Emotionally stressful situations cause the body to release adrenaline, cortisol, and insulin. These stress hormones stimulate the brain to secrete serotonin. The more stress, the more serotonin needed to deal with the stress. Long-term stress, along with poor dietary habits, can deplete the body’s serotonin stores. Stress can also deplete the body of magnesium (a common occurrence in FMS and CFS patients), B6, dopamine, norepinephrine, and GABA.
Stimulants like caffeine, diet pills, sugar, and nicotine cause a rapid rise in blood-insulin levels. This is followed by the brain’s release of serotonin. Serotonin helps a person feel better and think clearer, but only temporarily. A stimulant high is always followed by a low. This then leads to further use of stimulants to keep serotonin levels high, and an addiction is created. People become dependent on stimulates to help raise serotonin levels, and this addictive process causes further depletion of serotonin.
Low thyroid function is associated with stress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue, because thyroid hormones help regulate concentration, mental clarity, moods, and proper brain chemistry. The thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) regulates the levels and actions of serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Serotonin is decreased when T3 levels are deficient, which is more common than might be suspected. So if you suffer from depression, be sure to investigate your thyroid as a possible cause.
Stress is the catalyst for fibromyalgia, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again and again. Stress depletes the happy hormone serotonin which then brings on the poor sleep, pain, low moods, and IBS associated with fibromyalgia. Obviously restoring optimal serotonin levels is crucial for reversing these fibromyalgia symptoms.
See my previous blog on Fibromyalgia and Brain Function Questionnaire