Neurotransmitters

Inhibitory Neurotransmitters

Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that regulates mood, behavior, sleep, appetite, sensory perception, and learning.

Low Levels

Low mood

Sleep difficulties

Headache

Uncontrolled appetite

High Levels

Agitation

Headache

Mania

GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) is an amino acid which acts as the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.  High levels of GABA indicate excitatory overload because of the increased demand for GABA to balance the surplus excitatory neurotransmitter activity.  Low levels of GABA are associated with adrenal distress and dysfunction.

Low Levels

Anxiety

Headache

Sleep difficulties

Cognitive impairment

High Levels

Excitatory overload

Glycine is an amino acid that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It regulates excitatory neurotransmission.

Low Levels

N/A

High Levels

Low mood

Anxiety

Stress-related disorders

5-HIAA is a breakdown product of serotonin. 5-HIAA levels, when viewed in conjunction with serotonin levels, may provide insight into how the body processes neurotransmitters. 

Excitatory Neurotransmitters

Dopamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that regulates the pleasure/reward cycle, cognition, motivation, emotional responses, sensitivity and processing of information, motor control, memory, attention, and focus.

Low Levels

Compulsions

Addictions

Cravings

Loss of motor control

Loss of satisfaction

High Levels

Anxiety

Hyperactivity

Sensory overload

Attention issues

Norepinephrine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that regulates alertness, attention, focus, and is involved in the “fight or flight” response to stress.

Low Levels

Fatigue

Lack of focus

Lack of motivation

High Levels

Anxiety

Stress

Hyperactivity

Epinephrine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that regulates attentiveness and mental focus. It also regulates heart rate, blood pressure, and lipolysis (fat metabolism) and is involved in the “fight or flight” response to stress.

Low Levels

Fatigue

Poor concentration

Poor recovery from illness

High Levels

Anxiety

Hyperactivity

Sleep difficulties

Glutamate is an amino acid which acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain.  It is involved in cognitive functions such as learning and memory.

High Levels

Anxiety

Problems focusing

Histamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that controls the sleep/wake cycle and inflammatory response (commonly associated with exposure to an allergen). It keeps the body awake and alert which is why antihistamines cause drowsiness & sleep. Histamine helps regulate norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine release. 

Low Levels

Insomnia

Fatigue

Problems concentrating

Mental exhaustion

High Levels

Anxiety

Problems focusing

Hyperalgesia (pain amplification)

Neurological disorders

Low Levels

Fatigue

Fluctuating moods

Easily depressed under stress

High Levels

Depression

Headache

Allergic responses

Obsessive compulsive tendencies

PEA (Phenylethylamine) is an excitatory neurotransmitter synthesized in the brain from the amino acid phenylalanine. It regulates mental acuity, alertness, attention, motivation, energy, stamina and is important for focus and concentration. It increases the actions of dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and serotonin.

Low Levels

Lack of focus

Lack of concentration

Depression

High Levels

Racing thoughts

Sleep problems

Anxiety

DOPAC is a breakdown product of dopamine. DOPAC levels, when viewed in conjunction with dopamine levels, may provide insight into how the body processes neurotransmitters.