Don’t have neurotransmitter blood or urine test until you’ve read this

Neurotransmitter Tests Are a Waste of Money

Blood and urine transmitter tests do not tell you exactly how neurotransmitters are behaving inside your microscopic synapses 

The level of neurotransmitters in your blood or urine may look normal because you are making enough but you might be reabsorbing too quickly from inside the synapses, or you could have a lack of receptor sites on the receiving neuron so you have deficient levels of neurotransmitter activity in your brain.
Measuring the levels of the neurotransmitters or the chemicals that neurotransmitters are broken down into in the blood or the urine does not inform us how much neurotransmitter activity you have inside your synapses; it’s more complicated than that.
 
Neurotransmitter tests a waste of moneyWhat matters in the brain is how strongly or weakly the ‘receiving’ neuron in a synapse is stimulated or inhibited in the case of the neurotransmitter GABA. 
There are many factors involved in this not just the level of the neurotransmitter:-
  • Are You Making Enough Neurotransmitters in the 1st Place
  • Are you making enough neurotransmitters but breaking them down too quickly?
  • Is your problem Not a lack of Neurotransmitters in your Synapses but that your Synapses are too Insensitive?
  • Has your brain lost synapses because of a lack of neuroplasticity so that you have too few synapses to carry your neurotransmitters rather than too little neurotransmitters in each synapse?
Blood and urine neurotransmitter tests cannot answer any of these questions, see below for a better way to test.


Are you making enough neurotransmitters in the 1st place?

Firstly the ‘transmitting’ neuron has to manufacture enough of the neurotransmitter and you might not be manufacturing enough neurotransmitters inside your neurons; you can increase how much you produce with natural remedies, to see if increasing serotonin production helps your condition.
 
Does tryptophan work as an antidepressant and is it safeBut before you rush off to buy 5 HTP or tryptophan you should know that tryptophan is not only converted into helpful antidepressant serotonin but can also be converted into a substance called quinolinic acid that is toxic to the brain and promote depression and anxiety as well as oxidation damage and neurodegeneration! On my page discussing how to boost serotonin activity I explain how to make sure you direct tryptophan metabolism towards antidepressant and antianxiety serotonin production and away from kynurenine and quinolinic acid.
 

Are you making enough neurotransmitters but breaking them down too quickly

After a neurotransmitter has been produced it is stored in tiny little vesicles called synaptic vesicles, and when the neuron wants to send a signal to its neighbour it releases the stored neurotransmitters into the synaptic cleft, the microscopic space between the neurons. Once inside the synaptic cleft different things can happen to the neurotransmitter, some of it will be land on the receptors on the receiving neuron stimulating neurotransmitter activity, some will be broken down by enzymes, and some will be reabsorbed back into the original transmitting neuron.
 
You might be making enough of a particular neurotransmitter but you might break it down or re-absorb it to quickly, so you remove or wash-out the neurotransmitter from the synapses too quickly; this does not allow enough time for it to activate the receiving neuron. There’s no blood test or urine test that can indicate this is happening inside your synapses.
 
The way SSRI antidepressants work for example is they inhibit the enzymes that reabsorb serotonin back into the transmitting neuron this increases how long serotonin will linger inside the synapses, SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, i.e they inhibit the reuptake of serotonin.
 

Is your problem not a lack of neurotransmitters in your synapses but that your synapses are insensitive?

The membrane releasing neurotransmitters into a synapse is called the presynaptic membrane and the membrane on the receiving neuron is called the postsynaptic membrane. On the postsynaptic membrane there are receptor sites that like switches that are activated when the neurotransmitter attaches to them, and you can have too little receptor sites making your synapses (specifically the postsynaptic membrane) less sensitive or insensitive to the neurotransmitter.
 
This can occur for various reasons including toxicity damage to the postsynaptic membrane but also it commonly results from prolonged drug use both recreational drugs such as heroin and prescription medications such as Xanax a benzodiazepine cause a reduction in the number of receptor sites on the postsynaptic membrane. Gradually after discontinuation of the drug, a reasonably healthy brain will slowly restore synaptic sensitivity and grow some brand new synapses however this can be a painfully slow process taking a few years.
 
The process of improving synaptic sensitivity and growing new synapses is a natural part of neuroplasticity but we don’t have to sit around and wait for this to occur at a natural pace, we can give nature a helping hand to speed up the process. Neuroplasticity can be enhanced with specific supplements, diet and exercises. Furthermore, we can significantly reduce the toxic forces that put wear and tear on our brain use up or tax so to speak our neuroplasticity resources.
 
