It’s All in Your Head – Part 1

Seriously, your fatigue could literally be all in your head.

By this I mean your brain chemistry might be out of balance, causing your fatigue. This was the case with my fatigue.

There are many different brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, but in Part 1 of our 3 part series I will talk about: serotonin.


Serotonin you have already probably heard of. It’s the “feel good, keep you happy and content” neurotransmitter. It primarily regulates mood, appetite, and sleep.

Serotonin is made from the building block 5-HTP, which is an amino acid.

Symptoms of Serotonin Deficiency

When serotonin levels are low, common symptoms are:

  • fatigue
  • poor memory and concentration
  • foggy brain
  • sugar cravings
  • weight gain and difficulty losing weight
  • unstable moods
  • sadness
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • worrying
  • poor sleep

Serotonin imbalance can also cause:

  • Migraines
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Sex Hormone Imbalances

Testing Serotonin

Brain Balancing—MTO Testing

Brain Balancing—MTO testing offers great promise for treating fatigue from a natural medicine standpoint.

MTO stands for Monoamine Transporter Optimization. It’s a mouthful, I know. Monoamines are serotonin and dopamine…your brain chemicals.

Without getting too technical, this is basically a way to assess your dopamine and serotonin levels with simple urine testing. You take a prescribed amount of amino acid supplements for a week, and then collect your urine for testing.

Treatment for Serotonin

Depending on how your body reacted to the amino acid supplements, a new recipe of amino acids may be prescribed for a week, and then another urine test is run.

Testing and treatment continue in this manner until the “brain balancing formula” for you is found.

By “brain balancing formula,” I mean the right cocktail of balanced amino acids to keep your serotonin and dopamine at optimal levels. This cocktail varies from person to person, and actually does not depend on the severity of the fatigue.

If you have any of the symptoms of serotonin deficiency besides fatigue, even if it’s just a foggy brain, then Brain Balancing—MTO testing may be for you.

Please note: Serotonin is only Part 1 of the story. Watch for Part 2 where I will explain the other major brain neurotransmitter that causes fatigue, but also lack of mental focus/poor concentration, restless legs, and low self-confidence.

Make a promise to yourself starting today:

Stop feeling lousy…rotten…awful…crummy…miserable…terrible…crappy.

Find a good Functional Medicine doctor to help you get to the root cause of your health problems.

Like I always say:

Find the cause.

Fix the cause.

Feel normal again!


Dr. Carri Drzyzga, DC, ND – The Functional Medicine Doc

Find the Cause. Fix the Cause. Feel Normal Again!

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