Everyone wants to be bright, well-planned, proactive, competitive and controlled. All this is possible only due to the presence of one magic neurohormone DOPAMINE. Dopamine is produced in the brain in several areas like the substantia nigra and is transmitted through specific dopamine pathways. Dopamine disorders can cause a host of illnesses including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Bipolar disorders, Depression, ADHD, Schizophrenia and even gambling and binge eating. The most severe form of dopamine deficiency is reflected in elders with Parkinson’s disease.
Effects of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease progresses slowly and affects everything about a person – his speech, gait, body balance and even cognitive ability. Knowing the effects of Parkinson’s disease can help to handle it better.
- Loss of body balance
- Difficulty in moving
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Difficulty in eating
- Constipation and digestive disorders
Parkinson’s disease- Stages
The Hoehn and Yahr scale is used to distinguish the stages of Parkinson’s disease.
- Unilateral symptoms exhibited only on one side of the body
- Rigidity in arms or legs
- Difficulty to diagnose
- Bilateral symptoms exhibited on both the sides of the body.
- Difficulty in facial expressions
- Decreased blinking
- Speech abnormalities like monotone or soft voice, slurring speech, low volume etc.
- A stiffness of muscles leading to neck and lower back pain
- Stooped posture
- Slow activity
- Can be misinterpreted as advancing age
- Loss of balance
- Poor reflexes
- The Patient is still independent when it comes to body hygiene, eating and dressing.
- May stand or walk without the help of another but with visible difficulty
- Inability to walk without the help of a walker
- Needs help with body hygiene, eating and dressing.
- Cannot live alone
- Cannot stand without assistance
- A tendency to fall or freeze while walking
- Hallucinations and pain
- Round-the-clock assistance is a must.
Natural dopamine boosters
Dopamine levels can be increased substantially only with a proper diet enriched with natural dopamine boosters. Eating foods rich in Tyrosine gives you the required dose of dopamine.
Foods rich in tyrosine are
Apart from this, these activities act as natural dopamine boosters.
- Exercise – this stimulates brain activity, delays brain ageing and produces new brain cells with dopamine.
- Meditation– it increases the level of dopamine with focus and concentration
- Massage– this reduces stress along with cortisol levels, thus increasing dopamine by 30%.
- Music– Listening to music improves moods, energy, focus and concentration and also dopamine.
- Sleep– Lack of sleep reduces dopamine levels. So make sure you sleep well daily.
Supplements to increase dopamine
Neurologists have compiled a long list of supplements to increase dopamine which includes
- Tyrosine present in
- Caffeine – present in coffee
- Green tea
- Shilajit – a herb found in the Himalayas
- Curcumin present in turmeric
- Fresh cut grass has hexanal which increases dopamine
- Fish Oil and seafood
- Folate -present in green vegetables
Dopamine fuels our brain activity and is responsible for our motivation, drive, creativity and self-control. Dopamine often called the “motivation molecule” is the key to mental health and physical wellness. Keep Parkinson’s and other dopamine disorders at bay by following a healthy lifestyle of good tyrosine-rich food, regular exercise, relaxation and sleep. Prevent Parkinson’s by consuming supplements to increase dopamine and enjoy healthy living.