Dopamine 101

I couldn’t possibly call myself the Dopamine Queen without knowing my shit. Get ready, it’s your crash course on my favorite Neurotransmitter.

Dopamine 101

The Basics

Dopamine is a chemical in your brain released by nerve cells or neurons.  Neurons use the chemical dopamine to carry messages through pathways to other neurons.  These pathways control things like movement, attention, learning ability and emotional responses. One of these pathways controls your desire to receive rewards; I want to win this or I want to experience this pleasurable thing.  When you receive a reward, dopamine levels in your brain increase.  Some drugs can also cause dopamine levels in the brain to rise or obstruct the brains ability to absorb dopamine, thus leaving dopamine levels elevated for longer.  

Happy Chemicals

How Does It Relate To Mental Health?

Several diseases like Parkinson’s, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder and schizophrenia are linked to dysfunctions with dopamine production or absorption. Many drugs used to treat these disorders, like dopamine stimulants and anti-psychotics, alter the brain’s dopamine system.

K How About Some Quick Facts

Dopamine is responsible for long term memories.
It raises libido and increases sexual arousal.
Dopamine has a large effect on our appetite.
Like weed? Yeah that’s dopamine being released.

How Can I Tell If My Dopamine Is Low?

Lack of motivation
Mental and physical fatigue
Trouble waking up
Cold hands or feet
Restless Leg Syndrome
Struggling to finish projects or tasks
Lack of concentration and focus
Low sex drive
Memory loss
Frequent mood swings

Any Chance I Could Eat My Way Out Of This Problem?

Dopamine Boosting Foods:
Dark Chocolate
Hemp or Chia Seeds
Leafy Greens


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