When something feels a little “off” in our bodies, it is likely caused by a deficiency of some sort. While we rely on our bodies to produce all the nutrients, chemicals, and vitamins that we need, it can’t always get the job done adequately. In turn, this results in deficiencies that can make us feel not like ourselves.
Many times, you won’t want to ignore a deficiency. Not only does it mean that your body’s balance is off, but it can also contribute to feelings of depression, lead to addictions, and more. Anytime you may have a deficiency, you will want to get it checked out. A dopamine deficiency is no different.
What is Dopamine and Why is It Important?
Dopamine, which is a , is a chemical in the brain that allows us to view rewards and work towards them. It plays a part in our levels of happiness and emotional responses and can also contribute to motivation. Dopamine also plays a part in our body’s movements and hormone levels.
Because dopamine plays a major role in so many necessary bodily functions, having a deficiency can lead to a number of different problems. Some are more severe than others, but having low levels of dopamine can drastically change or reduce an individual’s quality of life.
Symptoms of Dopamine Deficiency
- Depression: Depression may be the most common symptom of a dopamine deficiency. Because dopamine contributes to our rewards and pleasure systems, a decrease in dopamine can make it difficult for someone to find joy in life or the things they do.
- Addiction: Being deficient in dopamine can also increase the likelihood that someone would become addicted to a number of different substances. Dopamine deficiency can cause individuals to take to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to self-treat depression or even push them to abuse common drugs, like caffeine, in an attempt to feel better.
- Weight Gain: Being low in dopamine often creates cravings for sugary and fat foods. When mixed with feelings of depression, it is easy for someone to reach for unhealthy snacks and put on the pounds quickly.
- Oversleeping: The increased risk of depression and lack of motivation can cause individuals with low dopamine levels to oversleep. Without a need to get out of bed in the morning, being dopamine deficient can push someone to sleep their days away.
- Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome: While having Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome is not always a sign of a dopamine deficiency, they are commonly associated with having too little of the neurotransmitter. Because dopamine plays a major part in movement, an imbalance can cause muscles to move or tremor when they shouldn’t.
- Trouble Focusing: Decreased dopamine levels can influence an individual’s ability to focus in the same way it can lead to depression and oversleeping. Because it influences how we see rewards and motivation, it can cause individuals to get easily distracted or put off their work.
While each of these symptoms are not a sure sign that a dopamine deficiency is present, having just one of these conditions could be reason to have your dopamine levels checked.
Correcting a Dopamine Deficiency
If you feel that you have a dopamine deficiency, there are a few things you can do to bring your levels back up. For starters, you will want to decrease your stress and attempt to get into a set schedule or routine. Stress is horrible for our health, regardless of how healthy we are otherwise, and a set will help you to get out of bed and get moving.
You can also try taking to improve your motivation and get back to normal. With the help of dopamine supplements, you can improve the dopamine in your brain and start to focus more easily and feel motivated to get work done. As you begin to get moving, completing tasks, and feeling better about yourself, your feelings of depression, fatigue, and cravings for unhealthy foods can begin to go away.