Table of contents:
- What is dopamine for
- Low dopamine signals
- Which doctor to consult
- Foods that help increase dopamine
- What is the difference between dopamine and serotonin
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for carrying information to various parts of the body and, when released, it causes a feeling of pleasure and increases motivation.
Furthermore, dopamine is involved in emotions, cognitive processes, movement control, heart function, learning, attention span, and bowel movements. It is also directly related to neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia or ADHD, for example.
Although dopamine is produced naturally by the body, in the central nervous system and adrenals, its levels can be increased by consuming tyrosine-rich foods such as eggs, fish, meats or beans.
What is dopamine for
Dopamine is very important in various functions of the body and therefore it is essential to maintain its levels in he althy concentrations. The main functions of dopamine are:
1. Increases libido
Dopamine is linked with increased libido because during sexual intercourse dopamine levels increase, giving a greater sense of pleasure. Dopamine also stimulates male ejaculation and, in some cases, men who have changes in dopamine and serotonin levels may experience premature ejaculation. Understand better what it is and how to control premature ejaculation.
2. Promotes increased muscle mass
Protein-rich foods indicated for people who want to increase muscle mass, also help to increase dopamine, which makes the person feel pleasure when ingesting this type of food, stimulating its consumption.Likewise, the exercise that is accompanied by this type of diet also promotes the release of dopamine.
3. May cause changes in perception
Actual levels of dopamine can produce mental changes that are linked to disorders such as schizophrenia, for example, causing hallucinations and delusions. In these cases, it is necessary for the person to carry out the treatment prescribed by the doctor properly, avoiding episodes of hallucination.
It is important that people with schizophrenia do the treatment prescribed by the psychiatrist, correctly, so that the drugs help to lower and maintain stable levels of dopamine, preventing new episodes of hallucinations or delusions. Know what delusion is and how to identify it.
4. Helps with movement control
Dopamine helps control the coordination of body movements. The concentration of dopamine even seems to be associated with Parkinson's disease, as people with low levels of dopamine show greater difficulty controlling and coordinating movements, causing tremors.
The treatment of Parkinson's Disease may include drugs to increase dopamine and thus improve movement control. Learn more about treatment for Parkinson's Disease.
5. Ensures intestinal he alth
It has been shown that dopamine levels increase with the consumption of probiotics, as there are some species of bacteria such as Coprococcus and Dialister, which live in the gut and are linked to the production of this neurotransmitter, which promotes good intestinal he alth.
Low dopamine signals
When dopamine is low, the main symptoms are lack of motivation and pleasure. In addition, loss of libido, feeling of tiredness or changes in movements are also common.
Which doctor to consult
To assess the levels of dopamine in the body, the ideal is to consult an endocrinologist, who will be able to order blood tests and analyze the value obtained.
Foods that help increase dopamine
Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, so foods rich in tyrosine, such as eggs, fish, meat, beans, nuts, dairy or soy, help to increase dopamine levels. See other foods rich in tyrosine.
What is the difference between dopamine and serotonin
One of the differences between dopamine and serotonin is the source of their production, since dopamine is produced from tyrosine, while serotonin is produced from an amino acid called tryptophan.
When serotonin is at high levels, the amount of dopamine tends to decrease, causing a reduction in libido, for example. On the other hand, low levels of serotonin can cause an excessive increase in dopamine, which causes an increase in libido and the search for activities that cause pleasure.
Low serotonin levels tend to make a person more craving sweets, while low dopamine levels mean less pleasure and cravings.