens when serotonin levels are high?
Mood: Serotonin in the brain is thought to regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. Low levels of the chemical have been associated with depression, and increased serotonin levels brought on by medication are thought to decrease arousal. The serotonin causes tiny arteries to narrow, helping form blood clots.
What does serotonin feel like?
Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression. Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the human body. It is believed to help regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. There may be a link between serotonin and depression.
Can you test your serotonin levels?
While there is a test that measures serotonin in your blood, it’s generally only used to check for serotonin-producing tumors outside of the brain. Also, blood serotonin levels don’t necessarily reflect the levels in your brain. Steer clear of neurotransmitter urine tests that are available online.
How long does it take for serotonin levels to return to normal?
In cases where serotonin syndrome is only present in a mild form, symptoms may be alleviated within 24 hours of discontinuing the medication causing the uptake in serotonin. However, some antidepressants can cause symptoms to last longer as serotonin levels may take weeks to return to normal.