Dopamine and serotonin

Did you know about the happy hormone duo that makes you happy? Well, the answer is dopamine and serotonin. These hormones are not only responsible for keeping you happy and motivated but also help to perform many distinct functions which are important for mental and physical health. Many people also get confused between these two. So, it is important to know the differences between these two.  

Read this article to know about the difference between these two hormones.  

Our body has neurotransmitters that are used to transfer messages and signals through neurons from various parts of the body. Serotonin and dopamine hormones are neurotransmitters that help to regulate many body functions.  

What is Dopamine?  

Dopamine is produced by the hypothalamus in the brain to work as a neurotransmitter (sends signals and messages between neurons to other parts of the body). It is also produced by adrenal glands which are found at the top of our kidneys. It works as a reward system for our body. It gives us pleasure and makes us feel good whenever we do something we like. It is produced even when you do insignificant things that make us happy.  

Other than that, it also helps in many body functions such as: 

  • Mood 
  • Learning  
  • Digestion functions (such as controlling nausea and vomiting) 
  • Motivation  
  • Sleep 
  • Attention 
  • Maintain heart rate 
  • Blood vessel  
  • Kidney function 
  • Movement 
  • Pain processing  
  • Memory  
  • Behavior and cognition 

If your body has low levels of dopamine hormone, you develop conditions like  

  • Feeling tired  
  • Memory Loss 
  • Sleeping problems 
  •  Lower sex drive,  
  • Concentration issues 
  • Being unhappy 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  •  Restless legs syndrome. 

 If your body has elevated levels of dopamine hormone you might have 

  • Trouble sleeping  
  • poor impulse control 
  • Become aggressive 
  • Mania 
  • Obesity 
  • Schizophrenia.  

What is serotonin?  

Serotonin is produced by the central nervous system to work as a neurotransmitter. Serotonin is also produced by cells lining the gastrointestinal tract which is released in the bloodstream and absorbed by platelets.  

This hormone makes us feel happiness, optimism, and satisfaction. Other major functions this hormone performs are:  

  • Mood 
  • Digestion  
  • Nausea 
  • Sleep 
  • Wound healing 
  • Bone health 
  • Sexual Health 

If you have low levels of serotonin, you develop these conditions, including 

  • Phobias 
  • Anxiety  
  • Sleeping problems 
  • Digestion problems  
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) 
  • Panic disorders 
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 If you have elevated levels of serotonin, you develop these conditions  

  • Shivering (ranging from mild to severe) 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever 
  • Seizures 
  • Muscle rigidity 
  • Serotonin syndrome, if not treated might lead to death.  


While dopamine and serotonin are different, they help in many of the same functions such as:  

  • Stabilizing the mood 
  • Help in the digestion system 
  • Help with the sleep-wake cycle 
  • Pain processing and wound healing. 


Even though they are quite similar but there are differences that we cannot ignore like-  

  • They both stabilize the mood, but dopamine gives us pleasure, and motivation and makes us feel good whereas serotonin gives us happiness, satisfaction, and optimism.  
  • They are produced by different glands of the body. Dopamine is produced by the hypothalamus and adrenal gland while serotonin is produced by the central nervous system and from the gastrointestinal tract.  
  • Besides, they perform many contrasting functions in our bodies. For example, dopamine is used in learning, concentration, memory, etc. while serotonin is used in wound healing, sexual health, digestion system, etc.  

While both hormones are quite like each other, they perform hugely distinct functions in our bodies. Both are important hormones, so it is especially important that we make sure they don’t go imbalanced.  

Want to know more about hormones, hormonal imbalances, and their treatments?

At Doral Health and Wellness, we have doctors that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us on 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at or contact us at if you have any queries.