Posted on: 23.11.2021 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

July 23, 2004


Depression, Stress

and Anxiety

Neurotransmitters — The Key to Balance

Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring chemicals

that relay electrical messages between nerve cells throughout the

body. This process, which affects everything from muscle contraction

and blood flow to mental acuity, is dependent upon an adequate supply

of neurotransmitters and their precursors in order to function properly.

There are two crucial neurotransmitter pathways

that help to support your overall health and well-being. The first

leads to the production of the inhibitory neurotransmitter serotonin,

while the second leads to the production of the excitatory neurotransmitters

dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.

The brain chemicals produced through these two

pathways oppose and complement one another. Within your brain, serotonin

often inhibits the firing of neurons, which dampens many of your

behaviors. In fact, serotonin acts as a kind of chemical restraint

system. Researchers believe that serotonin helps to counteract the

more “primitive” centers of your brain. When it fails,

extreme results can include binge eating, drug addiction, and even

violence. Milder cases include PMS, irritability, and anxiety.

Of all your body’s chemicals, serotonin has one

of the most widespread effects on the brain and physiology. It plays

a key role in regulating temperature, blood pressure, blood clotting,

immunity, pain, digestion, sleep, and biorhythms. It also produces

a relaxing effect on your mood. When this is out of balance, it

can lead to anxiety.

Dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine make

up the excitatory neurotransmitter pathway. Unlike serotonin, which

has a relaxing effect on your energy and behavior, excitatory neurotransmitters

energize and elevate your mood. In addition to their powerful antidepressant

effects, they support alertness, optimism, motivation, zest for

life, and sex drive. When this is out of balance, it can lead to


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