Dopamine and serotonin are the two most important neurotransmitters in the brain. In this article we also discus about , how to increase dopamine and serotonin. The effects of these two neurotransmitters have been studied and related to numerous brain functions. Everything and that dopamine and serotonin apparently work in the same way, have different objectives and the deficiency of one or the other causes different symptoms in our brain.
Sometimes patients are misdiagnosed by confusing dopamine and serotonin. For example, a dopamine-deficient patient could be erroneously treated with medications intended to treat serotonin deficiency.
What are dopamine and serotonin?
Knowing the difference between both neurotransmitters is necessary to begin to know what they are and how to promote the production of one or the other. Below we give you more details about these substances.
What is dopamine?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for our pleasure, ecstasy, satisfaction, celebration of achievement, etc. When we celebrate our successes or fall in love, our brain releases this substance called dopamine and generates a feeling of well-being, pleasure or even euphoria.
Dopamine is classified as an excitatory neurotransmitter due to its stimulating effects on the brain, while serotonin is classified as an inhibitory neurotransmitter for its calming effects on the brain. Likewise, dopamine can sometimes be inhibitory or exciting. Some medications, or even caffeine, can be used to increase dopamine levels.
The regular release of dopamine into our bloodstream is a positive fact, as its deficiency is closely related to numerous health problems.
Very often, a lack of dopamine can be diagnosed by any of these symptoms:
- Lack of motivation ,
- Low energy feeling,
- Parkinson’s disease
- Poor digestion
Both low and high levels of dopamine can be detrimental to our health. To combat this dopamine deficiency, it is customary to prescribe medicines that increase the levels of this substance in our body.
There are some serious diseases, such as schizophrenia, which is also related to the imbalance of this substance in the brain. In fact, one of the symptoms of this psychological illness can be a lack of serotonin.
Whenever you have a feeling of tiredness, fatigue, lack of energy or are not motivated enough to finish tasks, it may be because you are suffering from a certain lack of dopamine. In clinical tests on animals, those with low dopamine levels suffered from poor appetite. This problem also occurs in humans. Those with low levels tend to lose their appetite.
What is serotonin?
Serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Unlike dopamine, serotonin does not have the stimulating effects on the brain, so it can only be inhibitory and not excitatory.
However, it also has an important role in the brain. Makes you calm or in a good mood. Serotonin helps regulate appetite, the sleep cycle, inhibits violence, and suppresses pain.
A deficiency in this chemical can also lead to depression, while low dopamine levels are linked to Parkinson’s disease. Also note that low serotonin levels can cause various diseases such as immunosuppression.
An individual with balanced serotonin levels tend to have a high level of self-esteem. On the contrary, those individuals with an unbalanced level of this substance may suffer from suicidal and depressive tendencies. In fact, it has been proven that people who have committed a crime are more likely to suffer from low levels of serotonin.
When you remember the great achievements you have made in life, a release of serotonin occurs in the brain. But, even exposure to sunlight can cause this increase due to the supply of vitamin D from sunlight.
Obsession, urge, memory loss, and irritability can be fixed by taking medications that promote serotonin. These medications are often prescribed to patients suffering from anxiety and depression. The other consideration with serotonin is its synthesis. Serotonin (hydroxytryptamine – its chemical name) is made from amino acids found in products like milk, cheese, or cereals.
10 ways to increase dopamine and serotonin:
- Spend Time in Nature.
- Essential Oils.
- Goal Achievement.
- Happy Memories.
Key differences between dopamine and serotonin
Effects on the body
As we have been saying during the article, dopamine is associated with Parkinson’s disease. The body needs a high balance of dopamine to perform effective movements, as it triggers the release of fluids necessary for movements. The deficiency is observed, for example, when having stiff feet. In contrast, the role of serotonin in body movements, however, is not clearly defined, but has effects in supporting other chemicals.
Effects on the brain How to increase dopamine and serotonin
The reason why you are motivated or euphoric is due to adequate levels of dopamine in the brain. Serotonin, on the other hand, is what helps you calm and improve your mood. The imbalance of these chemicals can cause anxiety disorders and depression. Patients with low serotonin levels are more likely to think about suicide. They are also prone to increased impulsivity. In contrast, dopamine deficiency leads to a lack of motivation and enthusiasm.
Production How to increase dopamine and serotonin
Dopamine is synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine, while serotonin is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan. Hydroxylation and decarboxylation are two processes for synthesizing the neurotransmitter serotonin.
|It is responsible for our motivation, euphoria or excitement||Plays a calming role, such as suppressing pain and managing depression|
|Exciting neurotransmitter||Inhibitory neurotransmitter|
|Effective in sections of the hypothalamus, substantia nigra, and midbrain||Effective in the nucleus of the snuff and the section of the central section of the brain.|
|Synthesized from amino acid tyrosine||Synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan|
|Its deficiency is related to Parkinson’s disease||Its deficiency is related to anxiety and depression disorders|
|Low levels cause memory loss, low sexual libido, poor digestion, poor understanding.||Low levels cause high sensitivity to pain, irritability or insomnia|
Dopamine vs Serotonin
Dopamine and serotonin are two of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain
- Dopamine is responsible for our happiness, excitement, motivation, etc.
- It is an exciting neurotransmitter
- It is synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine
- Serotonin is, on the other hand, an inhibitory neurotransmitter
- It is responsible for our moods, pain suppression, sleep cycle, social behaviors, etc.
- It is synthesized from tryptophan
- It is related to anxiety disorders and depression.
- The imbalance in the levels of dopamine and serotonin are related to the disease of schizophrenia.
- Some functions may overlap
- Low levels of dopamine and serotonin can be treated with medications
Important: Depression can be caused by numerous factors other than the imbalance of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a popular neurotransmitter that is discussed when discussing depression, although dopamine is also believed to have some effects.