Wed, Apr 21, 21

Is It Possible To Have Too Much Dopamine?

* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor.

We all know that certain chemicals are good for our bodies, with dopamine being one of them. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s associated with feelings of pleasure. It also plays a big role in how we think and interact with others. 

While everyone has varying levels of dopamine, there’s no reliable method for measuring dopamine levels in the brain. So how can you tell if you have too much or too little dopamine? Is it even possible to have too much dopamine?

Read on to learn all about dopamine. 

Related: How to Stop Overthinking: A Simple Guide to Help You Relax 

What is Dopamine? 

Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical found in the body. As we said, it’s a type of neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters help send signals from the body to the brain.

The right balance of dopamine helps to improve both your physical and mental health. Vital brain functions that affect sleep, mood, memory, concentration, motor control, and learning all relate to the dopamine levels in a person’s body. 

Often, those who suffer from certain medical conditions also suffer from a dopamine deficiency. The dopamine deficiency is often a result of your body dropping the amount of dopamine it makes. It can also be a result of brain receptor issues. 

Dementia, depression, and addiction are all related to low dopamine levels. Brain injuries, chronic medical conditions, age, and health status can all affect the body’s dopamine levels. 

Even if you have normal dopamine levels at one point in your life, you may experience low dopamine levels at another point in your life

Signs of Low Dopamine Levels 

woman with low dopamine levels

While there isn’t a test you can take to determine if you have low dopamine levels, there are some telltale signs to keep your eye out for. Signs of low dopamine include:

  • Problems with concentration and motivation
  • Feelings of depression
  • Shaking hands or tremors
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Working memory issues
  • Low sex drive
  • Coordination issues
  • Symptoms of ADHD
  • Symptoms of dementia
  • Symptoms of schizophrenia

Depending on the affected brain system, genetics, lifestyle, and myriad other factors, low dopamine levels can manifest differently from person to person. 

It’s important to understand that low dopamine is not a medical diagnosis, and doctors rarely inquire about patients’ dopamine levels. To treat low dopamine levels, your doctor will first ask you to describe your symptoms. 

They’ll then diagnose your condition and choose a treatment plan according to the diagnosis. For example, your doctor may determine that your low dopamine levels are a result of depression. 

If this is the case, they may prescribe you medication for your depression or recommend you to a therapist. These treatments should then help increase your dopamine levels over time

Do you have trouble concentrating? Click here to find out why! 

How to Increase Dopamine Levels 

group of women working out

While taking medication can help increase dopamine levels, it isn’t always necessary. Often, healthy lifestyle changes can help increase your dopamine levels. These include:

  • Getting more exercise
  • Practicing meditation
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Spending time with others

Cutting out drugs and alcohol can also help improve dopamine levels. Ironically, drugs and alcohol provide a temporary flood of dopamine to the brain. 

While this may sound like a good thing, over time, a person will need more and more of the illicit substance to feel the same dopamine rush. Then, if someone temporarily stops using their substance of choice, the brain may start to produce less dopamine. 

This rush of dopamine followed by an abrupt drop in dopamine is often what leads to addiction and relapse. In other words, you should never turn to drugs or alcohol to get a dopamine “fix.”

Related: How to Get Rid of Brain Fog: Tips and Tricks 

Signs of High Dopamine Levels 

Just as some people have low levels of dopamine, so too do some people have high levels of dopamine. Some people have dopamine receptors that are more responsive, while others’ bodies release more dopamine. 

Because dopamine is associated with pleasant feelings, high levels of dopamine may sound like the golden ticket to happiness. 

However, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. While some effects of high dopamine levels can be positive, others may not be as favorable as you’d assume. In some cases, high dopamine levels may even be a result of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. 

Here are some signs that you have high dopamine levels:

  • You seek pleasure-focused behaviors (this can include anything from drinking alcohol to gambling)
  • You’re very extroverted (aka, you love to socialize and get energy from social interactions)
  • You experience mania, which manifests as a decreased need for sleep, feelings of grandiosity, racing thoughts, and a desire to be more talkative
  • You feel paranoid or suspicious
  • You tend to react to things with intense excitement
  • You engage in emotional eating
  • You suffer from constipation
  • You have trouble concentrating 

The above signs don’t automatically mean you have high dopamine levels, but it’s worth considering. 