I’ve been developing techniques to enhance neuroplasticity since 2012 and applying these techniques to various situations including speed up recovery from drug desensitisation. I’ve written a few pages on how you do this for benzodiazepine drugs but the same principles would apply to any drug that causes desensitisation.
 
As well as a loss of sensitivity inside your synapses you can actually suffer from a loss of synapses stop
 

Is your problem not a lack of neurotransmitters in your synapses but that you have lost too many synapses to carry enough neurotransmitters?

The model we’ve used with for the past few decades is that we can treat depression and anxiety by increasing certain neurotransmitter levels in the synapses and this to the popular understanding that the problem was caused by having too little neurotransmitters inside your synapses; but there’s a new understanding that it’s not the number of neurotransmitters in the synapse that counts but it’s the number of synapses you have. We can lose synapses rapidly when our brain is inflamed or subjected to excessive amounts of oxidative and nitrosative damage (if you’ve not heard of nitrosative damage before it’s like oxygen free radical damage but involving Nitrous oxide).
 
The good news is that the brain has an incredible capacity for regeneration and can rapidly regrow new dendrites and synapses, but and it’s a big but I can tell you from clinical experience is only happens when you make really significant changes in the internal physiological environment in your brain.
 
You can read all over the internet about foods and supplements that promote neuroplasticity, blueberries, turmeric and such but if you want to up-regulate your neuroplasticity to the extent that you experience significant and noticeable therapeutic benefits you really have to engage in a considerable level of treatment.
 
For this treatment to work you not only have to take things that up-regulate neuroplasticity but you must also eliminate the things that are working against it and undermining it. For example if you have not done insufficient relaxation brain training, meditation and remodelling traumatic memories you might still be producing so much inflammation from overactivity in your HPA axis that the treatment may not work, if you have any hidden infections in your body promoting inflammation the treatment may not work, if you get the ratio of omega 6 to omega-3 fats wrong in your diet the treatment may not work. To be successful, you have to apply two sides to this treatment firstly eliminate the things undermining neuroplasticity and then combine a ‘stack’ of supplements with the right diet and physical exercises to up-regulate neuroplasticity.
 
I 1st did this on myself for three months at the beginning of in 2012 and produced phenomenal results, regenerating the hearing loss I had developed not just back to where I was at the start of the treatment but actually better than it had been several decades before! I recovered the loss of facial recognition I had developed; I was also able to completely give up serotonin boosting remedies that I had relied on for 15 years and have not had to use them since that treatment; this treatment repaired the serotonergic systems in my brain!
 
I introduced my neuroplasticity boosting treatment to my practice in 2013 and now regularly use it as a concurrent or alternative treatment for mental health problems. 
 
I introduced my neuroplasticity boosting treatment to my practice in 2013 and now regularly use it as a concurrent or alternative treatment for mental health problems.
I specialise in treating and coaching people with mental health problems how to obtain better mental health with natural remedies and self-help techniques. If you would like me to look into your individual case and develop a tailor-made programme of natural remedies, dietary advice and brain training exercises I’m available for private consultations at my London clinic and online for people that live too far away.
I also run regular meditation classes in London and online.
Click on the 
bookings tab to make an appointment.
I’m passionate about treating mental health and I’d be very happy to work with you.
 
 
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Hi my name is Peter Smith I specialise in treating and coaching people how to live well with mental health problems, digestive health problems/IBS, sleep problems and type II diabetes using natural therapies.
I used these techniques to overcome and live well with my own bipolar disorder and IBS. I've been in practice as a natural medicine practitioner since 1988.
 

What I Treat

  • Brain Chemistry and Mental Health problems (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, addiction, OCD)
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DISCLAIMER 
 
If you’d like treatment for any of the issues discussed in this article I specialise in treating and coaching people how to obtain better mental health with natural remedies and self-help techniques. If you would like me to look into your individual case and develop a tailor-made programme of natural remedies, dietary advice and brain training exercises I’m available for private consultations and I’m available for private consultations at my London clinic and online for people that live too far away.
I also run regular meditation classes in London and online.
I’m passionate about treating mental health and I’d be very happy to work with you.
Click on the
bookings tab to make an appointment.
To Book an Appointment
At my London clinic please call the Hale clinic reception:
020 7631 0156
(online bookings will be made available soon on the Hale Clinic website**)

For a Skype coaching session email me letting me know where you are located/what time zone you are in:
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(please keep your email brief)

As a general rule improvements are seen within 2-3 appointments so you can quickly know if the treatments are helping you and you are making a good investment.
For a more information about me and what the conditions I treat click here: About About Peter Smith
 
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