A dopamine imbalance can cause a number of problems, and typically these problems are treated with medications that can have negative side effects. These days, people are becoming increasingly worried about the negative side effects of prescription medications and are looking for a more holistic approach to health care.
What problems can low dopamine levels cause?
Depression. Symptoms of depression include:
- lack of motivation
- low energy levels
- anhedonia (loss of pleasure)
- mental fatigue
- lack of focus
Physical symptoms of low dopamine
- poor circulation (leading to cold hands and feet)
- weight gain
Other symptoms of low dopamine
- addiction to caffeine
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- Parkinson’s disease (with severe dopamine deficiency)
You can see that some of symptoms of dopamine imbalance are very serious, so it is a very important issue to address.
What causes low dopamine levels?
There are a number of probable causes of dopamine imbalance / deficiency, and these include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Alcohol dependency
- Drug addiction
- Poor nutrition
- Too much caffeine or sugar in a diet
- Medications (especially some anti depressants)
- Lack of sleep
- Severe stress
Many of these are faced by people at some point in their life, so if you start to experience some of the symptoms then it is time to evaluate how you can improve your health.
Prescription medications aren’t the only option
When someone is diagnosed as having a dopamine deficiency, a medical practitioner will often prescribe psychotropic drugs. These can often have very harmful side effects, and in some cases they have been linked to an increased risk of suicide.
So how can you treat a mild dopamine deficiency naturally?
Conventional medicine seems to want to treat symptoms without looking at the underlying causes of an illness. A holistic, natural approach looks at your life as a whole and treats the causes, the symptoms, and also improves your life in general.
How can diet help?
The first thing you can do is change your diet. Foods which contain high levels of tyrosine have been shown to raise dopamine levels. These include:
- soy products (particularly fermented soy products)
- organic dairy products
You should also eat foods that are natural, preferably organic, rich in fiber, and whole foods rather than processed foods.
The link between food and mood has been proven in many studies, and you can be sure that if you eat a healthy, natural diet that you will also start to address some other issues such as blood pressure, weight gain, and high cholesterol levels.
Relaxation can play a key part in improving your health
One of the possible causes of a low dopamine level is stress, which can also lead to many other health problems. So anything you can do to reduce stress levels will benefit your health in general, not only your dopamine levels.
Meditation, yoga, or even something that takes your mind off whatever makes you stressed can really help. A walk, reading a book, or a craft activity â€“ these can all make a huge difference to the quality of your life if you do them regularly.
And interestingly, studies have shown that a belief and trust in a higher power, whether it is God, the Universe, or anything else, also helps reduce stress levels and can improve relaxation.
Fitness and Exercise â€“ the key to it all
Whilst diet and relaxation help, one of the best ways to alleviate any dopamine-related problems is with exercise.
Exercise releases endorphins into the body. These are natural anti depressants that work in a similar way to dopamine. Have you ever felt as though you were on top of the world after an exercise routine, or buzzed after you’ve been dancing? That’s the endorphins working.
What doesn’t help, though, is to overdo an exercise routine, or to start exercise without the advice of a medical practitioner. It’s really important to find something that works for you.
If you aren’t used to exercise, it’s a good idea to start with something gentle. Once you are used to it, then something like the p90x schedule is great. You don’t need to invest much money in your exercise â€“ after all, going for a run doesn’t cost anything â€“ but you should make sure that the equipment you have is of good quality. For example if you use weights in your exercise routine, the adjustable dumbbells Bowflex make are great and they really helped me to get a lot more benefit from my workouts.
Whatever you do, you have to make sure that the exercise routine you choose is right for you. If you try something that is too hard, or needs more commitment than you can give, then you are likely to become disillusioned and stop. And if you try something that doesn’t challenge you, then you will not feel any benefit from it.
The three steps to increasing your dopamine levels
For a mild dopamine deficiency, if you follow these three steps of diet, relaxation and exercise, you should notice an improvement in your physical and mental well-being.
These don’t need to cost you any extra money, whereas the prescription drugs can be expensive and be detrimental to your health.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, start your journey to better health now!