Friday, August 13

Dopamine Deficiency Can Cause Weight Gain

Dopamine (film)Image via WikipediaLately, I have been beset with a deep sadness I can not explain. I know I am depressed, but the level of my depression has been deeper than usual. I usually have melancholia, which I have learned to ignore my whole life. It's not as debilitating as clinical depression because I can still function well socially at home and at work.

However, everything changed when I resigned from my job and began working solely at home. I started to gain weight. Since then I have not been successful in shedding the extra pounds despite my efforts to eat less and healthier.

I suspect a hormone imbalance caused my weight gain as well as my latent depression. I have also experienced some behavioral changes, including mood swings and suicidal thoughts. My condition has worsened so much that it has affected my work.

If it is a hormone imbalance, then it could be either of two conditions: hypothyroidism or dopamine deficiency. Since my thyroid gland has not swelled yet, then I suspect it is dopamine deficiency. It causes weight gain because sufferers tend to eat a lot as a coping mechanism for their depression caused by low dopamine levels in the brain.

To combat this condition, eat more avocado, bananas and almonds among other mood-enhancing foods to increase production of dopamine in the brain. Keep exercising every day to increase endorphins in the body. Take vitamins E and C regularly to combat stress.

Stress stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. The presence of cortisol in the bloodstream consequently stimulates the brain to release dopamine. However, if your brain is not producing enough dopamine and your body continue to release cortisol into the bloodstream, then your health is at risk.

Dopamine Deficiency Symptoms
  • Reduced ability to feel pleasure
  • Flat, bored, apathetic and low enthusiasm
  • Depressed
  • Low drive and motivation
  • Difficulty getting through a task even when interesting
  • Procrastinator/little urgency
  • Difficulty paying attention and concentrating
  • Slowed thinking and/or slow to learn new ideas
  • Crave uppers (e.g. caffeine/nicotine/diet soft drinks)
  • Prone to addictions (e.g. alcohol)/addictive personality
  • Shy/introvert
  • Low libido or impotence
  • Mentally fatigued easily and physically fatigued easily
  • Sleep too much and trouble getting out of bed
  • Put on weight easily
  • Family history of alcoholism/ADD/ADHD
The red bold ones were my symptoms. That convinced me that I really have a dopamine deficiency problem. I have included avocados and bananas in my diet. I also like eating a pack of Antioxidant Booster Pack (raisins, pomegranates and blueberries) when I get the munchies. This change in my eating habits significantly improved my mood, which means my brain is producing dopamine again.

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