Diabetes Self-Management Articles

These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.

Links not loading properly?

Some of our pages use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download Acrobat Reader for free, visit www.adobe.com.

Sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter and receive a FREE GIFT! Enter your e-mail below.

Learn more

Learn more about diabetes

Links to help you learn more about diabetes.

Ask a diabetes expert
Other diabetes resources
Browse article topics


Serotonin Syndrome

A life-threatening condition characterized by dangerously high levels of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that carries nerve impulses between neurons (nerve cells), and it is an important regulator of mood, attention, and pain perception. It also helps regulate digestion, blood flow, and breathing. Some medicines used to treat depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), work at least in part by raising levels of serotonin in the brain.

A number of other types of medicine, including certain drugs for migraine, pain medicines, antinausea drugs, and herbal supplements such as St. John’s wort, as well as certain illegal recreational drugs such as Ecstasy (MDMA) and LSD, can affect serotonin levels. Serotonin syndrome can occur when these drugs interact, excessively raising serotonin levels and causing such symptoms as extreme restlessness, confusion, hallucination, rapid heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, nausea, seizure, and coma.

Doctors can diagnose serotonin syndrome based on the person’s medical history, any drugs the person has been taking, and possibly results of laboratory tests that detect and measure the level of various drugs in the body. Treatment usually consists of ceasing to use any drugs the person takes that may be raising serotonin levels. In extreme cases, the person may need to be monitored in the hospital; symptoms usually go away within 24 hours. Sometimes muscle relaxants are used to calm agitation and seizures, and serotonin-blocking agents such as cyproheptadine may be used to lower serotonin levels. Other drugs may be used to raise or lower blood pressure. To help prevent serotonin syndrome, be sure to let your doctor know about all the drugs and supplements you take, especially those that are thought to raise serotonin levels.



More articles on Diabetes Definitions



Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.



Supplements and Medicines: Can They Get Along?
Love 'em or hate 'em, dietary supplements are big business: According to the Centers for Disease... Blog

Eating Disorder
A severe disturbance in eating behavior, such as extreme undereating or overeating. Some studies... Article

Sexual Wellness
"Intimacy is being seen and known as the person you truly are." — Amy Bloom Researchers... Article

What do I need to do to keep my blood glucose levels within target range? Get tip