10 Symptoms Of Serotonin Deficiency That Must Be Checked

Last Update on May 18, 2022 : Published on November 27, 2020

Serotonin is a strong neurotransmitter responsible for mood, behavior, learning and many other body functions. It also impacts appetite, sleep cycle, digestion and various physical processes in the human body. It is important to know that serotonin deficiency may lead to slowing down of crucial body functions, weaken down the nerve signals and may lead to a wide range of issues.

Also Read: Know Your Happiness Hormones | Learn Natural Ways to Boost Them

Role Of Serotonin

Most of the serotonin is produced in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and hence maintains the intestine movement well. About 5% of serotonin is produced in the brainstem where its major role is to transmit signals between nerve cells.

It is interesting to note that not only the human body but plants and animals produce serotonin suggesting that the evolution was very early. Although researchers are still finding a direct connection between serotonin and body functions due to multiple neurotransmitters, it does play a role in a person’s overall health. This calls for a check of Serotonin deficiency symptoms.

NOTE that serotonin deficiency symptoms alone cannot be the base for finding serotonin deficiency. Many people who have normal levels of serotonin levels also show deficiency symptoms and vice versa. It is important to see an expert health professional to find if the serotonin deficiency is actually present and interfering in body functioning or not.

Also Read: 30 Ways to Spread Positive Vibes

The Causes For Serotonin Deficiency

Some individuals produce lower levels of serotonin naturally whereas some face other causes like:

  • Poor nutrition, diet, and lack of sunlight
  • Hormonal imbalance due to menopause, pregnancy or advancing age
  • Excessive use of certain drugs or medications
  • Chronic or prolonged stress
  • Low levels of vitamin D, vitamin B-6 or omega-3 fatty acids which are required to produce serotonin
  • Toxic substance like pesticides or heavy metals can cause permanent damage to the nervous system

Let us now find out the serotonin deficiency symptoms.

10 Symptoms Of Serotonin Deficiency

We will understand common symptoms that show deficiency of neurotransmitters as it may become the reason for a lot of mental and physical problems. Some of the common serotonin deficiency symptoms are:

1. Depression

It can be noted that depression and serotonin may have a complex relationship and depression is usually connected with lower levels of serotonin. Personal factors of life like events, stress, trauma, etc. become responsible for cause as well as result of low serotonin levels.

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 2. Memory Issues

If you are experiencing memory loss or facing learning difficulties, it can become a sign of serotonin deficit. With that, sleep deprivation or depression could also combine to form memory issues.

3. Change In Sleep Cycle

Serotonin plays an important role in maintaining your body clock. The ability to sleep properly and waking up on time in the morning are regulated by serotonin. However, if someone is facing insomnia, chronic fatigue, unusual sleep patterns then they may be going through serotonin syndrome.

4. Anxiety

Anxiety may indicate that a person is experiencing serotonin deficiency. Anxiety could appear due to trauma, stress or any other environmental factors and it can even deplete serotonin.

5. Schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia are often found with low levels of serotonin which impacts behavior, creates hallucinations and even sudden mood swings.  Symptoms Of Serotonin Deficiency include this disorder along.

 6. Appetite Changes

Various eating disorders or appetite changes are connected to low levels of serotonin. Appetite changes include overeating, not eating enough food or flipping between two.

7. Hyperactiveness

If you find yourself with symptoms of ADD or ADHD like hyperactiveness, fidgeting, inability to sit still, etc, serotonin deficiency symptoms could be one of the factors.

 8. Chronic Pain

Other signs of low serotonin include chronic body pain. As antidepressants are known to raise serotonin levels, those who are dealing with chronic pain are also recommended the same.

 9. Change In Circadian Rhythm

Circadian rhythm or the body’s internal clock is being regulated with optimum serotonin levels. Those who have difficulty in maintaining their schedule in a consistent manner are chronically tired and may have poor sleep cycles.

 10. Dementia

Although no direct connection between dementia and low serotonin levels are found, it is found that both arrive as the person ages. It directly affects concentration, memory and other cognitive functions of the brain.

Serotonin Deficiency Symptoms: Diagnosis & Treatment

Serotonin levels are diagnosed with serotonin blood test but it is done by doctors to find serotonin producing tumors, generally. It is also possible that the person whose serotonin levels look normal may not be actually normal.

Individuals with serotonin deficiency are provided with antidepressants medications (as prescribed by the doctor) to bind receptors with postsynaptic receptors. Apart from the medications, a person is also provided with natural remedies like

  • Exercising regularly in any form like walking, running, swimming or playing an outdoor game.
  • Consuming food that includes Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Omega-3 fatty acids and other mood-boosting food.
  • Sit in the bright sunlight or use light therapy lamps


Serotonin deficiency can show a number of mental and physical effects, however researchers are still keeping a check on the multiple effects of the neurotransmitter. It is advised that you must consult a doctor if serotonin deficiency is being detected on your end.

At the same time, if symptoms like depression, anxiety or mental health disorder are the cause of concern then send us an email at info@calmsage.com without any hesitation.

About The Author

Akanksha Soni
Akanksha Soni

Akanksha is an active lifestyle blogger and writer at Calmsage. She has learnt various lessons on happiness and methods to fight depression through 'Gurus' as well as own experiences. An ardent practitioner of Yoga and meditation, she keeps traveling, writes and interacts with people to feel alive.


  1. Jackie

    Never had I heard before about such deficiency but it makes sense. The chemicals in our brain are responsible for all kinds of things so maintaining a healthy balance is important. Thanks for this article.

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