Related: Mental Acuity: A Guide to Staying Mentally Sharp 

Can You Have Too Much Dopamine? 

a couple with high dopamine levels

If the above signs are affecting your daily life, then there’s a chance that you have too much dopamine. Having too much dopamine is also linked to having poor impulse control and being more competitive and aggressive. 

Having too much dopamine in your body can also lead to serious issues and health conditions, such as addiction, ADHD, and poor eating habits. 

If you’re looking to counter the effects of too much dopamine, start by speaking to your doctor. Often, excess dopamine is a result of a prescription medication. Slightly tweaking your dosage may be all you need to do to get your dopamine levels back on track. 

Conclusion 

As you can see, it’s possible to have too much dopamine and it’s possible to have too little dopamine. Finding the “right balance” of dopamine can be tough, especially when there’s no definitive way to measure dopamine levels. 

One of the best ways to balance out your dopamine levels is to focus on leading a healthy lifestyle

If you’re looking for an energy shot to better your health, check out Magic Mind! 

More Recent Articles

Person behind a stack of books

Nootropics for Studying: What You Need to Know

* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor. Biohacking to gain a competitive edge academically isn't new. The use of nootropics is safe and effective for getting the best out of your study sessions. They can help you to be focused, clear thinking, motivated, creative, and maintain mental energy throughout. Let's look at the best nootropics for studying.      Why Nootropics Studying is difficult and can be exhausting. In a world of smart drugs, it's all too easy to go the way of stimulants. Nootropics can have a similar effect without the risks of a crash. Nootropics are naturally deriv...

Keep Reading
A green container full of various pills and nootropic supplements. 

What Are Nootropics?

* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor. If you’ve been looking into ways to help boost your brain health and overall cognitive performance, then you’ve probably at least heard about nootropics and the various benefits that they can provide. But it’s entirely possible that you don’t know much about them or how they work within your body, especially since so many types perform a wide range of different functions. Please continue reading to discover more about nootropic benefits and which ones may be best for you. What is a Nootropic? A nootropic is, to put it simply, a substance that...

Keep Reading
Clear blue pills

Nootropics vs. Smart Drugs: What Are the Differences? 

* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor. You've probably heard people talking about nootropics and smart drugs like they're necessarily the same thing. They're close in application but not precisely the same in composition. We'll discuss the differences between the two and consider the pros and cons of each.  Why the Drive for a Better Brain?   As kids, most of us wanted the ability to fly. No more buses to school or long drives on vacation - we could just fly wherever we wanted to go. Now, as adults, we'd much rather have a super-brain. What is this drives we have for a better bra...

Keep Reading
The Rhodiola Rosea plant with bright yellow flowers. 

Rhodiola Rosea: What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor. What is Rhodiola Rosea? Rhodiola Rosea- otherwise known as golden root or arctic root- is a yellow-flowering herb native to colder, mountainous regions in Asia and Europe. People have used it for centuries to help treat fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Its roots possess adaptogenic nootropic properties and contain more than 140 active ingredients to help your body adapt to physical and emotional stress and to keep you calm. According to several scientific studies and systematic reviews, Rhodiola Rosea shows promising effects in helping to re...

Keep Reading
A person’s hand holding several small, white taurine supplements. 

Taurine: What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor. What is Taurine? Taurine is one type of essential amino acid present in various foods and is often added to energy drinks. Research has indicated that taurine can provide several health benefits, including lowering the risk of different diseases and improving the performance of athletes. Along with the fact that it has no known side effects when taken in appropriate doses, this has led several researchers to refer to it as a sort of “wonder molecule.” It’s also an effective nootropic in affecting various brain functions, including cell volume...

Keep Reading
A black and white image of nerve cells in the brain.

Acetylcholine: What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

What is Acetylcholine, and Why is it Important? * Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter- the first one ever discovered- and neuromodulator. It plays a role in brain and muscle functions, and its job within the brain has made it a great topic of interest as a nootropic. It can be found in all motor neurons and is responsible for stimulating the contraction of muscles. It’s involved in various body movements, including the beating of the heart, the movement of the stomach, and the blinking of eyelids.  Imbalances in and low levels of acetylcholine ...

Keep Reading