Can You Have Too Much Dopamine?
Plenty of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other chemicals in our brains and bodies affect our bodily functions, moods, and more. As far as our mental state, mood, and energy levels go, dopamine is one of the most important neurotransmitters of all.
You might have heard of dopamine concerning something known as the runner’s high, which is when people who run, or just exercise in general, feel a rush of joy and euphoria.
This is because exercise is known to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that generally makes people feel like this. However, there's a little more to it than just that, which is exactly what we're here to discuss today.
We're about to determine what exactly dopamine is, what it does, what the signs of low or high dopamine levels are, and how you can increase your dopamine levels. It really all comes down to boosting those dopamine levels to make you feel better.
- Dopamine is a crucial neurotransmitter in the human body with various functions, including mood regulation and the anticipation of rewards.
- Imbalances in dopamine levels, whether too low or too high, can lead to significant issues. Low dopamine levels may result in poor coordination, reduced motivation, concentration difficulties, low sex drive, and mood problems. High dopamine levels can lead to mania, psychosis, and even hallucinations.
- There are several natural ways to increase dopamine levels, including regular exercise, performing acts of kindness, getting massages, meditation, and maintaining a healthy diet with foods rich in amino acids like L-tyrosine, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin D. Certain supplements may also help boost dopamine production.
What is Dopamine, and What Does it Do?
Dopamine is one of the many neurotransmitters that the human brain produces, and in simplest terms, it's a messenger that sends signals between various neurons. More importantly, your brain releases dopamine when it is expecting a reward.
When your brain associates pleasure with a certain activity, just anticipating that activity could raise dopamine levels.
For instance, if eating a chocolate brownie is your greatest pleasure of all, your brain will likely increase dopamine production when you smell them or even just think about them. Then, when you eat that chocolate brownie, your brain floods you with dopamine, which serves to reinforce the pleasurable feeling.
This can be a somewhat detrimental cycle. The more dopamine your brain produces when you experience something pleasurable, the bigger the dopamine levels drop when you don't have access to said pleasure.
Therefore, it causes your brain to crave dopamine and thus crave the thing that is giving you pleasure, in this case, the chocolate brownie.
This is essentially where cravings come from: your brain’s need for that dopamine reward.
The more you like something, the more dopamine your brain produces when you have access to it, and the more you crave it when you don't have access to it. It all comes down to the fact that dopamine makes people feel good, pleasurable, rewarded, joyful, and satisfied.
Besides just making you feel good, dopamine has many other functions in the human body. These include, but are not limited to, controlling blood flow, executive functioning, digestion, memory and focus, motor control, heart and kidney function, pain processing, sleep, stress response, and more.
Dopamine is a very important neurotransmitter serving many functions within the human body.
Signs of Low Levels of Dopamine
If you think that you may have low dopamine levels, some telltale signs can inform you of as much.
For instance, people who have low dopamine levels may suffer from the following:
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- A loss of enthusiasm and motivation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low sex drive
- Reduced alertness
- Issues sleeping
- A generally poor mood
Interestingly enough, obesity is also closely linked with dopamine, with obese people often having low dopamine levels. Let’s go with the chocolate brownie example.
It's when an obese person gives in to their cravings and eats their favorite foods that the brain floods the body with excessive dopamine levels.
However, as is the case with cravings and addictions, the more you give into those cravings, the less dopamine your brain produces with each dose of chocolate brownie, ultimately leading to more of that brownie being needed more often to produce the same euphoric results.
The human body builds up a tolerance, meaning it consistently takes more of the same stimuli to produce the same amounts of dopamine, creating a dangerous cycle. So, when you don’t get that reward, dopamine levels plummet, resulting in a decrease in mood.
Ultimately, the brain starts producing less and less of its own natural dopamine and requires the addiction to be fed, which in this case is food. This is not only the case with food cravings but with all forms of addiction.
Here’s a study that perfectly illustrates this. In simplest terms, any kind of addiction could be an indicator that you have naturally low dopamine levels.
