How can you measure serotonin levels?
A serotonin level that is too low or too high can cause physical or psychological complaints or be a sign of certain diseases. Therefore, it can be useful to check the serotonin level if there is a corresponding initial suspicion. Measuring serotonin is possible via various methods - depending on what the information is to be used for.
How can serotonin levels be checked?
Measure serotonin in the blood
There are several ways to measure serotonin: One option is for the family doctor to determine the serotonin content in the blood serum. However, a serotonin test in the blood does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the serotonin content in the brain. The reason for this is that the serotonin content in the brain is largely independent of the serotonin level in the blood and lungs, because the messenger substance is largely formed in the intestine, but also in the brain. This is because serotonin itself cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. To determine the serotonin level in the brain, the spinal fluid would have to be examined, which is currently only done for research purposes - not least because of the risks of such an examination - but not for diagnostic purposes.
Measure serotonin in urine
Alternatively, the serotonin content in the body can be determined via urine. In everyday medical practice, it is common to use the collected urine from a 24-hour period for this purpose. However, it is not the serotonin itself that is measured, but a degradation product of the neurotransmitter, hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIES for short). The amount of HIES measured in the urine allows indirect conclusions to be drawn about the serotonin level in the body.
Tests that can be performed at home are considerably less (time)consuming. They have the advantage that you can perform such a test at any time, i.e. independently of a doctor's appointment. There is no need to travel to and from the doctor's office and there are no waiting times that you would have to put up with if you had your serotonin measured at the doctor's office. The procedure of the home test kits is quite simple: You fill a small amount of urine into the test tube and send it to the specified laboratory. Here the sample is examined and analyzed. You receive the results of the analysis online, along with individual recommendations for action tailored to your needs.
How much does a serotonin test cost?
The cost of a serotonin test varies depending on the provider, but is around 50 euros.The popular cerascreen TestKits are also available at an absolute preferential price through the serotalin store.
The test kits contain everything you need to take the sample - including detailed instructions on the test procedure. You simply send the sample to the specified laboratory and receive the result after a few days.
Conclusion about serotonin level measurement
Serotonin levels in the body can be measured through blood serum or urine. While a blood test and the analysis of the collected urine can only be done by medical personnel, with a home serotonin test you can send your urine sample to a laboratory yourself. Within a few days you will receive the result of the analysis.