7 Common Conditions That May Be Associated With Low Melatonin
You’ve heard of it before and are told it is relatively safe to use, but what exactly is melatonin used for in the body and how do you know if you are low in the production of this hormone?
Symptoms of melatonin deficiency are similar to symptoms of several other conditions. Some of the symptoms of melatonin deficiency are:
Restless legs – “Epidemic” is one word I would use to describe this medical issue that took so long to convince the medical community that it actually exists. Tense muscles at night and restless legs can be a sign of melatonin deficiency.
Sleep problems – If you suffer from insomnia, wake up easily in the middle of the night or have trouble falling asleep, if you don’t have many dreams while sleeping, have a superficial or anxious sleep and anxious thinking at night – these are cardinal signs of low melatonin although cortisol levels may also be to blame. In fact, cortisol and melatonin levels have an inverse relationship relative to each other in the body.
Changes in mood – If you are someone that lacks inner peace, are always anxious, suffer from seasonal affective disorder or depression, or are always on the edge with regards to your emotions and are always irritable – you may have low melatonin.
Melatonin is converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is increased by some antidepressant medications.
Menopause symptoms – hot flashes, heart palpitations, morning depression and irregular cycles are believed to be improved by melatonin supplementation.
Symptoms of Low Thyroid Hormone – Melatonin is instrumental in converting the thyroxine (T4) to the active triiodothyronine (T3), which gives you energy and generates heat. In fact, melatonin and thyroid stimulating hormone all originate in the pineal gland. So symptoms of hypothyroidism may suggest a low level of melatonin.
Intestinal Symptoms – such as pain and hyperactivity and intestinal spasms can also signify that melatonin is low. People with colitis may benefit from colitis treatment.
Increased aging process – melatonin supplementation has been shown to decrease the aging process in such tissues as the brain. Because it is a powerful antioxidant, it helps protect all tissues in the body.
Other studies have shown the benefits of melatonin in weight loss, cardiac function, breast cancer/prostate cancer prevention, mitochondrial function, improvement of stroke outcome, Parkinsons disease symptoms, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's, fertility, type 2 diabetes, and immune function.
Of course supplementation with pharmaceutical grade melatonin can help, but improving your own melatonin production at the right time of day is possible without supplementation.
Maximize darkness at night any way you can and melatonin production can increase. This includes personal electronic devices. Conversely, exposure to sunlight in the morning upon wakening also helps. This doesn’t mean turning the lights on inside either – sunlight is what we need. This is especially important as you age since melatonin production drops off as you get older.
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