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Thread: Reduce Facial Redness by Increasing Serotonin

  1. #1
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    Default Reduce Facial Redness by Increasing Serotonin

    I found this online...I know my face feels and looks better after I exercise.. Plus, I used to drink too much caffeine, too much aspartame, beer, inactivity, im guessing digestive issues, etc.. SO I am guessing my Serotonin levels are low. Is there a test to measure Serotonin levels?

    Reduce Facial Redness by Increasing Serotonin

    Some researchers have discovered a relationship between lower serotonin levels in our bodies and facial flushing. When serotonin levels drop, due to stress, depression, anger, exhaustion or other causes, facial redness increases.

    Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in our brains that helps us to sleep and regulates many other important body functions. It is also found in the blood and intestines, and it regulates many important body functions.

    Actually, modern living can do a lot to sap our reserves of serotonin. If you eat a standard western diet and work all day in an office, you could easily be suffering from low levels of serotonin. Here are a few of the ways we can develop low serotonin:

    •Smoking cigarettes
    •Alcoholic beverages
    •Too much caffeine
    •Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners (use stevia or xylitol instead!)
    •Not enough sunlight
    •Inactivity and lack of exercise
    •Digestive problems
    •A low protein diet

    Hormonal imbalances or genetic factors can also cause lower levels of serotonin in our bodies.

    Correspondingly, when we do activities that raise our serotonin levels, facial flushing can calm down.

    Some natural methods for increasing our serotonin levels are:

    •Positive relationships
    •Balanced diet

    Learn more:

  2. #2
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    Default Serotonin plays an essential role in...

    Serotonin plays an essential role in:

    ■The regulation of your appetite,
    ■Tour body temperature
    ■The tone of your blood vessels
    ■Your perception of pain
    ■And the health of the mucus membranes of your stomach and intestines

    Interesting the role it plays in body temperature, blood vessels health of stomach and intestines...

  3. #3
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    Default How do the levels of serotonin and catecholamine neurotransmitters get to such critic

    How do the levels of serotonin and catecholamine neurotransmitters get to such critically low levels?" There are several explanations.

    The first is that neurotransmitter depletion is nutritionally based. Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids that must be obtained from protein in the diet. In addition, amino acids, vitamins and minerals eaten in food are required for the creation of the neurotransmitters. If the diet is deficient, neurotransmitter deficiency develops.

    There are multiple medications that have shown to cause depletion of serotonin and/or catecholamine in the urine. These are the medications prescribed to increase the activity of serotonin in the brain such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil), sertaline (Zoloft), Luvox, Citalopram (Celexa), Lexapro, etc. Apparently as a result of increasing the brain level of serotonin, the body increases the metabolism of serotonin and thus the levels slowly decline because these medications do nothing to increase the level, they just re-circulate the already low level. The same holds true for medications that block the re-uptake of serotonin and catecholamines such as Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq.

    It has been suggested that several SSRI medications deplete 40-60% of the serotonin receptors in the brain. It is also reported that receptors in the liver, kidneys, and colon are also damaged by SSRIs.

    Caffeine, ephedrine, ephedra, guarana, and other stimulants including Ritalin, chocolate, etc. also seem to reduce the effectiveness of neurotransmitters thereby creating a resistance to neurotransmitters. Phentermine (of the Phen-Fen diet) actually cause long-term damage to the receptor so that in order to get the effect of serotonin, you have to have an even higher level. This is why so many people gain even more weight after stopping Phen-Fen.

    Sensory overload. The brain is bombarded by sounds, rapid visual effects from television, movies, electronic monitors flickering faster than the eye can detect, radio waves, fluorescent artificial light, etc. All of this requires the brain to modulate this sensory bombardment so that you can stay focused on the task in front of you. Brain overload means that you have to literally calm yourself down.

    Rapid lifestyle, stress, over work, chronic pain, etc. may also contribute.

    Since the largest source of neurotransmitters is the gastrointestinal tract, dysfunction as discussed above could be a major contributory component. This would include congestive bowel toxicity, Candida/yeast overgrowth conditions, increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome), IBS, & inflammatory bowel.

    John A. Allocca, M.D. lists a variety of additional mechanisms by which neurotransmitters are lost: ingestion of various food allergens or sensitivities, inhalation or ingestion of various chemicals, chemical sensitivities, rapid changes in hormone levels, rapid changes in barometric pressure, head cold or sinus congestion, rapid changes in blood sugars, dehydration, inadequate exposure to sunlight (hence the excessive conversion of serotonin to melatonin), and hepatobiliary dysfunction. These remarks may be based on the precipitation of migraines, which Dr. Allocca assumes to always be related to serotonin imbalance.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2007


    Very interesting! I'm currently suffering from gastritis which is causing anxiety. My doctor wants to put me on Prozac and I'm also taking Prilosec but it sounds like it may make my rosace worse? I can't win! LOL!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mistica's Avatar
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    Nov 2007


    Curious. I had not heard of flushing due to serotonin deficiency.
    I had, however heard of flushing due to excessive amounts.
    I have been tested several times for increased levels of serotonin and catecholamines as part of the screening for carcinoid syndrome. This syndrome occurs when certain tumours (normally in the gut) release these hormones. They are vasodilative. I have always tested negative, and really don't think I have any type of cancer.

    I am a SEVERE flusher. I am aware that a couple of the other severe flushers here have also undergone this test, again with negative results.

