Comparing Neurotransmitter Tests to Hormone Tests
What are neurotransmitters and why should I care, anyway?
Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that facilitate the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across a synapse. A synapse is like a spark plug - it's simply a gap between two neurons. And like a spark plug, an electrical signal must spark to jump across the gap.
There are two kinds of neurotransmitters – INHIBITORY (Serotonin, Dopamine, and GABA) and EXCITATORY (Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, Glutamate). Excitatory neurotransmitters stimulate the brain while inhibitory neurotransmitters calm the brain and help create balance mood. They affect the other, as the Inhibitory are easily depleted when the Excitatory neurotransmitters become overactive. See descriptions of neurotransmitters here.
With rapid advances in laboratory science and home diagnostic tests, we are now capable of probing deeper within the root causes of depression, compulsion, addiction, cravings, fatigue, lack of concentration, low libido, sporadic appetite, and erratic sleep. Many of us suffer from these occasionally, but chronic conditions can affect you and your family and need your immediate attention.
Mild to moderate depression affects up to 10% of the U.S. population
New research studies reveal a more direct cause of hormonal imbalances, and otherwise ‘hitches in your gitty-up’, can be linked to neurotransmitters. For chemical signals, however, the synapse secretes a chemical that floats across the gap to the upstream neuron. These chemicals have an important role in allowing the body to work properly and sustain good mental and physical health.
The efficiency of these synapses is the primary focus of science today in many aspects of mental, emotional, and psychological health. As we age, our neural pathways become less efficient and less capable of transmitting either the electromagnetic or the chemical signal. Some of the neurons even change shape, with ends lengthening or shortening. This affects the overall health and balance of the body.
Neurotransmitters help the brain balance the highs and lows of feelings, and manage the hormonal signals that are sent to other organs in the body. They work with receptors in the brain to influence and regulate a wide range of processes such as mental performance, emotions, pain response, hormones, and energy levels.
Having a Brain Meltdown?
Were you aware that when you blamed your bad mood on having a so-called ‘brain meltdown’ that actually, you may have been right? And get this, virtually all clinical reports of mood disorders identify neurotransmitter imbalances as, at least a contributor, if not the root cause. If there is any interruption or overstimulation in the signals in your brain it can seem like the equivalent of the type of meltdown we see with our computers. You know, when it runs sluggishly or can’t retrieve files from memory? Well, sometimes our brains do the same thing. There are a plethora of symptoms.
Symptoms of neurotransmitter imbalance include everything from lost motivation, to irritability, to poor concentration, to worse, lack of sex drive! But fear not. Testing is available and provides a way to understand an individual's specific neuroendocrine imbalances, which can be corrected with neutraceuticals, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), diet, and lifestyle course-corrections.
Neurotransmitter Tests are for select individuals when the condition is caused by inefficiencies within the brain's ability to transmit electromagnetic and chemical signals.
Hormone Tests are for those individuals when the condition is the result of the poor efficiency of the various endocrine glands throughout the body to signal each other and work in harmony.
See our comprehensive NeuroAdvanced urine test kit to check your neurotransmitter levels. Hormone testing add-ons available upon ordering.