Read time 4 minutes
This blog is another opportunity to feel grateful. Thank you, dear Universe, you continue to bless me with recovery and health.
Dopamine is the happy or feel-good hormone. It is a particular class of neurotransmitters made in the brain. Our nervous system uses it to communicate between nerves. It involves fighting real stressful situations, and pleasurable sensations. It also helps us plan better and find things interesting.
For me, there were many reasons to feel low. My prolonged illness resulted in a rare disease diagnosis called Isaacs’ Syndrome (it is a neuromuscular health condition that stems from muscle hyperactivity). My lift post-diagnosis underwent a drastic change. I also discovered that I was suffering from Lyme disease (it is a bacterial illness that gets transmitted through ticks), Glaucoma (a disorder that damages the optic nerve of the eyes), and Membranous Glomerulonephritis (it is a progressive kidney disease).
It was quite uncommon to digest such a sudden outburst of the news. The diagnosis brought many unwanted repercussions. It was completely a new and unexpected situation. I hardly had any knowledge of such diversified diseases. It was quite difficult to find suitable doctors with the calibre to treat the problems. The effect of these compounding factors was profound resulting in aggravated symptoms. My muscle cramps, body stiffness, tiredness, disturbed sleep, mood swings, anxiety, etc. increased. I lacked motivation, felt depressed, and felt irritated most of the time. It reduced alertness and concentration levels. I even noticed a craving for unhealthy food due to low dopamine levels.
My Neurologist viewed the unwanted symptoms to be quite common while suffering from a list of chronic and rare diseases. He decided to check my medical history and get a couple of blood tests. The results reflected very low dopamine levels. After a detailed discussion with doctors, I also discovered that dopamine is also involved in a variety of brain functions. The neurons in the brain produce dopamine which helps neurons to communicate within themselves and take effect. The potential causes of low dopamine levels are:
- Poor diet
- Sleep deprivation
- Any drug abuses
- Stress levels
- Lack of exercise
- Chronic or rare health conditions
The intensity is quite individualistic in nature. I increased my low dopamine levels by addressing the underlying problems. The comprehensive prescription was quite supportive. It included certain Natural Ways to Boost Happy Hormones:
- Happier with Hobbies: The idea was to escape boredom. I started to take part in hobbies that made me feel happier, decreased my stress levels, and boosted my happy hormone levels. Even studies have proved a close connection between hobbies and a healthy state of mind. I noticed a change and my motivational levels while taking up a hobby as a part of my self-care routine. It was fun to try to transform my interests into hobbies.
- Get outdoors: spend time with nature and in the sun. It was an important activity during the day to get sun in moderation. I avoided peak hours when ultraviolet radiations are at its peak.
- Better Physical Health: Exercise was a great way to boost endorphin levels. It also uplifted my mood. I limited my exercise regime till it was more of a fun than a stressful activity.
- Listening to Music: it acted as a mood lifter and an alternative treatment support. It was the first time I felt that music could also act as a therapy than only entertainment. It has a much deeper impact.
- Enhancing Wellbeing: I felt a change in my level of consciousness. Activities such as yoga and meditation trigger the release of dopamine on a subtle level. I felt a sense of fulfilment during such practices.
- Eat a Magnesium-rich diet: food habits act as the building source of dopamine production.
- Supplements: I had supplements that included Vit D, Omega-3, and Magnesium Malate.
- Other Foods: I had fruits and vegetables that enhanced the feel-good hormones. Foods like beans, bananas, apples, avocado, and velvet beans were among the few.
- Medication side effects: post-diagnosis, I followed a prescription with 42 pills. Having low dopamine levels was one of the side effects of the heavy prescription.
My Ayurvedic doctor included certain natural herbs that helped increase dopamine levels. My prescription included turmeric curcumin, ashwagandha, almonds, and ginger. The herbs improved mental clarity and performance. It supported relaxation and helped calm down anxiety levels.
Dopamine is an important brain chemical. It helps in regulating our mood and motivates us to do better in life. A balanced and holistic life approach links itself to our happiness graph and solves health-related problems. A healthy diet containing vitamins, proteins, minerals, and adequate saturated fat could go a long way in increasing our body’s natural dopamine. It also releases other feel-good hormones. One should take professional help if required as it helps to learn, restructure, and put back habits that could boost the flow of these happy hormones in our lives.
Research suggests that happiness could be a great influencer in promoting better physical and mental health standards. It helps fight many immune-related disorders, makes symptoms less effective, and finally prevents illness.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.