Happy DOSE Dopamine
Happy DOSE was written on the whiteboard and the presenter, Leah Palls, she went on to explain what she meant. Happy Dose is a term she wanted us to remember to help us stay healthy. DOSE means Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins. Over the next few posts, I will try to impart the wisdom Leah gave us in a very interesting two-hour presentation that I was fortunate enough to go to at the Tri-Cities Senior Planning Valentine Event. The chemicals work hard to help us stay healthy. Her position is that our body moves naturally toward healing and we need a healthy DOSE of these chemicals every day to keep us healthy and positive.
When we do something, we like we create a chemical messenger called Dopamine, which is a type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it and releases it when we eat food that we crave or while we have sex, contributing to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction as part of the reward system.
Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It's a big part of our uniquely human ability to think and plan. It helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.
Your body spreads it along four major pathways in the brain. Too much or too little of it can lead to a vast range of health issues. Some are serious, like Parkinson’s disease. Others are much less dire. It affects many parts of your behaviour and physical functions, such as Learning, Motivation, Heart rate, Blood vessel function, Kidney function, Lactation, Sleep, Mood, Attention,
Control of nausea and vomiting, Pain processing, and Movement.
The presenter went on that if we want to increase the amount of Dopamine there are a few things we can do, the first is to Move and to exercise. She talked about the Grind that she goes on every day to improve mood and may boost her dopamine levels. She also told us that studies on music and the creation of Dopamine have shown an increase in Dopamine due to melodic music. Finally, she said that a lack of sleep can reduce dopamine sensitivity in the brain, resulting in excessive feelings of sleepiness. Getting a good night’s rest may help regulate your body’s natural dopamine rhythms.
This chemical usually plays a secondary role in the body, but in certain medical situations, it’s literally a lifesaver. Doctors use prescription dopamine (Inotropin) to treat:
Low blood pressure
Poor cardiac output (when the heart doesn’t pump out enough blood)
Poor blood flow to vital organs
Some cases of septic shock
There are possible complications with any drug, even if taken under close supervision. So, because many drugs interact with it, it’s important that your doctor knows all the medications you take if you are considering using prescription dopamine, we recommend that you find ways to increase the body's natural creation of the drug before you turn to medication.
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