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Tim Brown
Tim Brown, GP
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4079
Experience:  GP in Sussex
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I would like to know what I can do to lower high serotonin

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Hi I would like to know what I can do to lower high serotonin and dopamine levels. Is there any medication I could use?

Good evening, I am Dr Elliot. What reason do you want to lower serotonin and dopamine levels?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have had high levels which have caused different symptoms that have affected my life. I have been to the doctors many times about this and not had a resolution. After several years I have done research online and found my symptoms are consistent with high serotonin. For example I have always had social anxiety which has been made worse by using drugs/supplement that boost serotonin. The latest research shows that high serotonin can actually cause social anxiety. Also apathy, low motivation especially after eating tryptophan and carbohydrate food (serotonin boosters). I have tried all sorts of therapy but this won't address the chemical imbalance in my brain like medication can.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All my blood tests are clear, I have no underlying issues

Okay thanks, ***** ***** sorry to hear this has been a problem for you for such a long time.

I am afraid there is no solution to reducing serotonin levels. Would study are you referring to regarding high serotonin causes social anxiety?

I would be interested to know, as a large metaanalysis of SSRIs 2 years ago showed the opposite of what you have said.

If ssri's do not help your anxiety, have you tried pregabalin?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** didn't work, could you try again please

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Let me try on my computer
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How does Pregabalin work? Does it stop dopamine and serotonin from being released?

No not as such. If you would like a paper on it I can let you have one...

A bit dated now, but still useful. But I would consider it as an option, if you have tried all SSRIs and psychotherapy hasn't helped, you will just have to either continue your research and try and control this with diet and lifestyle changed, or try something new that you haven't tried before.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.,levels%20of%20the%20neurotransmitter%20serotonin.

There is no miracle cure to what you are asking. And life isn't as simple as reducing your dopamine and serotonin levels. Equally if there was, you would certainly face the consequence of something along the lines of Bipolar disorder

Thanks for the paper. It sounds interesting and I believe in the minority it is possible, but read the actual paper, the research is of 39 people. This has not been continued in larger groups. It also mentions a poor correlation and therefore conclusions from this cannot be drawn, certainly nothing near enough to discount ssri's as a reason it can get worse

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I know, I have been trying alternative medicine which suggests there are a few different things i can do to balance serotonin and dopamine. I don't know if you have heard of overmethylation which is basically where excess neurotransmitters,namely dopamine,serotonin and adrenaline are produced. One of the underlying causes of this is thought to be excess copper in the diet, especially in vegetarian diets where there is not enough zinc. Copper and tyrosine supplements make my symptoms worse so i avoid these as do foods such as chocolate.

Sorry, I was reading the link to the paper from your link. I would question what you have read, the study was of 36 people

They were also unable to demonstrate a strong correlation to what this would mean, hence why a bigger study has not materialised

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is definitely affects the minority, i can tell from my anecdotal experience, i'm not saying high serotonin is the cause of all social anxiety disorders, obviously a lot of people respond well to SSRI's, just not everyone.

Fair point, but this applies to every aspect of medicine, not one model fits all.

You are certainly not wrong to consider dietary changes, but make them, judge if they work, nobody will ever challenge something that works for you. However if it doesn't, try pregabalin instead. I have some patients who respond incredibly well to it, but yes some do indeed have side effects. But I would personally want to see if it improved my anxieties.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is Pregabalin safe to be taken in the long run? And what are the side effects? I'm open to taking it. - NICE guidance on generalised anxiety - from a website called

The NICE link is the current guidance, but note it is a guide, rather than a rule. It is evidence based, but also cost is a factor in these guidelines. The link is a good website, it is free, just be prepared for lots of adverts in the headings. This has patient information leaflets, as well as professional guidance, written in a far nicer way than the NICE guidance.

Have a play around with these and see what you think.

Pregabalin is originally used in epilepsy and neuropathic pain, but has been licensed for use in generalised anxiety disorder. It is considered safe, can be stopped whenever, not considered addictive, side effect profile is better than its predecessor, but this is now much more easy to prescribe as the cost dropped a lot over the last 5 years.

It has a very long side effect profile, I can provide that for you if you like, the main one I have noticed in some is it can be sedating, but I have only ever noticed this in those using it for analgesia, but they tend to be on much higher doses. The patients I have on pregabaline for anxiety tend to be on much lower doses.

Let me know what you think (you can repost back to this thread for over a week), I am going to log off shortly as I have work tomorrow. But thank you for your question, it is nice to have someone make you think about the management of these things (not too often though, I don't think I would have the energy).

Please could you kindly click on the stars to rate my response, this is the only way JustAnswer reward me for answering questions.

Best of luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I will have a look through it. If I have any questions I will let you know

Great, thanks. Also, don't worry rating my response does not charge you, it just shares a percentage of your fee that you have already paid JustAnswer

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