Like hormones, brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, also act as messengers in the body. Neurotransmitters relay signals between nerve cells, called “neurons.” They are present throughout the body and are required for proper brain and body functions, including hormone release. Since neurotransmitter imbalances can lead to or exacerbate hormone imbalances, maintaining healthy neurotransmitter levels may help maintain normal hormone levels.
Improving Treatment Neurotransmitter
imbalances are addressed with medications that either imitate a neurotransmitter or redistribute existing neurotransmitters. Many affect serotonin, and some affect other neurotransmitters like GABA, norepinephrine, or dopamine. It is generally believed that drugs supporting serotonin signaling will be beneficial when symptoms result from a lack of serotonin and that GABA supporting drugs will be effective when a person’s symptoms are caused by a lack of GABA. While the idea of matching a drug to a chemical imbalance is generally supported, the vast majority of healthcare practitioners prescribe psychological drugs based only on an individual’s symptoms and few try to match a drug to a biochemical imbalance. This may explain why some drugs are ineffective for some individuals. Neurotransmitter function can also be supported with nutrient-based programs. Neurotransmitters are made from various components of food in a normal, healthy diet. Increasing the amounts of these dietary constituents can help maintain normal neurotransmitter levels. While no program can guarantee success for everyone, it is worthwhile to effectively match a drug-based and/or nutrient-based program to the specific needs of the individual.