Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals in which the brain communicates throughout the body. They tell your body to perform all the functions that it performs such as breathing, digestion, and even your heartbeat. Often when you have decreased motivation and energy, low libido, sleep problems, decreased or increased appetite, mental illness or attention problems it is because your neurotransmitters are imbalanced. Keep reading to learn more about the types of neurotransmitters and their functions.
- Amino acids: glutamate, aspartate, D-serine, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA),[nb 1] glycine
- Gasotransmitters: nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
- Monoamines: dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (noradrenaline; NE, NA), epinephrine (adrenaline), histamine, serotonin (SER, 5-HT)
- Trace amines: phenethylamine, N-methylphenethylamine, tyramine, 3-iodothyronamine, octopamine, tryptamine, etc.
- Peptides: oxytocin, somatostatin, substance P, cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript, opioid peptides
- Purines: adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine
- Catecholamines: dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), epinephrine (adrenaline)
- Other: acetylcholine (ACh), anandamide, etc.
These transmitters can be divided into two categories inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters.
Neurotransmitters and Their Functions
The inhibitory neurotransmitters help balance mood. These transmitters can be overburdened when the excitatory transmitters are too high. Serotonin, for instance, helps to balance the excessive excitatory neurotransmitters and also plays a role in sleeping, pain, digestion, and even regulates cravings for carbohydrates. Additional inhibitory neurotransmitters are GABA and Dopamine.
The excitatory neurotransmitters are dopamine which is also an inhibitory and norepinephrine. Dopamine helps you to focus and stay on task. Additionally, dopamine is responsible for your desire to get stuff done. Stimulants such as caffeine cause this to be improved however too much stimulation over time will cause depletion and defeat the purpose. Norepinephrine is an excitatory neurotransmitter that helps to make epinephrine the last excitatory neurotransmitters. The epinephrine regulates the heart rate and blood pressure and can be highly affected by stress which can deplete the levels. If you feel that you may have signs of off-balanced neurotransmitters contact a doctor today and get tested.
Results vary by individual consult a doctor and find out if treatment would be right for you.