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What are the hormones of sadness?

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There is not only one hormone of sadness, because there are several of them that turn out to be involved in the formation of our emotions. Monoamines such as serotonin and norepinephrine are also involved in this process.

There are several studies that support that depression may be due to a reduced level of activity of various synapses (neural communication) although others give greater importance to other specific neurotransmitters (dopamine, oxytocin and opiates). In this article we will see what are the hormones involved in the process of sadness, as well as other intervening factors that make its production and operation possible.

  • Related article: "The 8 types of emotions (classification and description)"

Is there only one hormone of sadness?

In order for our body or organism to function in optimal conditions, the correct functioning of our hormones is important (that there is a balance and regulation), since These fulfill fundamental roles in what corresponds to our vital functions and those that have to do with the control of basic biological processes such as sleep and sleep. hungry.

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Hormones also play a very important and fundamental role in the control and regulation of our mood., thoughts and our behaviors. It is very common to believe or think that we have control over our emotions and thoughts.

However, hormones play a very important role in the various tasks we carry out, especially in everything we think, do and feel. The main hormones that are related to the emotional states of sadness are four, among them are the monoamines specifically serotonin and norepinephrine, so we also have glutamatergics such as GABA and glutamate.

Hormones of being sad

Thus, there is not only one or two, if there are no more hormones involved with sadness, specifically they are: serotonin, noradrenaline, glutamate, GABA, glutamate, oxytocin, melatonin, thyroid hormones, adrenaline, estrogens, and progesterone. All these hormones are synthesized in neurons and spread throughout the body and affect our brain by emitting what is known as an action potential, a kind of tiny electrical discharges that move information from one neuron to another. other. We will see how the hormones of sadness are produced in the following sections.

1. norepinephrine

This is a hormone and neurotransmitter that increases blood pressure and heart rate and is generated by the degradation of tyrosine to become catecholamine.

This hormone enters the catecholaminergic neurons through a transport mechanism which is shared by other amino acids. When it is already inside the neuron, along with other enzymes, it is converted into L-DOPA and then into dopamine. Once dopamine is synthesized, it enters the synaptic vesicles. Then, they are degraded by monoamine oxidase, another part enters the vesicles and another part will be degraded before entering the cell, the latter will enter the blood and be eliminated by urine.

  • You may be interested: "Norepinephrine (neurotransmitter): definition and functions"

2. Serotonin

To understand why serotonin is a hormone that generates sadness, it is important to know the process by which it is synthesized in our body. through the amino acid tryptophan. First, tryptophan enters serotonergic neurons through a transport mechanism; once inside, tryptophan is transformed into 5-HT tryptamine (serotonin).

Serotonin then settles into synaptic vesicles and is released when calcium channels open. A large part of the serotonin will end up being degraded; however, a part of it could enter the vesicles and could be used as a neurotransmitter. In the same way, the products that end up being resulting will end up in the blood and will be evacuated through the urine.

  • Related article: "Serotonin: 6 effects of this hormone on your body and mind"

3. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

GABA, known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, is the main neurotransmitter with an inhibitory function that our body presents. As we have been describing each of the hormones that are involved in our emotions, GABA does not turn out to be unrelated to this either, since synthesized by glutamate decarboxylase in neurons. This assimilation occurs in the terminal button. They then attach to and store in synaptic vesicles and are deactivated by glial reuptake and terminal button through high-affinity markers that manage to recognize GABA and transfer it within the cell.

  • You may be interested: "GABA (neurotransmitter): what it is and what role it plays in the brain"

4. Glutamate

Glutamate is a hormone and neurotransmitter, like all the hormones that have been mentioned so far. Its synthesis can only occur if there are glutamine reserves, since this is its precursor. At the same time that it is being manufactured, it is capable of regulating its synthesis so that glutamate inhibits glutamine through a process of inhibiting the final product. Specifically, glutamate binds to synaptic vesicles and is released when calcium channels open. This hormone produces its effect at the postsynaptic membrane and is deactivated for neuronal reuptake. Glutamate entering the glial cells will be converted to glutamine by the mechanism of action of the enzyme glutamine synthetase and will help convert more glutamate back.

  • Related article: "Glutamate (neurotransmitter): definition and functions"

5. oxytocin

Oxytocin is a hormone that intervenes in the regulation of our social behaviors, whether in relationships, friendship, upbringing, even in sex. For this reason, when oxytocin levels decrease, mood states such as sadness or depression appear. Therefore, when oxytocin levels decrease, behavioral changes can be observed that the person or the individual can have mainly in their psychosocial behaviors, because when this hormone decreases, the levels of empathy.

6. melatonin

The melatonin It is a hormone that is linked to sleep and adequate rest. However, despite having this function in our body, this hormone is also related to levels of sadness. and apathy because when the levels are reduced, difficulties such as insomnia appear, which impairs sleep and good break. In this way we can understand that its deregulation also ends up harming the adequate levels of emotional stability. Melatonin is involved in many aspects such as stopping neuronal aging, which would protect our neurological system.

7. Thyroid hormones

These hormones have a very important role in the same way in the metabolic processes that take place in our body. In cases of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism states of sadness usually occur that turn out to be sudden in the subject as well as mood swings and a probable tendency to present depression. It is for this reason that thyroid hormones would also play a fundamental role in the appearance of feelings of sadness and this is going to happen when there are unevenness or imbalances that would be unbalancing our lives. emotions.

  • You may be interested: "Hypothyroidism: symptoms, causes and treatment"

8. Adrenalin

Adrenaline has a neurotransmitter and hormone role; therefore also It is responsible for the various changes of mood that we can have in situations that turn out to be stressful. or exciting. This neurotransmitter increases our heart rate by improving the passage of blood to the blood vessels. It is for this reason that a high level of adrenaline could lead us to anxious pictures or high levels of anxiety that could also generate apathy, sadness or even a depressive picture.

9. estrogen and progesterone

Progesterone and estrogen are present to a greater extent in women than in men. Similarly, the two tend to be related to fertility, sexual reproduction, and the menstrual cycle. However, it also plays a very important role in regulating our emotions. Unbalanced levels of estrogen and progesterone can lead to sadness, mood swings, and irritability.

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