Dopamine is one of four important happiness hormones/neurotransmitters
DOSE is the abbreviation for the happiness hormones/neurotransmitters that most influence your mood. DOSE stands for dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. In this blog we will talk about dopamine and how you can become happier by balancing dopamine. More about oxytocin and endorphins will follow soon.
Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that helps control the reward and pleasure centers of our brain. It also keeps us motivated and focused so that we can work towards achieving our goals.
Symptoms of a dopamine deficiency
Signs of low dopamine include choice stress, low libido, fatigue, depression, an inability to handle stress, poor concentration and memory, mood swings, a lack of motivation, and failure to complete tasks or work toward goals. You can also develop a sugar dependency, which causes the level of dopamine and serotonin to drop (further). This makes you even more susceptible to addiction.
Those with addiction may also have low dopamine levels, because fueling addictive behavior is one of the body's shortcuts to increasing dopamine levels in the brain. In conditions such as ADD and ADHD, the level of dopamine can be low or too high in relation to other neurotransmitters. People with ADD and ADHD are on average 20 times more susceptible to addictions. These are mainly addictions in which dopamine levels temporarily increase, such as alcohol, smoking, cocaine, MDMA/XTC, heroin, gambling and sex addiction.
Symptoms of an excess of dopamine
Anorexia, other eating disorders and hyperactivity can be a result of too high dopamine levels. We would like to emphasize that a high dopamine level causes fewer problems if it is more in balance with other neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. Too much dopamine has been linked to menstrual disorders, delayed puberty, infertility and decreased immunity.
According to the 'British Journal of Nursing', increased dopamine in the limbic system is linked to schizophrenia, paranoia and withdrawal from social situations. Drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine, cause dopamine buildup, leading to drug-induced psychosis, or schizophrenia.
High concentrations of dopamine in the brain are found in patients with ADHD and Parkinson's patients. These individuals with increased dopamine levels in the brain were more likely to act impulsively with the need for instant gratification and addictions.
We would like to add to this story that an increased dopamine level causes much less or no problems if dopamine can be better converted into norepinephrine and adrenaline (see image below). This improves the balance between serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, allowing you to live in satisfaction.
Dopamine in balance in a natural way
- Set achievable short- and long-term goals.
- Meditation in any form.
- Drink as little alcohol as possible. Remember that half a glass of red wine per day is the most a person can drink without causing too much damage.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Physical contact with other living things. For example, contact with pets, cuddling or massages.
- A healthy dose of sunlight for more vitamin D3, serotonin and dopamine
- Avoid empty calories, especially from sugars, and replace them with slow carbohydrates from vegetables, for example.
- Avoid Omega 6 fats (vegetable oils) and increase Omega 3 intake (this helps against 90% of lifestyle diseases)
- Increase Turmeric intake in combination with black pepper. This duo already increases 3 happy hormones and prevents certain types of cancer.
- Take a good multivitamin. For example, vitamin B complex, zinc, magnesium, manganese and copper also help increase your serotonin level.
- Tyrosine-rich foods such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, avocado, banana, fresh unsweetened dairy and fresh lean meat.
- Probiotics in the form of yogurt, kefir or supplement.
- Say goodbye to social media.
- Turn off your smartphone an hour before going to bed and use it minimally during the day.
- Don't drink coffee, drink green tea.
- Do something creative.
- Good food, good food and more good food!
Correcting too much dopamine
Complaints mainly arise when dopamine is too high in relation to serotonin and norepinephrine. You will find a better balance by increasing serotonin.
You support the balance between dopamine and norepinephrine by increasing your intake of copper and vitamin C. This can be done with legumes, nuts and seeds.
As you can read, your lifestyle and your intestinal flora have a great influence on your dopamine level and mood. The most striking thing is that the bacteria in your intestines influence your mood and behavior by producing signaling substances that may or may not make you happy. So be good to your intestines and, as a first step, ensure that you have the right bacteria in your intestines by taking a probiotic. A very good probiotic, for example, is Ultra Jarro Dophilus. After this probiotic treatment, which you only do once, you give those bacteria and yourself the right food and dietary fiber from mainly vegetables, legumes, nuts, moderate fruit and some whole grain products such as oatmeal.
In addition to these foods, there are natural MAO inhibitors that ensure that dopamine and serotonin are broken down less quickly. These come with a warning. Complications can arise with too many MAO inhibitors and/or in combination with psychoactive medications. Normal foods such as aged cheese, beer, wine, pickled herring, chicken liver, yeast, lots of coffee, citrus fruits, figs, broad beans, chocolate or cream can cause headaches and nausea and even become toxic. Here are some mild natural MAO inhibitors that carry less risk: seaweed, turmeric, passion flower and rhodiola.
Warning: Never experiment with the heavier MAO inhibitors yourself, but always ask for the expertise of a specialist first, especially if you are already receiving psychoactive medication yourself.
You want to live healthier and be happier, but you can't
You make a lot of effort to live healthily and be happier, but it doesn't work out well. If you fall back into the old pattern, you will remain in a negative spiral. An imbalance of neurotransmitters causes depression, poor eating and anxiety. Poor diet, depression and anxiety again cause a deteriorated balance of neurotransmitters. We offer personal services with behavioral and nutritional advice. We test your neurotransmitters using an extensive questionnaire and we take medication and psychological complaints into account.
Start the neurotransmitter test here (free account required)
In consultation, we can also do a trip therapy with magic mushrooms/truffles, which allows you to break this negative spiral through a temporarily high serotonin level and introspection. This can increase your self-esteem and self-love, allowing you to take better care of yourself and those around you.
Curious? Then read about ours here operation of the trip.