Signs of Low Serotonin

Signs of Low Serotonin

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating natural body processes such as sleep, body temperature, and libido. However, when your body is under stress, it may use more serotonin than it is creating. These are some signs that your body may have low serotonin levels.

Focus Issues
When the serotonin levels are slightly low, you may have trouble focusing your attention on any one thing, says Joseph M. Carver, Ph.D., author of "Serotonin: From Bliss to Despair". For example, you may continually lose your train of thought while having a conversation with a friend or find yourself in a room in your house, but forget why you're there.

Fatigue
Another symptom of moderately low serotonin levels, says Carver, is fatigue. Walking outside to pick up the mail or feed the dogs may begin to feel like an arduous task. One indicator that low serotonin may be the culprit of your fatigue is if you have been getting plenty of quality sleep and you still feel too worn out to perform simple tasks.

Sleeping Problems
If you fall asleep quickly but have trouble staying asleep due to a racing mind, you may have moderately low serotonin levels. You may also find yourself waking up early in the morning, when falling back to sleep is difficult.

Emotional Sensitivity
If you feel sensitive to others' comments due to low self-esteem or you find yourself crying at slightly sad commercials, you may have moderately low serotonin levels. In fact, if low serotonin is a culprit, you may even find that you have trouble stopping the tears.

Loss of Interest
If you don't feel like hanging out with your friends anymore or you find that you don't want to engage in any sexual activities with your significant other, you may have moderately low serotonin levels. It is especially important to keep in mind the activities you used to enjoy so that you can determine how much you have changed.

Appetite Change
Moderately low serotonin can cause your appetite to change. You may feel no interest in eating anymore or you may find that you crave foods, especially sweets and carbohydrates. Says Carver, your brain tries to use sweets and carbohydrates to increase serotonin levels.

Extremely Low Serotonin
Once your serotonin levels have begun to "bottom out," so to speak, you may need to keep an eye out for any these signs to make sure that the condition is addressed by a professional:
  • Racing/troublesome thoughts
  • Emotional numbness
  • Crying and/or angry outbursts
  • Thoughts of escaping your current circumstances
  • Physical changes such as fluctuating body temperature, aches/pains, cramps, bowel/bladder issues and smothering sensations
  • Obsessive/compulsive traits such as paranoia about germs and disease
  • Thoughts of suicide