Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers in the nervous system that relay signals in the body, much like emails relay information from one person to the next. Due to stress, poor diet, or genetic factors, these chemical messengers can become imbalanced over time leading to a variety of symptoms and conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, headaches, migraines, fatigue, weight issues, insomnia, memory problems, and chronic pain. Advances in scientific technology now provide the ability to measure these neurotransmitters to identify what is out of balance. Discovering your neurotransmitter excretion values in urine provides information on how to support the body using customized diet and nutrient protocols for optimal health.
Serotonin and GABA play important roles, collectively, in sleep, mood, and stress management.
Neurotransmitters are found in various bodily fluids, including serum, plasma, platelets, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), saliva, and urine. Since urine collection is a non-invasive method of collection, and since urine is the primary method of neurotransmitter elimination, it is the preferred method for measurement. Research has demonstrated a link between central nervous system (CNS) neurotransmitters and peripheral nervous system (PNS) neurotransmitters via crosstalk that provides information for clinical evaluation. This unique method of testing allows clinicians to create customized nutrient protocols based on urinary excretion values. The neurotransmitters that are produced in the brain and CNS require the same amino acid precursors and enzymes for synthesis as they do in the PNS and body. Based on this connection, urinary neurotransmitters give us a reflection of neurotransmitter imbalances that can result in symptoms and conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, headaches, migraines, fatigue, weight issues, insomnia, memory problems, and chronic pain.
The urinary excretion of these neurotransmitters do not provide a direct measure of the those in the brain, however they do show what is happening in the central nervous system as a whole, which correlates to brain function. Neurotransmitters produced in the brain, cross the blood-brain barrier where they enter the blood, some are made in the gut (95% serotonin), and by other tissues. These neurotransmitters are then filtered by the kidneys and excreted in urine. Neurotransmitter excretion reflects overall neurotransmitter health which can contribute to mood-related issues.
Researched enzyme immunoassay (ELISA) is used for the quantitative and sensitive determination of neurotransmitter levels. (Tecan Sunrise ELISA microplate readers are utilized.) All samples (as well as standards and controls) are run in duplicates with ELISA assay formats.
Please note that all parameters are calculated around creatinine. Higher creatinine levels will result in lower values for neurotransmitters across the board. Lower creatinine will result in higher values across the board. It is important to note that it is the ratio between specific neurotransmitters and not the individual parameters that are being assessed.
Ok, But What Does All of That Mean?
You've heard about sleep studies, maybe even done one, but is there another kind of sleep test? If you've tried all the sleep remedies and are looking not just for answers... but solutions, you may have found what you're looking for. The answer may be related to chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, that communicate messages between cells. These guys are the information super-highway responsible for just about everything from basic metabolic processes to... you guessed it—sleep and mood disturbances. Serotonin and GABA are some of the calming neurotransmitters that can impact sleep and mood (positively and negatively). Too much? Not enough? You have to test to know for sure so that you can effectively address these specific pathways and get back on track to a better night's sleep and better mood regulation.
Finding out is easy! It's a simple at home urine test, your results are delivered securely online (#DataPrivacy) and, if things aren't looking good, our Clinical Nutritionists will create a custom regimen of professional-grade supplements if you're Sleepless in Seattle or Moody in Madison. So sleep on it if you must but you'll be in a better mood when you learn that our Clinical Nutritionists are here for you every step of the way!