The Motivational Dangers of a Dopamine Deficiency
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We all know dopamine as one of the brain's key feel-good neurochemicals. It’s a main player in a lot of mental-health related things like addiction, mood and even psychoses. And it seems as though keeping dopamine levels in check is difficult for many of us. 


Millions upon millions of people are looking for a way to raise their mood and motivation so they can start feeling better. But how do you know if you need to supplement your body’s dopamine production? And what are the health risks of maintaining a deficiency?


More Than Just a Feel-Good Chemical

There’s way more to dopamine than more = good mood, less = bad mood. And it plays more roles in the body than just mood. This neurotransmitter is also involved in:


  • Motivation: Release occurs when something good happens, making you more likely to work for that feeling again. Think Pavlov’s dog. Kind of.
  • Movement: Signaling is involved in motor function, coordination and balance.
  • Learning/Memory: Release occurs when you learn something new, which helps you to retain the new information.
  • Focus: Release also occurs when you're trying to focus on something, helping you to keep attention on a task.


Other functions this main player in motivation is involved in include pain processing, sleeping/dreaming, mood regulation, and more. When you think about it, this one neurochemical is involved in every aspect of your daily life, physically and mentally. That’s why sub-optimal levels and/or dysfunctional activity has such wide-ranging consequences. And why the adverse effects of a deficiency are more than just feeling kind of down sometimes.


Signs Your Lack of Motivation Might Be Biological

Aside from the telltale sign that you don't have enough of this neurotransmitter being produced/used – namely, low mood and even despair, other signs your levels are lacking include:


  • Fatigue
  • Low sex drive
  • Mood disturbances
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Hand tremors
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Muscle cramps/pain/stiffness


There are several things that can cause neurotransmitter dysregulation, meaning the body’s dopaminergic system isn’t functioning correctly. This can cause too high or too low levels of this pro-motivation chemical, and/or a problem with release and reabsorption:


  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Genetic predisposition
  • The body is resistant or too receptive to the effects
  • Too much or too little is produced by the brain
  • There are too few or too many receptors


Dopaminergic dysfunction is diagnosed indirectly, because we do not have a way to directly observe levels in the brain. Instead, medical professionals test patient sensitivity to this far-reaching neurochemical to try and suss out what's going on.


Low Levels of Feel-Good Signals, Long-Lasting Consequences

Dopamine deficiencies are associated with several serious medical conditions, many of which can prove fatal, and many of which can be managed or corrected, in part, by increasing levels and/or activity of this particular neurochemical:


  • Psychosomatic conditions involving reactivity, mood, affect, stress, attention, and compulsive behavior
  • Physiological pathologies, particularly neurological and neurodegenerative complications


How to Promote Motivation on a Biological Level

It’s important to remember that not all deficiencies can be self-corrected, because not all of us are lucky enough to be neurotypical. But all neurotypicality aside, everyone can at least give their body a hand in producing more feel-good chemicals. Some effective healthy habits include:


  • Exercise: releases endorphins and spurs the production and release of feel-good chemicals via several neuronal pathways
  • A healthy diet: keeps a balanced blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes from unhealthy fats and carbs can mess with mood regulation and energy levels. Lean proteins an leafy vegetables provide the amino acids and nutrient support for healthy neurotransmitter activity.
  • Quality sleep: promotes healthy levels and availability of this pro-focus molecule by reducing stress, improving mood, giving the brain time to relax and repair, etc.
  • Nootropic supplements: can support balanced function by acting as neuromodulators. For instance, l-theanine works to balance levels of the major neurochemicals involved in mood, memory, motivation, and cognition, which is an integral function for the treatment of chronic affect/mood dysfunction.


The cool thing is that the production of this particular neurotransmitter is a self-perpetuating cycle, which is why your chosen method(s) of encouraging its production should be daily and consistent.


MTE: You Don’t Have to Keep Running on Empty Energy

The l-theanine in MTE supports balanced neurochemical production, use and signaling throughout the brain and body, along with our blend of 12 other adaptogens, nootropics and superfoods. Our ingredients promote a calm, even energy and support mood, stress response and recovery, too. The idea is 360 support for your mind and body so you have the energy you need to live your best life without having to mainline caffeine to get things done. MTE isn’t about getting more energy – it’s about having more energy so you can have more fun.

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