Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for January 13, 2007


I remember running out of my omega 3 supplement for the first time and I had starting having weird symptoms. I figured at the time it was the omega 3 that was helping me but I could never figure out why. The answer? Low magnesium:

Magnesium has a multitude of different uses in the and is an essential cofactor of the enzyme delta 6 desaturase which converts vegatable derived omega 3 fatty acids to the brain critical omega 3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is essential for the rapid release of dopamine. Thus if magnesium levels are low, DHA deficiency is very likely to exist. Low levels of serotonin in the brain are connected with low levels of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA. This can again lead to increased stress and depression.

So now I’m wondering if my non refreshing sleep is from a serotonin deficiency from years of low magnesium?

There are basically two ways to rectify the Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome. One method is through the natural method of increasing tryptophan intake and the other through the use of anti-depressant medications such as Prozac. This is where the story gets very interesting.

There is a class of pharmaceutical medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants. SSRI anti-depressants include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and others. Their method of treatment is to concentrate existing levels of serotonin in the brain so they stay in the synapse between nerves and facilitate communication. They do not create serotonin, as many people believe, but simply collect the existing serotonin so it is used more effectively. Some studies suggest that long term use of SSRI anti-depressants actually reduce serotonin levels. Serotonin levels are often low among people with anxiety disorders.

Our body chemistry is complex; many different hormones, neurotransmitters, and other substances influence how we feel. Serotonin is one chemical that has received a great deal of attention for its contribution to mood. It’s a neurotransmitter (a chemical involved in the transmission of nerve impulses between nerve cells) that’s formed in the brain and primarily found in three parts of the body — the brain, the lining of the digestive tract, and in blood platelets. In the brain, serotonin’s main effects include improving mood and giving you that “satisfied” feeling from food. It’s also thought to help promote sleep and relaxation.

Carbohydrate-rich meals often increase serotonin levels. However, manipulating serotonin levels through food may be very difficult to achieve because serotonin’s properties may have varying effects in different people. Some people may experience a temporary lift in mood after a carbohydrate-rich meal, while others may become relaxed or sleepy. Certain foods that increase serotonin levels aren’t the healthiest choices either. Believe it or not, candy and sweets, which are simple carbohydrates, have the greatest impact, but the effect will only last 1 – 2 hours. Complex carbohydrates (rice, potato, pasta) may increase serotonin levels, but not to the same extent because the protein content of these foods might actually inhibit serotonin production.

The  doctor wants me on Paxil but doesn”t really explain why except that it was recommended by the Neurologist. Probably to raise my level of Serotonin and “fix” the anxiety. Here’s an article that actually suggests that it could make things worse!

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January 13, 2007 - Posted by | Health | , , , , ,

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