    Recently, during my consultation with the gastroenterologist with the view of treating me with rifaximin and vanomycin and that possibly a faecal transplant, my flushing was so awful, the specialist wanted to screen me again. This time he has added platelet serotonin and a couple of other things. I have not made it to the lab yet.
    I will post my results when I get them.

    Also, while on this topic, I was suffering an extreme amount of stress before and after that consultation ( due to other factors) and decided to test GABA. I took ONE capsule and within ten minutes my face EXPLODED, and my forehead, chin and above upper lip area, which had been non active for a couple of years, became terrible flushing areas. It went on for weeks and I was so debilitated, that I ended up having more IPL which caused more fat loss. I am devastated! The silly doc overlapped the shots!!!! After I cautioned him not to, and showing him a previous indentation!!!!!
    I was doing SO well previous to the stress ( legal case).

    GABA works in a similar way to SSRIS's, which might explain why those who take antidepressants develop rosacea, or find the drugs worsen their rosacea, in particular their flushing. I recall one young woman on here who took paxil and went from a mild rosacean to a debilitating flusher, full face, ears included.

    Also of interest.

    Because I recently developed another dental infection ( root canal), I was given amoxicillin. Since my huge stress, I have developed persistant outbreaks of P&P's again. They were literally coming up before my eyes. The amoxicillin shut them down promptly as well as the awful burning that went with them. Inflammation is down too.
    While I am waiting to try RIF and VAN, I went to see my GP and asked about the possibility of taking Augmenten Duo, which is amoxicillin+clavulanic acid. The latter is used to help prevent bacterial resistance. One of our friends found it very effective with her mild rosacea ( no flushing, some redness and awful burning). She believes this cured her. I think it helped a lot, but after that, she developed breast cancer and the chemo likely knocked out the rosacea. (Her experience is not unique).
    My GP agreed it was worth a try.
    But before I took it , I had one last google and saw it can cause hot flushes!
    I asked another rosacean I know, who found amoxicillin effective, if he had that side effect and he didn't, but he is not a flusher. His problem is primarily P&P. He found amoxicillin far more effective than doxy. I opted not to risk testing it and have remained on the plain amoxicillin.

    But on to why I am mentioning Augmenten Duo in this thread.

    After more googling, it appears that clavulanic acid is beneficial in treating CNS diseases and acts by promoting neural cell survival.
    It also has some kind of antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.
    Unlike SSRI's which target serotonin, clavulanic acid "
    HTML Code:
     enhances both the serotonin and dopamine activity of neural transmitters, which may be able to help a broader spectrum of patients than the highly targeted inhibitors of previous generations that affect only one type of depression mechanism.

    I know some people here benefit from antidepressants, but have to endure the side effects. And some of those who benefit, still suffer from P&P's, so maybe Clavulanic Acid, or Augmenten Duo, might help them.
    I would be interested to know actually, if the way CA worked, might actually help reduce flushing, but as I said, I am too scared to test it. My negative reactions are so severe and I never fully recover.

    In the USA, I think the latter is just called Augmentin.

    But always have caution! If you are one of those people who can't have their brains messed with, it can cause unpleasant side effects!

    And for what it is worth, for those who believe in the bacterial theory of rosacea and flushing, the gastroenterologist I consulted, specialises in infectious diseases of the gut and it is in his opinion that anyone who responds to antibiotics initially and then notices the affects wear off, is probably suffering from infection. Not just benefiting from the anti inflammatory effects.
    He was clueless about rosacea, which was disappointing. (He insists rosaceans don't flush and therefore I don't have rosacea. I DO, but I am a SEVERE flusher as well). Also he was not a man who was easy to get a long with. However, he is the only specialist who has access to rifaximin and who treats the gut for various infections.
    I am not certain, but I seem to recall, SIBO and serotonin being mentioned in the same sentence.

    Anyway, hopefully there might be something of benefit in my ramble to someone here.
    Previous Numerous IPL.
    Supplements: Niacinamide, Vit K2, low D3, Moderate Dose Vit C, Iodine, Taurine, Magnesium. Very low dose B's. Low dose zinc (to correct deficiency).
    Skin Care: No Cleanser, ZZ cream mixed with Niacinamide gel 4% and LMW HA.

    Treating for gut dysbiosis under specialist care. (This is helping).
    Previous GAPS diet. Testing tolerance of resistant starch.
    Fermented Foods. 2 to 3 days per week, Intermittent fasting -16-18 hours.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2013


    You shouldn't base significant lifestyle decision on anecdotal evidence such as this article. People write a lot of things on the internet, most of it based on their personal experience, not clinical studies.

    Check out for advice with citations.

    Please don't make such a big change based on the anecdotal evidence of an individual or one article. You are just wasting your time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013


    Interesting read. I'm currently on Pristiq and have been on for 6 months. Helps me in depression, but the redness has been one of the worst in these months. I've tried other medications prior but had no benefits for me. Kind of a catch-22 situation really.

  8. #8
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    May 2013
    Deep South, USA
    Country: United States

    Red face Effexor helps flushing

    Thank you for this information. I'm going to do more reading. My experience
    With Effexor for about 15 years is that it has definitely helped the
    Flushing of rosacea. I am on a very low dose, 37.5 mg in the morning
    And same in the evening. Burning, flushing is relieved within
    An hour of my dose. Originally prescribed larger doses years
    Ago for panic disorder. Steadily declined the dosage over the
    Years. My Dr. Recommends I continue with this low
    Dose as it clearly helps with some ( not all ) redness and flushing.
    Hope this helps someone out there!

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