Everything that happens in the body happens in part thanks to the participation of multiple chemicals. Each of them has particularities in terms of its characteristics and functions, among them hormones and neurotransmitters stand out. Both are described as molecules that are synthesized by the body itself, they have the ability to modify each of the processes and functions that are carried out in organs and tissues.

Hormones are those that travel through the bloodstream, they control the physiology of organs and muscles mainly . On the other hand, neurotransmitters associate with neurons and regulate the activity that is generated in the central nervous system. However, there are some substances that have both capacities, being the case of serotonin.

Serotonin is one of the hormones that performs the greatest functions, it is important to maintain an adequate level of it to guarantee good health. It belongs to the group of ” hormones of happiness “, this is because it has the ability to generate psychological changes that affect the state of mind.

What is serotonin?

Serotonin is a type of hormone that has the wide capacity to achieve positive effects contributing to well-being and happiness. This chemical is scientifically recognized as 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT . It originates in the brain but also in the intestines and platelets. It is constituted from the combination of tryptophan with components of the proteins and tryptophan hydroxylase.

It is capable of transmitting messages that start from the nerve cells that later must reach the muscles. This will achieve its activation and also generates a more pleasant physical sensation . It has also been proven that it intervenes in the regulation of sleep cycles with waking states.

It has multiple functions for which it is considered to be one of the most important hormones. It is associated with motor, autonomic and cognitive functions ; which are essential to be able to maintain autonomy and good performance. Likewise, like other hormones, it intervenes in the emotional management process that is essential to maintain good mental health.

It is considered to be one of the most important substances in the nervous system because it coordinates multiple functions. For the world of psychology its study is essential to understand how you can balance your mood. Some conditions are associated with low levels of serotonin which promotes depressive states.

What are their characteristics?

The most remarkable thing about serotonin is that it has qualities that are typical of neurotransmitters, and it is also synthesized in the brain. These are characteristics that not all hormones possess, as well as participating in the process of regulation and synthesis of other neurotransmitters.

It is mainly considered to be a molecule synthesized by neurons that are part of the central nervous system. Because it modifies the physiology of organs and tissues , it is essential that it be part of all the activities that are associated with this system.

It could be said that serotonin is very important for survival, because it regulates vital functions and emotions. For example, it participates in cell division, regulation of body temperature, stabilizes the cardiovascular system, modifies sleep cycles, influences cognitive functions and also promotes a positive mood.

Uses and functions 

Scientific studies have proven that it helps regulate mood and social behavior. But in addition, it contributes to mechanisms such as digestion, appetite, memory and sexual desire; can be carried out effectively.

Because it is transported by platelets in the blood and is one of the main elements of the central nervous system, it is one of the most important hormones in the entire system. However, serotonin used in the brain must be produced within the same organ because this substance cannot cross the blood-brain barrier .

As a neurotransmitter, it is responsible for sending signals that connect nerve cells with neurons. This is where its participation within the central nervous system gains greater importance, this is because it participates in most of the functions related to it. There is a close link between this hormone and metabolism and cell division. Studies have shown that it influences brain cells directly and indirectly.

Regarding intestinal function, the serotonin found in the gastrointestinal tract ensures that the movements in this area remain active. It also plays a leading role in reducing appetite.

In terms of moods and emotional management , serotonin is associated with happiness but also with anxiety. For example, when it is to make an excessive use of narcotics that alter brain functions such as ecstasy, consequently a significant increase in serotonin is achieved which occurs during a certain period of time.

This substance travels through the bloodstream via platelets; the same ones that are in charge of closing wounds in the tissues. In addition, it participates in the vasoconstriction and narrowing of blood vessels; which means that your participation is essential to prevent clots from forming.

Finally, mention should be made of its ability to inhibit sexual activity. This is one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , this means that by increasing the levels of this substance in patients with depression, sexual dysfunction can develop. This has been observed in at least 70% of the cases.

As with other essential substances for the body, when there is an imbalance, an increase in it is detrimental to health. At the bone level, it has been scientifically proven that having high levels of serotonin in the bones considerably increase the possibility of suffering from osteoporosis.

How is it generated? How to increase your segregation? 

It is advisable to carry out a series of healthy practices to promote the increase in the production of serotonin in a natural way . Otherwise, it is known that the use of recreational drugs can help increase the levels of this substance. However, it is not recommended due to the risk of suffering from some type of secondary symptom.

Generally, the symptoms that the body externalizes to demonstrate serotonin deficiency are poor memory, low mood, anxiety, aggressiveness, self-esteem problems and difficulty sleeping. Therefore, it is always recommended that people lead an active lifestyle , always trying to pay more attention to participation in social activities.

When people are struggling to achieve a mood induction on their own, they can use psychotherapy or self-induction. Thought disturbances can be treated in this way, thus increasing serotonin levels.

Other tips are more focused on the association between serotonin and depression. Some studies show that there is indeed a relationship, however it is still a controversial issue due to naysayers. Therefore, the implementation of any type of activity that generates satisfaction, well-being and happiness in the patient; In the long term it can help keep your serotonin levels stable.

Physical exercise is one of the most common tips because scientific research has shown that it has multiple health benefits. To be more specific, sports and exercise increase the production of this hormone in the brain.

Also, a balanced diet, giving greater importance to the consumption of natural foods and avoiding processed ones. Foods that have higher levels of tryptophan should be included in the daily diet, they help the patient to improve their mood and mental capacity. High protein foods like eggs and cheese are a good example.

Some people may resort to the use of supplements formulated by pharmaceuticals to promote the increase in serotonin, however this should be done if a doctor has prescribed it.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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