You can have your intestinal neurotransmitter levels tested from a urine test, which is easy and painless, for the most accurate assessment. But, many times it’s relatively obvious based upon history, symptoms, and QEEG Brain Map results that it is highly likely the cause of many of the emotional struggles such as low motivation, depression, lack of pleasure/joy, and food cravings, for example.
Let’s Review Why This Matters:
- Dopamine makes us think better and make clearer decisions.
- Dopamine helps us motivate ourselves.
- Dopamine helps us perform with better focus and attention.
- Dopamine levels at optimal deter addictions.
- Dopamine drives us to be curious and explore for MORE.
- If you are low on dopamine, you don’t feel very satisfied, so you will seek out ways to find dopamine to feel good again, even if it is for a brief moment.
- We can experience a sudden rush of large dopamine release (“dopamine surge”) from chocolate, caffeine (coffee, tea), sugar, cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine, nicotine, sex, porn, gambling, screen activity like “How many more views did I get on TikTok?”, amphetamines, and overeating.
- Chronic “dopamine surges” will eventually cause a decrease in dopamine levels and receptors thereby making the brain less sensitive to using the dopamine to feel good, requiring more and more of the substance in an effort to get that surge again.
- We are driven to seek out ways to feel pleasure, so if you try to stop smoking, you often eat more sugar (and gain more weight) to get that dopamine boost in other ways. (Have you ever been to an AA meeting? There is more candy and more smoking than you can imagine; all in an attempt to regulate dopamine and feel good again.)
- A short term reward can end up with a long term loss and an inability to feel joy, reward, happiness, and result in low energy, low motivation, depressive thought patterns and the snowball effect can be devastating.
Baby Steps to Help Your Brain Regulate Dopamine in a Healthy Way Again
Dopamine is made from the precursor amino acid tyrosine. Eating foods high in tyrosine can be very helpful. This is primarily animal proteins. I typically recommend supplementing with L-tyrosine or N-acetyl-L-tyrosine as well, especially when depression has interfered significantly with quality of life. These dietary and supplementation changes will take about 4-6 weeks to take full effect so you can really feel them, but it is worth it.
The next blog will outline an exact 8 Ways to Raise Dopamine Through Diet. What else would you like to know about dopamine? Tell me in the comments below.