Do you ever wake up feeling like life is meaningless? Like there is no reason to get out of bed, just to repeat the routine of eat, work, sleep?
Well, there might actually be a chemical reason why you’re feeling this way beyond just lack of motivation or general depression. It could be that you’re suffering from dopamine deficiency. Heard of it for the first time?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter chemical secreted by the brain, and it is the main influencer behind the motivation you feel. Whether it is the satisfaction you feel after accomplishing a new feat or the motivation behind lifting heavy weights at the gym, dopamine is the stimulant behind numerous cognitive and physical functions. Dopamine deficiency can be the cause of various psychological problems like depression, ADHD, Parkinson's and even lead to drug addiction in some people.
This article gives you a better insight into the symptoms of dopamine deficiency and the things you should beware of.
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One of the first symptoms of low dopamine levels in a person is depression. Things like boredom, fatigue, demotivation and loss of satisfaction are warning signs. You can feel withdrawn from the world, and your thought process gets more and more pessimistic. As you sink lower, you might, or others might notice, an increase in moodiness and find it difficult to be around you.
Lower Libido and lack of concentration
Dopamine plays a large role in your sex life and libido. This is not that surprising because it is one of the neurotransmitters in your brain that is associated with pleasure.
If your body isn’t getting enough mineral and nutrients it needs to keep itself in balance, you might experience a lower level of dopamine secretion than normal. This leads to fatigue, lack of concentration, and a lower libido.
There are supplements to help you increase your dopamine levels as well as your libido, which you might consider if you’re also having difficulty focusing and keeping motivated to get things done.
Weight gain shouldn’t automatically be associated with low dopamine levels, but if you’ve experienced sudden rapid weight gain, it might be something to look into. One of the telling signs of someone with low levels of dopamine is the cravings for sugar products. This includes carbonated drinks, saturated fats, junk food and alcohol intake. Your body is trying to get that “sugar high” to replace the empty feeling that lower levels of dopamine have left you with.
These sudden sugar rushes, and spikes in insulin, are often short-lived, causing you to crash later, and then want to repeat the cycle again with more sugary products. This becomes a cycle and can lead to weight gain. Then, the increased in weight can further demotivate you from activity, which then again leads to more weight gain.
The Restless Leg Syndrome
According to studies, Restless Leg Syndrome is usually caused due to low levels of dopamine in the brain. It is a sensation that is responsible for causing itchy, tingling, pinching, feeling of needles and pins being poked in your legs. All highly unpleasant even just thinking about it.
Since dopamine is a neurotransmitter, low levels of it cause a problem in the performance of muscles and thus the improper signals sent from the brain to your body. This can make you feel uncomfortable and restlessness in your legs. Though the name of this syndrome says legs, it is not only isolated to that one location. Weakness in the body and tremors in the muscles are other side symptoms that accompany restless leg syndrome.
Parkinson's disease is one of the deadliest symptoms and results that can be caused by the lack of dopamine. When the cells that generate dopamine die in a certain part of the brain, Parkinson's finds its way to the neural system. It is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease which gradually effects the living standards and everyday life of the person suffering from it. Dopamine levels should often be checked so that action can be taken if there are any signs of lower than normal levels.
You can't have too much dopamine
Surprisingly, a high level of dopamine causes no adverse effects. For regulating dopamine secretion you can indulge in regular exercise, healthy eating, and there are even dopamine supplements that have added beneficial cognitive effects. These supplements help to protect dopamine-releasing cells in the brain from damage along with increasing the dopamine levels that are naturally found. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, make sure you check your dopamine levels so you can rest assured or take action before it is too late.