Tips to Increase Dopamine Levels
If you are looking to increase your dopamine levels naturally, there are some great ways to do so.
One of the best and easiest ways to increase dopamine levels is by exercising. Just 20 or 30 minutes of exercise per day can trigger your brain to release more dopamine. Once again, this is what is known as the runner’s high.
Acts of Kindness
Although this might sound a little odd, not only is there such a thing as the runner's high, but also the helper's high. This is a specific feeling or type of high that people feel when they help others. Helping others can make us feel good about ourselves, and that causes the brain to release reward chemicals.
Get a Massage
Research indicates that getting a professional massage may also help increase dopamine levels while simultaneously decreasing cortisol levels. Getting a massage may also help increase serotonin levels, which, along with dopamine, should make you feel much better.
Next, there is research that indicates that meditation is a great way to trigger dopamine release. Meditation is great for your physical health, but it can also be great for your mental state.
It is shown that the dopamine boosting effects of meditating can last long after the meditation session is over. 20 or 30 minutes of meditation per day should be more than enough.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid required by the human body to produce dopamine. There are plenty of great foods with this amino acid in them, including pumpkin, soy, sesame seeds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, chicken, and other types of poultry.
Other foods that can help stimulate dopamine production include a variety of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin D, and turmeric. Protein, in general, may also be a good way to stimulate dopamine production.
Try TUNE IN
Perhaps the best potential way to increase overall dopamine production is by trying this super tasty TUNE IN natural supplement. This all-natural supplement contains a variety of ingredients that may be able to help increase dopamine production.
For instance, one of the main ingredients here is the lion’s mane mushroom, which, according to this study, may be able to stimulate increased dopamine production. Cordyceps are another type of amazing mushroom contained in TUNE IN, and according to this study, they also have the potential to increase dopamine production.
TUNE IN also contains a number of B vitamins, which, according to research, play a crucial role in dopamine synthesis. Alpha GPC is yet another ingredient contained in TUNE IN, which, according to a recent study, is also important in terms of dopamine production.
Don’t forget that TUNE IN is just an all-around great way to give you a bit of an energy and mental boost on a daily basis, all without any harmful ingredients!
Can You Have Too Much Dopamine?
The unfortunate reality here is that it is totally possible to have too much dopamine in your system. Sure, very high dopamine levels at first may make you feel like you're on top of the world. You'll feel extremely happy, euphoric, elated, and like you have boundless amounts of energy.
However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and too much dopamine certainly qualifies.
Too much dopamine in your system can lead to serious consequences, including the following.
- Excessive dopamine levels for a prolonged period may lead to mania, a state of mind characterized by extreme excitement, high energy, and euphoria. This extreme change in behavior can seriously impact your overall quality of life.
- Greatly elevated dopamine levels may go past mania and lead to a person developing psychosis, with forming delusional thoughts being the main symptom.
- In very extreme cases, as studies indicate, excessive dopamine levels may lead to hallucinations, both visual and auditory.
Signs of High Levels of Dopamine
Some potential signs that you may have high levels of dopamine, besides the extreme symptoms above, include being very aggressive, having very poor impulse control, and having trouble sleeping.
Dopamine is a very interesting neurotransmitter that plays many roles throughout the human body. Having either too much or too little of it can be an issue.
Generally speaking, having too little is more of an issue than having too much. If you have too little dopamine in your system, try something like our TUNE IN supplement.
Too Much Dopamine: FAQs
What to Do if You Have Too Much Dopamine?
Generally speaking, elevated dopamine levels would be treated by using medications that block dopamine receptors.
Can Too Much Dopamine Make You Feel High?
Having a lot of dopamine in your system may make you feel very energetic and euphoric, almost like you are high. However, having far too much dopamine in your system can also cause issues.
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- Epinephrine to increase alertness
- Acetylcholine to direct attention
- Dopamine to create rewards that are necessary for ongoing focus
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