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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Symptoms / Signs of Too Much Serotonin / Excess Serotonin {SPECIFICS, EASY TO READ, CITED}

Due to being increasingly displeased with the difficulty in finding such information; to the average user, I have compiled a well cited guide on determining if you may have TOO MUCH SEROTONIN.

One VERY important thing to remember, is that excessive serotonin production is NOT the only way to have high serotonin, and often...excessive serotonin is due decreased breakdown of serotonin and it's metabolites. This can occur when using SSRI's along with other medications or supplements that impact the breakdown of serotonin, such as MAO-A inhibitors (ST.John's Wort), Syrian Rue, Nutmeg etc

With nutmeg, it is unlikely you will get enough of a toxic effect from using a little of the whole spice, HOWEVER, if you are using teaspoon after teaspoon of nutmeg excessively, then EATING other foods that increase serotonin, like bananas and turkey - then you have an increased risk of developing serotonin syndrome.

KEEP IN MIND, that the symptoms related to serotonin syndrome represent a SEVERE excess of serotonin which often requires immediate care / CRISIS management.

TOO MUCH serotonin is describing a PERSISTENT, but NOT SEROTONIN-SYNDROME qualified excess. Therefore, this article is NOT describing serotonin syndrome, but too much serotonin* over time - where it relates to borderline health issues.

This article is ideal for those who suspect out of balance serotonin, but not so much serotonin that it becomes toxic as in an acute CRISIS. 

Some symptoms of high serotonin mirror those of low glutamate- NMDA function.

                                  SENSORY EFFECTS

  • Over-Sensitivity to sounds, especially loud noises. Excessive jumpiness or even anxiety in response to sudden sounds or movements(1) (2).
  • Visual distortions, height / depth alteration, hallucinations(3) (4).
  • Words may appear out of place, or your perception of what you are reading may be entirely different. { e.g reading the third line thinking its the second} (5)
  • Sensitivity changes to light, sedation or no response to darkness(6) (7) (8) (9)
  • Lack of pain sensation, or HYPO Algesia, some individuals with high serotonin display such a lack in pain perception/sensitivity that it mirrors the effects of those under the influence of PCP. Pain asymbolia can be misdiagnosed as high serotonin(10) (11).
  • Tinnitus, ringing in ears(12)(13).
  • Vertigo. Dizziness. Room spinning(14) (15).

                   BEHAVIORAL / MENTAL EFFECTS

  • Delirium. Usually including abnormal forms of panic or worry along with various disperceptions(16) (17)
  • Depersonalization. Feeling out of place, out of body, or that events or surroundings are surreal(18)(19).
  • Frequent or occasional episodes of psychosis, paranoia, pathology changes, and obsessional behavior(20)(21).
  • Religious delusions and religious over-engagement. (some cult leaders are hypothesized to have elevated, but not toxic levels of serotonin)(22). The best book on this is "Biology of Religious Behavior : The Evolutionary Origins of Faith and Religion".
  • Unexplained agitation or inner restlessness(23)
  • Dystonia, tic-like behaviors, punding; repetitive behaviors(24) (25) (26) (27).
  • Frequent crying episodes in children, unwarranted panic or extreme anxiety(28).
  • Low/Absent Libido(29)
  • Emotional Anhedonia / Apathy / Blunt AFFECT (30) (31) (32) (33) (34)
  • Jittery, nervous hands, tremors, impatient(35) (36) (37).
  • Depression , despair, lack of motivation(38) (39)
  • Reading/Comprehension deficits(40).
                      PERIPHERAL / INTERNAL EFFECTS

  • Persistent nausea, unexplained/stress induced; not due to motion sickness which is more acetylcholine based. (41) (42)
  • Diarrhea/IBS Symptomology(43) (44) (45)
  • Cold hands / feet(46) (47) (48) (49).
  • Lack of perspiration (sweating) or too much sweating(50) (51).
  • Hyperhidrosis (52) .
  • HYPERTHERMIA or HYPOTHERMIA , with a higher frequency of the latter(53) (54) (55)
  • Increased suspectibility to certain viral infections; polyoma virus susceptibility and influenza response alteration(56) (57) (58).

                                                IN BLOOD WORK
-Low testosterone/On the low end of normal.

-High cortisol.

-High prolactin.

-High ACTH

-Hypo or hyperthyrodism (high T4/low TSH or the inverse)


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