Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical in the body that controls movement, emotional responses, pleasure, pain and motivation. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps to ensure that the brain works properly with your body. Therefore, creating a balance of dopamine is essential to your mental and physical health. If your doctor has determined that you have a dopamine deficiency, there are steps you can take to increase the levels of dopamine in your body.
Take medication. Prescription medications for dopamine deficiency, NDRIs (norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors), are antidepressant drugs that are specifically designed to increase the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the body by preventing their absorption into cells. Bupropion is the only NDRI approved by the Federal Drug Administration, according to MayoClinic.com. Bupropion is sold under the brand names Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL. Your doctor will decide which dosage is best for you. Like many other medications, NDRIs do have associated side effects.
Exercise daily. Engage in some form of physical activity every day for 20 to 30 minutes. Exercise is vital to supporting your overall health; however, exercise also increases activity in the brain, which regulates your brain chemicals, according to Brookhaven National Laboratory. Find an activity that you like, such as taking a class at a gym, walking, or jogging around your neighborhood or in a park.
Eat healthfully. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains should be incorporated into your normal eating routine to support your overall health. Whenever possible, include foods such as almonds, avocados, lima beans, pumpkin and sesame seeds, as these foods have been shown to increase dopamine levels. Caffeine has only a temporary effect on increasing dopamine. Whenever possible, avoid foods that are high in sugar, saturated fat or cholesterol as well as refined foods. These foods can actually cause dopamine levels to decrease further.
Visit or call friends. Positive interactions with others increase brain activity and the levels of brain chemicals such as dopamine. If you are experiencing changes in moods as a result of your dopamine deficiency, spending time with loved ones can be an immediate mood booster.