Neurotransmitters 101


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The human nervous system is one of the most complex systems in nature. It is responsible for coordinating thousands of processes, from muscle contraction to crying. The center of the nervous system is the brain, which contains over 100 billion specialized cells called neurons. The nervous system also contains very important chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. Neurotransmitters are also necessary for thought processes, emotions, and other essential body functions including sleep, energy, and fear.

Clearly, a system with this much responsibility needs to function properly in order for a person to remain healthy. Unfortunately, the nervous system can be easily disrupted through a number of factors:

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Infections
  • Genetics

These factors can cause the levels of neurotransmitters to become either too high or too low. Imbalanced neurotransmitter levels can lead to:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Feelings of anxiousness
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Behavioral problems
  • Foggy thinking
  • Headaches

The good news is that neurotransmitter levels can be measured, and, with the help of your healthcare practitioner, options for improving nervous system function can be discussed.


Neurotransmitters 101

This brochure describes some of the roles of major neurotransmitters in your body. Please keep in mind that the neurotransmitter test is not diagnostic for any particular disease. Rather it is one of many tests your doctor can use to address your health concerns.

Insomnia

What is the connection between insomnia and your nervous system?

Insomnia is often caused by dysfunction in the central nervous system, caused by imbalances of certain neurotransmitters and/or hormones – chemicals your body uses to communicate with itself. Neurotransmitters relay signals between nerve cells (neurons).Hormones relay signals from certain glands to the brain and other parts of the body.The body has several neurotransmitters and hormones that might be involved in a patient’s sleep disorder.

Sleep Statistics

A 2009 survey titled “Sleep In America”, conducted by The National Sleep Foundation, reported the following findings related to insomnia:

  • 58% had only a few “good nights’ sleep” in the past month
  • 66% feel their sleep needs are not being met
  • 64% report experiencing a sleep problem at least a few nights per week, up from 51% in 2001; 41% report problems nearly every night
  • 33% of Americans are losing sleep due to concerns about their personal finances and the U.S. economy
  • 34% feel loss of sleep decreases their ability to work efficiently
  • 38% feel that they cannot participate in leisure activities due to sleep loss
  • 54% have driven while drowsy at least once in past year, with 28% reporting they do so at the least once per month
  • 28% have fallen asleep while driving in the past year

Insomnia Brochure

How Can I Start Sleeping Again?

Neurotransmitters and hormones can be measured by using a simple urine and saliva test. These results can tell your healthcare practitioner if any neurotransmitters and hormones are out of balance. With that information, you and your practitioner can decide upon the best interventions – based on your individual body chemistry – to help you sleep normally again.

Patient Testing Options

Tests for imbalances in these body chemicals can be useful in helping patients and healthcare practitioners decide which interventions are best for individualized care.

Your Doctor

If you would like to talk to your doctor about testing, and would like more information, click here for Neuroscience’s request form.

Len and Joe

To do a consult with Len and Joe to see if testing is right for you, please call 1-877-275-7743

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