If you notice some irregular patterns in your behavior or mood, such as low motivation, low energy, apathy, depression or irritability — Some probable issues can be narrowed to disturbances in the body and its functions. In the context of cognitive functioning, nutritional deficiencies or an excess can cause an imbalance in the body which generally affects brain chemistry. Refer to this list as a starting guide to make sense of what those issues can be. Make sure to consult a health professional for further guidance.
Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiencies
- Loss of motor activity and control
- Confusion and memory problems
- Addictive behaviors
- Lack of sex drive
- Unnecessary cravings
- Irregular compulsions
- Poor focus and attention, difficulties in concentration
- Manifestations of anxiety, paranoia, or hyperactivity
- Tendency to put on weight easily
- Lack of drive and enthusiasm
- Feeling low in mental or physical energy
- Cold hands and feet
- Needing too much effort to perform a task
- The need for excess caffeine, soda drinks, energy drinks, sugar, cocaine or any source that makes you more alert
- Apathetic, flat or easily bored feelings
- Intellectual disabilities
Common Nutritional Deficiencies That May Disturb Brain Chemistry and Levels of Motivation
- B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3 and B6/Riboflavin, Niacin, etc.)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
Other Probable Causes
- Genetic Structures: Qualities that are biochemically-originated and run through families can transfer cognitive inabilities, which may impact the maintenance of normal dopamine levels.
- Poor thyroid function: Disturbances in the glands and involuntary secretions may shift the dopamine levels to lower or higher than normal.
- Hypoglycemia: The diminished blood sugar levels alter dopamine balance.
- Mal-absorption problems: When nutrients are not absorbed properly within the blood, and vital organs are unable to utilize them through food intake, this causes an imbalance in dopamine levels and its functions.
- Excessive amounts of Manganese: High concentrations of the mineral can cause damage to dopamine-producing neurons. Adequate doses must be reviewed prior to ingestion.
- Alcohol: The consumption of alcoholic drinks damages normal functioning.
- Skipped meals: This causes the absence of required nutrients that the brain must utilize.
- Poor diet (Junk Foods) / Foods high in saturated fats: Each gram of fat you take over than your daily limit is stored as glucose in your body, which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other metabolic issues. These health issues diminish the activation of areas in the brain that affect its motivation and reward system.
- Sugar and Simple (Refined) Carbohydrates: Empty-calorie foods do not provide enough micronutrients for the brain to utilize.
- Testosterone Deficiency: Low levels of testosterone can inhibit dopamine production and can contribute to the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.
- The use of Steroid Drugs and Oral Contraceptives: Any drugs that alter hormonal levels will affect general cognitive function.
- Smoking: It is in all ways a threat to overall health, especially in the brain and lungs, then to the skin, as the addiction causes major disruptions to chemical levels.
- Sensitivity to wheat gluten or allergies in general
- Lack of exercise, a sedentary lifestyle, habits of inactive living with excess eating, binge eating or involvement in eating disorders
- Excess caffeine intake per day
- Poor sleeping habits
- Drug abuse
How To Bring Your Body and Brain Chemistry Back To Balance
Consider an appropriate diet (based on your nutritional typing), and natural / herbal supplementation, on top of a balanced and stress-free lifestyle. Consult with your nutritionist, doctor, herbalist and fitness trainer for suggestions and a detailed plan.
Best wishes to your health and happiness!