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What are Neurotransmitters and Why Should You Care?

If you read health news, you have probably seen the word, ‘neurotransmitter’ used when talking about various types of health problems.

But what do you know about these powerful substances? This article will give you some understanding of what they are, what they do and why they are important in your overall quality of life.

What They Are, How They Work

Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that your body makes from amino acids (protein building blocks) vitamins and enzyme co-factors. This process happens at the end points of nerves (nerve terminals).

Neurotransmitters carry information from the end of one nerve to the beginning of a second nerve. In other words, they are the way the nerve cells in the body communicate with one another. It is also how the brain communicates with other organs, muscles, etc.

When you don’t have enough raw material building blocks to make neurotransmitters, or there is a problem with how they are metabolized, there can be damaging effects on health and quality of life.

The 2 Basic Functions of Neurotransmitters

Although there are many different neurotransmitters, they can be generally divided into 2 types, based on how they function in the brain. These 2 types are called excitatory (stimulating) and inhibitory (de-stimulating).

As you can imagine, if you have too much of either type of neurotransmitter, you will experience problems. Too much stimulus can lead to rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and a sense of anxiety. Too little stimulus can create depression, fatigue, and difficulty focusing.

What Symptoms Can Result from
Neurotransmitter Imbalances?

So many conditions show an imbalance of neurotransmitters that it is difficult to list them all. In addition to the sleep, mood and lack of energy problems listed above, here are some others:

  • Addictions
  • Weight control issues
  • Food cravings
  • Immune system problems
  • Migraine headaches
  • Chronic Pain
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Pre-menstrual emotional problems

As you can see, imbalances of neurotransmitters can have a rather dramatic effect on your quality of life.

What can you do on your own to help correct these problems? The very best thing is to eat sufficient amounts of high-quality proteins according to what you body needs. Remember that neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

Also, it helps if you are taking the right kind of vitamins and mineral supplements to be sure that you compensate for whatever may be lacking in your diet. With modern food production it’s almost certain that there are some vital nutrients missing from your food, regardless of how well you eat.

The next question might be to ask what you can to identify and correct these imbalances?

Neurotransmitter assessment is quite complicated, however the testing can be done with a simple urine sample.

Once we have an idea of your imbalances, we can make relatively quick progress in rebalancing them using natural supplements such as high-quality amino acids, vitamins and enzyme co-factors. With this kind of targeted approach, we often see great improvement in only a few weeks.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • KarenMarch 9, 2011, 10:20 am

    This is very interesting. I never knew anything about this subject before. Thanks!

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