Do you easily get worked up by things that don't usually annoy you? Have you been feeling downcast and exhausted lately without knowing exactly why? Then you may have low dopamine levels in your system. Read on to find out what dopamine deficiency is about, what low dopamine symptoms to watch out for, and what you can do about it.
What is dopamine?
These aptly called molecules (dope…dopamine, if you get our drift) are neurotransmitters or chemical substances that send signals from one nerve to another. The messages from these chemicals tell the target cells how to respond or behave. Dopamine helps regulate our blood vessels and kidney functions, process pain, control our movements, and manage sleep, mood, and attention. It is critical in our ability to think, feel, and experience pleasure—in short, everything that affects the overall quality of our lives.
And if dopamine were to be personified, dopamine would be that motivational speaker that eggs you on to achieve your goals. It helps you want to learn things, be focused, and stay inspired and on track. This means that too little dopamine can dampen your zest for life and trigger depression. Dopamine deficiency is also associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD and Parkinson's disease.
What low dopamine symptoms should you look for?
So what are the tell-tale signs that you have too little dopamine? Here are the significant low dopamine symptoms to help you determine if you have supply issues of this dope molecule.
1. You don't have "the drive."
With little dopamine, you can lose the motivation to do anything. You constantly have to drag yourself out of bed every day. At work, you hardly put in the effort to perform well. Even outside of your work life, you find little that interests you. And perhaps, in many instances, your default response to questions will be "I don't care" because you genuinely feel that nothing that you do or say matters.
2. You're simply exhausted.
It's typical to lose steam at the end of a hard day's work. But when you habitually find yourself burned out and wondering why, it could be because of your depleted dopamine reserves.
3. You have mood swings.
When you're not in the mood, you don't feel like doing something at a particular time. However, you may still have a generally stable mental disposition. But it can become a concern when you experience frequent mood swings, and it becomes the norm instead of the exception. Having erratic behavior can make you feel like you don't have control over your life. It can also push people away from you. In extreme cases, mood disorders can even lead to suicide.
4. You're usually anxious and fidgety.
Our systems are hardwired to recognize and respond to danger in the way it knows best. This helps protect us from threats to our health and safety. But when you have high dopamine levels, this can cause your body to be in a perpetual light-fight-freeze state. As a result, you tend to be fretful and fearful, unable to perform even the most basic daily functions. In addition, anxiety disorders can increase oxidative stress, leading to DNA damage and diseases like inflammatory disorders, Alzheimer's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cancer.
5. You have a low sex drive.
If you have dopamine deficiency, perhaps not even Jason Momoa can get you into sexy time. And that's because dopamine is the pleasure-providing substance in our bodies. Without it, we just don't have any interest in sexual activities. Of course, there may be other reasons why your sex drive is in the basement, but low dopamine can be one of the possible physical causes.
6. You have difficulty sleeping.
Another significant low dopamine symptom is sleep problems. When you struggle to fall asleep, wake up often at night, or feel sluggish the next day, your dopamine levels may not be optimum.
7. You can't focus.
Dopamine is not just a motivation molecule, but it also helps sharpen concentration. In turn, this ramps up your ability to function. For example, when you can't think clearly, it's hard to do the cost-benefit analysis of a particular task. When you have low dopamine, you're likely to focus more on the effort you have to put in rather than on the reward.
Achieving higher dopamine levels the natural way
Our bodies are wonderfully equipped with the critical substances it needs to function well, like dopamine. However, dopamine efficiency can happen due to injury in specific parts of the brain, preventing dopamine release. Something may also be wrong with the nerve cells, inhibiting them from responding correctly to the neurotransmitter's signals. Poor lifestyle choices can also cause a low dopamine supply in the body.
Fortunately, you don't have to take unhealthy dopamine levels sitting down. See your healthcare provider first to find out how to raise your dopamine levels safely. Here are a few ways you and your doctor can work together to increase your dopamine without getting into invasive and risky procedures or treatments.
1. Eat to beat low dopamine levels.
Consume a diet rich in magnesium and tyrosine (a kind of amino acid), which are critical components in the production of dopamine. Ensure that you also get ample amounts of L-theanine, Vitamin D, B5 and B6, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are also needed to make the motivation molecule. Check out these dopamine-enhancing foods:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Kidney beans
- Chicken breast
- Plain yogurt
- Chia seeds
- Black beans
- Lima beans
- Cottage cheese
- Sesame seeds
- Green tea
- White tea
- Oolong tea
- Black tea
- Split peas
2. Meditate for more dopamine.
Meditation is an ancient practice that allows you to be present at the moment, to heighten awareness about how your body interacts with its immediate environs. This exercise in mindfulness can also help ramp up your dopamine. One study indicates that dopamine production increased by 65% among participants after just one hour of meditation.
3. Exercise to energize.
Normally, you fuel up to increase energy so you can exercise. But it can also work the other way around. How so? A research finding reveals that doing yoga exercises for one hour a day for six days ramped up dopamine levels. Other studies show that individuals with Parkinson's disease who engaged in heavy workouts several times each week gained better motor control. And we already know that dopamine plays a critical role in directing our body movements. Thus, we can see a correlation between exercising and higher dopamine levels, which increases energy.
4. Boost up your dopamine with Infrared light therapy.
Bust your dopamine dilemma with infrared light therapy. This revolutionary treatment mimics the sun's natural power without the harmful side effects from UVA and UVB exposure. Studies show that infrared light can repair brain tissue damage caused by a number of factors. These include the lack of oxygen, pollution, and mitochondrial dysfunction, a primarily genetic disease. The mitochondria are the energy factories of our body that process oxygen and the food we eat into energy. When the infrared light penetrates the damaged tissues, these protect and regenerate the neurons, cells that transmit signals throughout the body. Thus, infrared light therapy can help treat cell damage, reduce tissue inflammation, and enhance mitochondrial function. These same neurons are also responsible for dopamine production, so the "pleasure party" can go on.
However, the infrared light therapy you may get will only be as good as its source. To ensure you get top-notch cutting-edge technology that is both safe and effective, power up your mitochondria and dopamine with HigherDOSE.
HigherDOSE's infrared wellness tools are designed to ignite vitality from the inside out so that you can supercharge your self-care and holistic recovery. Our HigherDOSE infrared PEMF Mat combines two powerful healing technologies to create the ultimate dopamine-boosting tool. First, PEMF or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy emits electromagnetic waves that mimic natural frequencies found in nature, stimulating and encouraging your body's natural recovery process. Second, its Infrared's deeply penetrating heat doubles your dose. You get optimal health benefits while indulging in some quality R&R. To learn more, check out the HigherDOSE infrared collection today!