I don’t mean to be glib about the human existential search for happiness. But what if I told you that in addition to filling your life with people you love, work that fulfills you, and activities you enjoy, you could maximize your happiness by adding specific amino acids to your diet?
Most people are familiar with hormones like estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, and cortisol. These chemicals have huge effects on us: body shape, energy, sex drive, brain function, fertility, and general health all depend on the correct functioning of hormones in our bodies. However, you may not be as familiar with neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that originate in nerves and communicate with other nerves, muscles, and glands. Neurotransmitters link the brain and spinal cord with the rest of the body and are involved in emotions, mood, brain function, alertness, appetite, sleep, and pain.
You may have heard of specific neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, GABA, histamine, and adrenaline. In fact, many antidepressant drugs are SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) which allow serotonin (your happy/sleepy neurotransmitter) to stay active in the body longer. Neurotransmitter imbalances can lead to:
- Brain fog
The good news is that neurotransmitter imbalances are pretty easy to fix. Most neurotransmitters are made from protein building blocks called amino acids and peptides. So supplements and diet changes can make a significant difference in your neurotransmitter levels. The key is to figure out exactly which neurotransmitters need to be optimized.
For years, practitioners have relied on symptom questionnaires to determine what might be happening with an individual patient’s neurotransmitters. However, Labrix laboratories now offers the latest HPLC Mass Spec technology for urine neurotransmitter testing, a level of gold standard assay not previously available. This test has higher sensitivity and accuracy which gives an enormous therapeutic advantage. A morning urine collection done at home and sent to the lab can offer incredible insight in to the root cause of your health issues.
Interested in seeing if neurotransmitter testing is a good option for you? Make an appointment with Dr. Goldberg (in office or phone consultation) to discuss testing options.