Dopamine and ADHD: I’ve read in many... - Adult ADHD Support

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Dopamine and ADHD

cjnolet
cjnolet
11 Replies

I’ve read in many places now that ADHD is generally considered a lack of dopamine and that sometimes our impulsive traits can be linked to our need to boost those dopamine levels.

I’m curious to know what you think of this article [1]. I’ve noticed huge differences in my own focus, impulsiveness, irritability, and hunger from my diet over the past year. Specifically, I’ve noticed refined flours, empty carbs, caffeine, and aspartame to be some of the biggest culprits.

I’m postulating that much of the adhd symptoms might be able to be controlled through diet. How do you feel about this?

I don’t think diet alone is the entire story. Sleep, exercise, gratitude, and positive thinking are also major players.

[1] doctoroz.com/article/dopami...

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roseysposeys1

Thank you cjnolet for directing us to a very informative article! I plan to implement the supplements indicated and am excited to see if it can help me with ADHD symptoms. Appreciate it!,

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cjnolet

One thing that bugs me a bit about this whole damn thing is that I’m finding tyrosine is a trigger of my migraines!

I didn’t realize tyrosine is tthe building block of dopamine. I know there’s evidence suggesting that my body doesn’t properly neutralize tyramine when ingested from other plants/animals.

The shitty thing is that if I need more tyrosine in order to produce proper amounts of dopamine but more tyrosine is going to increase migraines.... that’s a hell of a catch-22.

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Batgrrly
Batgrrly
in reply to cjnolet

Everything I have been put on creates migraine that’s why I have been depressed

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dubst3pM4UL
dubst3pM4UL
in reply to cjnolet

very interesting CJ, thanks for sharing

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roseysposeys1

That is a dilemma Cjnolet...I'm sorry to hear that. I can relate in getting side effects from supplements..Vit D makes me ill and I'm deficient in it. I have to rely on sunshine or foods to bring up my levels. Maybe foods high in tyrosine?

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Watermelon5

Interesting article. Thank you for sharing. I've also read that you can alter what the brain "wants" by what you choose to give it when your brain needs dopamine. For example, if you always eat something healthy (an apple to give an easy example) when you have certain food cravings, over time you will start craving an apple instead of the type of food you had previously been craving.

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quitter333

1. I have quite "running" mind, but I never really noticed it - I think on 10 topics in a row? cool, let's try to push for 15 and also work during it. If I felt a little random or too quick for some people, I never really experienced much problems with focus - I would simply do the tasks faster - i.e. quick enough that my mind wouldn't drift off. I love challenges, so that may be a factor.

So I was happy, yet scatter minded. idk.. call it ADHD accompanied with good memory.

So I would say form personal experiences dopamine does not really reduce your sympthoms, as you simply stop worrying about them and rather focus on tasks.

And now, I quite recently went over a serious mental barrier and successfully pushed away serious depression - I'd say I definitely lacked dopamine or serotonin for the last few months (I also quit smoking, so my dop. levels were in the gutter). I did not experience ADHD to a greater level, but I NOTICED it a lot. any random thought which would before take me to a pleasant controlled daydream or even fantasy, now felt like a little dive into insanity. You start contemplating whether multitasking will eventually drive you mad etc. Those are stupid thoughts, which, repeated, lead to chronic mental issues.

2. I have a friend who is idk, for lack of better description "a weasel on coke" - he is quick, works as waiter, he is always doing several things at once. There are traits of intelligence, but I thin he has extreme concentration problems. Point is - he is also rather happy person. I really doubt he lacks dopamine.

so my experience with third persons is that adhd does cause lack of dopamine and vice versa, but lack of dopamine definitely causes you to notice any disturbances in your thinking - you probably are too concerned with keeping calm or not feeling bad, to actually process random and scattered thought in a calm, acceptive manner that was used to you before.

..

Speaking of hormones that bring positive mood - I find that endorphines have quite a positive influence - you get them from workouts of manual labor predominantly. Point is - during weightlifting I have to concentrate, otherwise I may simply die, especially when I am overreaching my limits. So firstly you get this intense period of concentration (similar to studies, but the fact it is accomplished with physically streanous state is what registers emotionally much stronger) after you end a workout, you get major dose of endorphins, and feel simply amazing. Head gets clear of any thought and you can just wander around and enjoy everything (It's like being high on weed, but you are completely focused). You enjoy weather no matter what it is and every little interaction.

Interestingly gym also will boost your testosterone a little and you can experience more "warrior" mood during the next day, which again makes you much more focused than usual.

By portioning your exercises and perhaps approaching it with proper diet and simply enjoying the feeling of pushing your body and willpower, I think you can push some good hormones from your body and have a major relief from adhd, depression and other states that rob you of concentration and motivation.

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Batgrrly

It makes some sense. Dopamine can be artificially done? I have heard that it can. Natural ways are exercise

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Daen

Personally I'm more cautious; I've looked at the author of the post and done a literature search - this is not because I'm any kind of healthcare professional (unless a 15 year old expired first aid at work certificate counts). On the other hand I have had to become inconveniently informed about a number of areas that more than a few professionals involved in managing my ADHD have really wished I didn't know about. One in fact refused to see me and foisted me onto his registrar.

The reasons I am reserving judgement are as follows:-

(1)The article was written by someone who has a commercial interest in people following this course of action - therefore it is in their interests to be selective about what they tell you to support their claims.

(2)The charity Sense About Science has a site called askforevidence.org - this will help people to decide if something is more likely to work and what questions to ask about a claim made.

(3) A search of PubMed (free) and a review of the studies, reports and meta-analyses of studies about diet/dietary supplements, ADHD symptoms does not produce a clear answer one way or another on the issue. My personal opinion is that diet along with other environmental factors such as family/social relationships, education, opportunities etc do have a significant influence - read The Social Determinants of Health for more info.

(4) When things are difficult it's easier to hang on to something new or different as a way of improving things. This can lead to what's called the placebo effect - and placebo is a very powerful force. In many medication trials people who are not getting the new medicine actually show a significant improvement or report they feel what they took has made a difference.

(5) In regards to diet/nutrition please remember that if you are taking medication for other conditions - even over the counter or herbal remedies - these can interfere and cause serious health issues. Natural or herbal does not equal harmless. Anything you put into your body alters it, whether it's food, air or medication.

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CB500Honda

I have adopted a keto diet recently. I know there are many opinions on the diet, but for me cutting out refined sugars, reducing dairy, no wheat based foods and refined fats has made an incredible difference mentally. Lean protein, lots of green vegetables some healthy fats have made amazing changes in my mental state. Clear headed, focused, no fog brain and scattered thoughts. Personally the north American diet of convenience has made ADHD an epidemic condition. The fuel our brains need is protein and the micronutrients/fibre and simple carbs from vegetables and low glycemic fruit. Time of day eating is key. I feel that ADHD is directly connected to inflammation in the body. It's an amazing science, so I am going to treat one of the causes of my ADHD brain and not the symptoms. Tired of racing brain, worn down body and soul. Tried vyvanse, but I would rather make long term healthy changes for my mind and my body then have a drug mask what I felt, for me, are causal connections to ADHD. I do not judge those who take the medications, but food is a huge component of managing ADHD. I am a 53 yr old female who has lived with a chronic weight problem since I was a BABY. Fed the wrong food for my brain/body as a child set me up for it. Now I change things for a brighter tomorrow. My fat body, my busy brain and troubled soul is going to take back the power.

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Khayaws
Khayaws
in reply to CB500Honda

I am also on the keto diet and can vouch for its ability to be a major tool with mental health regulation

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