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What effect does serotonin have on the brain?

In 1935 scientists discovered the serotonin molecule. It is a neurotransmitter with a chemical structure derived from an amino acid. Serotonin neurons in the brain stem are from the raphe nuclei. Serotonin from the raphe nuclei projects throughout the brain stem and brain. It provides serotonin to the rest of the nervous system. In layman terms, it is a chemical messenger that inter-connects information throughout your mind and body. Serotonin is in the nervous system, blood platelets and the digestive tract.

Researchers have discovered seven different families of the serotonin receptors which varies from one another in delivery, the substances that bind them together and the effects they facilitate.

All six of these families consist of G-protein joined receptors. The other receptor families comprise of ligand-gated ion channels. Within the seven families, the receptors of fourteen different receptor subtypes have been documented as well. Serotonin is detached from the synaptic cleft via reuptake by serotonin transporter [SERT].

Serotonin has many vital functions in the body, some of these functions connect to our frame of mind. Many anti-depressants cause serotonin levels to rise. Serotonins used for our state of mind is very intricate. Depression is likely due to a serotonin deficiency. Additionally, serotonin is involved in a long list of functions other than mood. In most cases, its actual functionality in our states of feeling is not fully understood.

In the digestive tract, it helps with tightening of the digestive muscles, assisting food to move through the system. It can also act on gut nerves signaling pain and nausea. If there are irritants in the diet more serotonin is released while it moves the food faster leading to diarrhea. This process can also bring vomiting. Serotonin deposited in blood platelets it works when a blood vessel is damaged, platelets arrive blocking the damage. The platelets release serotonin which helps to trigger the blood vessels to thin out thus stopping or slowing down the loss of blood.

Serotonin is believed to be contributing to feelings of happiness and well-being. It is given a name by many, as the happy molecule and plays a huge role in regulating urges. This neurotransmitter is critical to the body for pain relief.

Some of the significant symptoms of low serotonin levels are constant worry or anxiety. People that tend to get easily depressed in the winter season and that has trouble falling asleep might have low levels of serotonin. Frequent moodiness, with strong self-critical attitudes and feelings of guilt, cravings and lack of self-confidence more than necessary including obsessive behaviors like being a perfectionist, neat freak or controlling are good signs of this problem. Others complaining of Fibromyalgia or unexplained muscle pain, as well as irritable bowel type symptoms, could have low serotonin levels.

All these functions in the body are made possible by brain function. If there are no deficiencies in us, our bodies, soul and spirit will be healthy.

The Dangers of being Anaemic

Microscopic samples of your blood will make you see hundreds of red, doughnut-shaped cells known as erythrocytes. These erythrocytes are also known as red blood cells. Red blood cells are the most numerous cell types in the body and number in the millions. Anaemia refers to an inadequate number of red blood cells in your body. The developing of deficiencies of iron, vitamin B-12 and folate register as the most significant cause of anaemia. Different types of anaemia exist and should be diagnosed by your health care provider to prevent complications.

Red blood cells deliver oxygen to every cell in the body. It is the amount of haemoglobin in your cells that determine how efficiently the oxygen transport in your blood. The more haemoglobin cells found in your blood, the more oxygen it will be able to transport. Anaemia is a decrease in the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood.


Hemorrhagic Anemia is due to an extreme loss of red blood cells caused through bleeding. This blood loss can result from a wound but can also originate from menstrual bleeding and a bleeding stomach ulcer. The body can become starved of oxygen. The most severe dangers include irregular heartbeat, heart failure and organ failure.

Sometimes there is a problem with the body making red blood cells. Bone marrow is the connective tissue that fills the cavities of bones and is the chief site of red blood cell development. When the bone marrow does not produce red blood cells, the consequence is Aplastic anaemia. Aplastic anaemia is one of the most severe forms of anaemia. When you are anaemic, your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood. Lack of oxygen can lead to an enlarged heart of heart failure.

Pernicious Anemia is another type of Anemia that involves a decrease in the production of red blood cells, but unlike Aplastic anaemia that affected the bone marrow. Pernicious Anemia is a disorder in which the body cannot make enough red blood cells because the intestines cannot properly absorb vitamin B12. People with this disorder cannot absorb vitamin B12 from the food because they lack intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a unique protein made in the stomach that helps intestines absorb vitamin B12. This type of anemia can lead to nerve damage, loss of balance and depression as well as confusion and dementia.

A genetic disorder known as sickle cell anemia originates in black people of African ancestry. It is a painful hereditary form of anemia in which the red blood cells are sickle-shaped due to an abnormality in their hemoglobin. Sickle cell anemia can result in severe pain and organ damage.

The dangers of being anemic are so severe that it leads to life-threatening complications.

What are the best treatments for insomnia?

There’s nothing as detrimental to your health as not being able to sleep. Sometimes we become so exhausted it is as if our minds cannot shut down. Either we overthink things, or we worry about things in our lives. We lay awake, frequently looking at the clock and noticing the hours to sleep getting less and less. Eventually getting out of bed angry for not sleeping at all!

What we fail to realize is that all of us has a sleep hormone that is produced by our brain. If you have an insufficient amount of this sleep hormone, also called melatonin it would affect our sleep patterns adversely. Without melatonin, it is tough to get to sleep and to stay sleeping. Serotonin makes this molecule. A way to increase melatonin is to deliver more of the building blocks to our bodies that are used to produce serotonin: various nutrients that make 5-hydroxythryptophan (5HTP), including vitamins B3, B6, C and zinc, folic acid and tryptophan.

Some foods are high in tryptophan like turkey, chicken, seafood, eggs, tofu, nuts, seed and milk. These foods biochemically change the tryptophan to melatonin. Oats and sour cherries are natural sources promoting sleep.

Stop drinking stimulants such as caffeine. Sugar raises the activity of adrenaline and cortisol. If your blood sugar falls to low, adrenal hormones go higher and the increased cortisol levels at night will prevent sleep. If you drink coffee, the caffeine depresses melatonin for up to ten hours. Try to switch to decaf coffee and tea.

Identify negative thoughts that only cause stress. Try changing these thoughts you will develop ways of dealing with pressures and get your body to calm down before a night of sleep. Counseling and phycological help will also be useful to treat insomnia. Sometimes just getting out of bed and doing something relaxing can make you drowsy enough to try getting to sleep again.

Avoid eating too large meals in the evening. If your stomach aches, you cannot sleep. Avoid drinking alcohol and coffee at least three hours before going to bed. Exercise as often as you can.

Listen to calming sleep music. There are many sleep-music recordings available on the market for you to choose from that enhances relaxation.


A shortage of calcium and magnesium can trigger insomnia. The minerals interact to calm the body and to help the relaxation of nerves and muscles. This process reduces cramps and twitching. Eat a lot of magnesium-rich foods such as green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and seafood.

Herbs have sleep-inducing properties may be beneficial to restore sleep patterns. These herbs include lavender, hops, passion flowers and chamomile, lemon balm and bitter orange. Chamomile tea is often taken just before going to bed.

There is nothing as important as being able to sleep well. The tips above will improve insomnia and prevent you from kicking the cat due to increased levels of stress.