Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for transmitting signals between the nerve cells of your brain. It is a chemical that is naturally produced by your body; and is necessary to help your brain control your body's movements. If your body stops producing dopamine you can end up with Parkinson's disease, which may impair your ability to perform controlled movements.
Dopamine is responsible for the normal functioning of your pleasure system. It is released when you experience things that are pleasurable, like falling in love, or having sex.
If you have low levels of dopamine you may feel depressed, have a loss of motor control, experience cravings, act in compulsive ways, experience a low sex drive, and have a limited attention span and an inability to focus.
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Things you need
- Foods that increase dopamine
- Prescription medicines
Visit your doctor and ask her if you need to take medication to increase the amount of dopamine in your system. This may be necessary if you have low dopamine levels or Parkinson's disease.
Ask your doctor about a prescription drug called L-DOPA, which can be given to supplement low dopamine levels in the brain. Parkinson's patients lose neurons that contain dopamine, and as a result their body produces more dopamine receptors on other neurons. L-DOPA stimulates dopamine receptors even when the dopamine neurons are lacking.
Ask your doctor about taking prescription amphetamines. Amphetamines increase your level of dopamine. An example of a prescription amphetamine is Adderall.
Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for a drug named deprenyl that increases the stores of dopamine in your system and slows the progression of Parkinson's disease.
Eat foods that increase dopamine levels like almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds.
Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants that protect dopamine-using neurons from free radical damage. Three antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E. They exist in colourful fruits and vegetables with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues.
Avoid foods such as sugar, saturated fats, cholesterol and refined foods that interfere with proper brain function and deplete dopamine levels.
How to Increase Dopamine
Tips and warnings
- Don't use illegal drugs like cocaine and ecstasy that increase dopamine. They are dangerous to your health.
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