Neurotransmitters are powerful chemicals that regulate numerous physical and emotional processes such as mental performance, emotional state, physical energy, and pain response. Imbalances in certain neurotransmitters are associated with most of the prevalent symptoms and conditions seen in practitioners offices today.
Adrenal hormones, sex hormones, and neurotransmitters are functionally interrelated. Changes in sex hormones and adrenal hormones can lead to neurotransmitter imbalances. In turn, neurotransmitter imbalances can affect hormone function. Including neurotransmitters with hormone panels provides a more comprehensive view of the body’s functional neuroendocrine status, this interrelationship, and the associated factors that may be contributing to symptoms.
When attempting to balance neurotransmitter levels by supplementing with amino acids and nutrient cofactors there are many factors that can affect how long this can take. The imbalances were likely created over an extended time of influence from stress, poor diet, lifestyle, and other factors. A natural supplementation therapy can be very effective, but can also take time.
Retesting at 2 to 3 months is recommended to monitor progress and make adjustments to therapy. Some patients may require monitoring and adjustments to therapy again at 6 months. Depending on a patient’s health and adherence to therapy, the balancing process can often be achieved within 12 months, yet balancing neurotransmitter levels is an individualized process.
Factors contributing to poor norepi/epi conversion can be adrenal dysfunction and poor methylation. It is recommended to test cortisol levels when the norepi/epi ratio is elevated.
Together, the effects of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine engage system-wide defense mechanisms, fostering mobilization through processes such as secretion and distribution of glucose and stored energy, in part through inhibition of insulin secretion and promotion of insulin resistance. While the epinephrine and norepinephrine responses are rapid and fairly short lived, the cortisol effect lasts for hours and helps the body repair damage and reduce inflammation.