When you have a dopamine deficiency, your emotions cannot be correctly regulated. The most common dopamine deficiency symptoms are similar to the signs associated with clinical depression because in both cases, mental impulses that alleviate intense feeling of loneliness and sadness are inhibited dopamine deficiency, your emotions cannot be correctly regulated.
How to Know If You Have a Dopamine Deficiency?
Dopamine is the hormone found in the brain mainly responsible in the pleasure and reward pathway of the brain. It is produced naturally in the body and also deals with the memory and motor control function of your body.
This chemical (neurotransmitter) is directly connected to your feelings of pleasure and reward and is important in making us feel happy, motivated, and focused. When your dopamine levels are low either because of drug use, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, stress and chronic use of antidepressants, a lot of symptoms like mood swings, poor attention levels, food cravings and depression can manifest. People who suffer from low dopamine level are more likely to form some kind of addiction. In particular, one dopamine receptor is linked to people’s “risk-taking” side.
Severe dopamine deficiency (as in Parkinson’s disease) causes a degenerative decline of a person’s motor skills. This effect on the body’s movement and control can be permanent and includes muscle tremors and rigidity.
The principal symptom of dopamine deficiency is depression, the feeling of boredom (chronic boredom), apathy, loss of satisfaction, chronic fatigue and low physical energy with no desire to move the body. There is a general lack of drive, motivation and enthusiasm. The body becomes cold, and your feet and hand feel chilled. Lower dopamine levels suppress the feeling of pleasure, and people can experience mood swings, from positive to negative. To deal with the lower energy and depressive mood, people can have cravings for stimulants and can become depended to caffeine and other substances.
- Rapid Weight Gain
Low levels of dopamine in your body tend to make you crave for sodas, alcohol, sugary food and saturated fats. These cravings result to gaining weight quickly. This situation is further aggravated by the person’s lack of desire to move and exercise, inactivity and feeling of fatigue. In addition, studies have confirmed that consuming sugar, refined foods and saturated fats can lower dopamine levels and decrease activity in the brain.
- Oversleeping and Trouble Waking Up in the Morning
When your body is deficient of certain nutrients like iron, magnesium or zinc, you can also suffer from dopamine deficiency, resulting to oversleeping. Adding to the problem of sleeping too much is the lack of motivation in people that have dopamine deficiency.
- Low Sex Drive (Libido)
With low dopamine in the body, there is also a dulling of pleasure. The person will have the inability to feel gratification and as a result, a lessening of libido. If you suspect that you are suffering from dopamine deficiency, you can consult your doctor. Dopamine levels are easily checked with a simple blood or urine test and can be adjusted with supplements.
- Procrastination, Struggling to Finish Projects or Tasks
A person’s ability to focus and concentrate can be affected even by slightly low levels of dopamine. The feeling of sadness due to a deficiency of this neurotransmitter to correctly normalize can interfere with the capability to pay attention, to think abstractly or to remember details. Low dopamine levels affects a person’s ability to initiate daily activities (especially exercise) and a tendency to put off doing things and responsibilities as well as a feeling that one is unable to cope with life.
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Some research has indicated that restless leg syndrome may be due to an imbalance of dopamine in the brain. Since this hormone is responsible for transmitting and sending messages that control your muscle movement. Dopamine deficiency can cause weakness in the whole body as well as muscle tremors and seizures.
- Parkinsonian Tremor
Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder affecting balance, muscle control and movement, is connected with the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. Clinical research reports that people with early stages Parkinson’s can be successfully treated with the dopamine precursor drug (levodopa), which helps replace the lost hormones, although this treatment loses its positive effect over time.
Symptoms of dopamine deficiency are very broad that anyone can probably pick out a few and believe that they might from it. The only way to be sure if you suffer for dopamine imbalance is to have a physician specializing in the area diagnose and treat it.
How to Treat Dopamine Deficiency
Treating dopamine imbalance involves first, determining the cause of it. Dopamine can be lowered due to a physical or mental condition. Studies have shown that a diet high in sugar and saturated fat and low in protein can significantly affect dopamine levels in the brain. Also, overweight people tend to have lower levels of dopamine. If a patient is diagnosed with depression, he or she may be prescribed a medication which can boost dopamine levels. Those suffering from Parkinson’s disease are often prescribed specific drugs that have been shown to be effective at increasing dopamine.
There are other ways of treating dopamine deficiency such as counseling, physical therapy, diet and lifestyle changes. Exercise can help with a patient’s muscle condition and in effect, increase their dopamine levels by improving the underlying condition.
There are also supplements that you can take to deal with dopamine imbalance. These supplements can boost levels of omega-3, vitamin D and magnesium in the body. However, it is still not
There are, of course, supplements that people can take to improve deficiencies in dopamine. These supplements are typically those that also boost levels of magnesium, omega-3, and vitamin D. However, the jury is still out on whether these supplements are truly effective, so more research must be done insofar as how to raise dopamine levels more effectively.