Are you only interested in doing things that give you pleasure? If yes, chances are your body is producing elevated levels of dopamine. And we know you don’t want to be sick, right? So, you want to know how to stop this habit. This habit can stop when you control your dopamine levels with the help of medications and treatment.
Keep reading to learn more about the dopamine rush in this article.
Dopamine is the chemical compound that is produced by the hypothalamus (part of your brain) which is responsible for the happiness and pleasure you feel. It is the type of neurotransmitter that works as a chemical messenger and sends messages and signals through nerve cells to the rest of the body. It is also produced by the adrenal gland (which is situated at the top of your kidney). It works with adrenaline/epinephrine (hormones) in fight-or-flight situations. This dopamine hormone acts on the reward center of your brain whenever you do things you like.
Having the right amount of dopamine hormone is especially important for your well-being. Because it helps with many things such as learning, attention, focus, sleep, study, memory, mood, etc.
If you have high or low levels of this hormone you might develop physical and mental problems such as depression, stress, sleeping problems, schizophrenia, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), Parkinson’s disease, etc.
What is a dopamine rush?
Dopamine works on the reward center of your brain and gives you a reward of good feelings, pleasure, and happiness whenever you do the things you like. This feeling keeps you motivated, focused, and craving to do more things that make you feel good. Whether the task is small or big, if that makes you happy then it triggers a dopamine rush in your body. For example, playing games, listening to your favorite music, shopping, cooking, watching series and films, etc.
While this dopamine rush feeling is good for you because it works as a motivator and helps you to focus on the work you need to perform. But if you only focus on your favorite tasks, chances are you produce more dopamine hormone than necessary which is bad for your health overall.
What do high dopamine levels look like?
With elevated levels of dopamine (in the beginning) the body loves the feeling of getting more and more pleasure, happiness, and good vibes that make the day. It can also work as a motivator to do the work you need to do.
But the problem starts when you start staying depressed or sad over little things, start getting angrier or stressed about your everyday tasks, and start forgetting things and the names of the people you met recently. These are the side effects that start happening to you.
The symptoms that you might start noticing, in the long run, are as follows:
- More aggression
- Poor impulse control
- Muscle cramps or stiffness
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Sleep problems
- Digestive problems such as constipation or reflux
- Feel sad or lack motivation/hope
- Having a low sex drive
- Feel tired or talk and walk slower than usual.
Having more than one symptom or multiple can lead to serious mental and physical health problems. To avoid that, consult your health care provider.
Conditions associated with high dopamine
You might develop these health conditions if you have high levels of dopamine for a long time:
- Schizophrenia: Many subtypes of schizophrenia are triggered by high dopamine. As schizophrenia produces hallucinations or delusions, this heavily influences the dopamine levels in the body and leads to dysfunctions in the process by which it is processed. That’s why people with schizophrenia are given antipsychotic medications that also help to reduce the dopamine level.
- Psychosis: In many cases, people develop psychosis because of mental illness or drug abuse. They lose contact with reality and develop abnormal levels of dopamine. The same antipsychotic medications as schizophrenia are used to treat psychosis symptoms and to reduce dopamine.
- Bipolar disease: It is believed that high dopamine triggers the change of a depression phase to a manic phase. Dopaminergic activity also increases during the state of mania. That’s why antipsychotic medications help patients to control their manic phases.
How to reduce high dopamine levels?
To reduce high dopamine, you need to avoid its stimulants/triggers and find a way to increase the serotonin levels in your body (which helps to control the levels of dopamine in your body).
If you don’t have any mental illness, you don’t need to take medications you can choose dietary foods or supplements.
Dietary changes: Choose a diet plan that has foods that increase your serotonin levels- for example, carbohydrates. Foods such as dark chocolate, duck, oatmeal, cheese, chicken, etc. in your diet help to control your dopamine levels. You should avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea.
Supplements: There are a variety of supplements that increase your serotonin levels which offset the effects of dopamine. Here is a list of some supplements that have been found effective to increase serotonin levels:
- ST. John’s Wort
If you have a mental illness such as schizophrenia or psychosis, you can take antipsychotic medications to reduce your dopamine levels.
Antipsychotic medications: This is a type of drug used to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder, and certain types of depression. They are highly effective in reducing dopamine, but they can have some risks and side effects too. So, only take them when recommended by your psychiatrist.
Dopamine is an important hormone that helps with many body functions and controls your mood and is the reason behind your feeling of happiness and pleasure. But increased levels of dopamine (by doing more and more pleasure tasks) can lead to serious health problems. So, try to maintain the levels of dopamine so that you lead a healthy life.
Want to know how to maintain your dopamine levels? Call us on 718-DORAL-55 and book an appointment in our clinic. Our top endocrinologists give the best advice. What are you waiting for? Contact us now and get your 1st consultation free!!!!