Dopamine: Causes and Function- What Is It? “ Prime Health Blog

Overview:

Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. our body makes it, and our nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. That is why it’s sometimes known as a chemical messenger.

Dopamine plays a part in the way we feel delighted. It’s a big portion of our uniquely human ability to think and plan. It helps us attempt, concentrate, and find things interesting.

Your entire body spreads it together with four major pathways in the mind. Like most other systems within the entire body, you do not notice it (or perhaps even know about it) until there’s a problem.

Too much or too little of this can lead to a vast assortment of health problems. Some are severe, such as Parkinson’s disease. Others are not as dire.

Basics of Dopamine:

Dopamine is made from the brain through a two-step procedure. It alters the amino acid tyrosine to a chemical called dopa, and then into dopamine.

It affects most parts of your behavior and physical functions, such as:

Learning

Motivation

Heart speed

Blood vessel function

Kidney function

Lactation

Sleep

Attention

Control of nausea and vomiting

Pain processing

Movement

Relation with Mental Health:

It’s hard to pinpoint a single cause of most mental health disorders and struggles.

But they are often linked to too much or too little dopamine in different parts of the brain. Examples include:

Schizophrenia — Decades ago, researchers thought that symptoms originated from a hyperactive dopamine system. Now we know that some are due to a lot of this chemical in certain areas of the brain.

Including hallucinations and delusions. A lack of it in other parts can cause various signals, such as a lack of inspiration and want.

ADHD — Nobody knows for certain what causes attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some research shows it may be due to a lack of dopamine.

This issue might be due to your genes. The ADHD medication methylphenidate (Ritalin) works by boosting dopamine.

Drug abuse and addiction — drugs such as cocaine can cause a large, quick increase of dopamine in the mind. That suits your natural benefit system in a big way.

But repeated drug use also increases the threshold for this kind of pleasure. This means that you need to take more and more to get the same high.

It also makes your body less capable to produce dopamine naturally. This leads to emotional lows when you’re sober.

Dopamine in Different Diseases

It also plays a role in diseases that aren’t associated with mental health. One of them is Parkinson’s disease. Another is obesity, and also the American Medical Association categorized it as a disease in 2013.

Parkinson’s disease — Dopamine allows neurons in your brain to control and communicate motion. In Parkinson’s, a kind of neuron steadily degenerates. It doesn’t have a sign to send, so your own body makes less dopamine.

The chemical imbalance triggers bodily symptoms. These include tremor, stiffness, slowness of spontaneous movement, poor balance, and inadequate coordination. Doctors treat those symptoms with meds that increase levels of that compound.

Obesity — The majority of the time, when you take in more calories than you burn, then you will gain weight. So why can’t obese people just eat less and slim down? The solution is not that simple.

They may face obstacles that others don’t. They might have problems with their normal benefit systems. This can impact the total amount of food they eat before they feel satisfied.

Imaging studies suggest that in people with this condition, the body may not release sufficient dopamine and another good hormone, serotonin.

Dopamine Could Save Lives

This compound usually plays a secondary function in the body, but in some medical circumstances, it is literally a lifesaver.

Doctors use prescription dopamine (Inotropin) to treat:

Low blood pressure

Poor coronary artery (when the heart does not pump out enough blood)

Poor blood circulation to vital organs

Some instances of septic shock

There are possible complications with any medication, even if required under supervision.

The main kinds associated with dopamine include:

Irregular heartbeat

Quicker heart rate

Trouble breathing

Chest pain

Because many drugs interact with it, so it is important that your doctor knows all the medications you require.

Ask your friends and loved ones for support.

If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…

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Originally published at https://primehealthblog.com on February 10, 2021.

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Prime Health

Prime Health

To ensure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.