Norepinephrine is an important chemical to recognize when it is imbalanced. There are certain symptoms and history that suggest the need to balance it. If there are somatic symptoms such as headaches, neck and back pain, jaw pain, joint pains, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel symptoms and others, it is highly possible that these symptoms are stress-related, and balancing norepinephrine would be the first chemical that I focus on. The serotonin related symptoms I mentioned in the last blog are otherwise similar to norepinephrine, but in addition balancing this one can improve focus, concentration, energy, insomnia and persistent anxiety and panic attacks.
The best medication class I can prescribe are SNRIs (which balance both of the above chemicals), which are Pristiq, Effexor XR and Cymbalta. They are the most common prescriptions that I prescribe and start with, as I consider them the best first-line agents. They are often more effective than SSRIs that I mentioned last time, and cause less side effects such as apathy, sexual side effects, weight gain and others.
The first SNRI Effexor XR came out when I first started in practice in the early 1990s. My discovery of the importance of this class with regard to improved results and dramatic reduction of physical symptoms such as pain associated with stress led to my discovery of the mind-body connection and why I wrote my book and switched my practice to treating neurochemical imbalances full time.
See a recent blog about Anxiety to read more about all the associated symptoms. Next time I will discuss Dopamine. Bye for now.