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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to Tell the Difference between Low Testosterone and Low Dopamine (Low Testosterone VS Low Dopamine)

Both low testosterone and low dopamine will diminish our quality of life, but differentiating between the two can be an ugly dilemma. Because they both have similar interactions in the brain and even with each other - the only surefire way is to check hormone and neurotransmitter blood levels...

However, there are some major physical and psychological differences between each issue. Some that can't be explained otherwise. In order to evaluate these manifestations - we must first be sure that no substance or mindset is obstructing our mental clarity. A lot of times we trick ourselves into thinking we have an issue when really, we don't - we just need to be active more. 


Anyway, let me enlighten you all on the psychological differences First... I have a feeling most would be inclined to see these ahead of the other stuff anyhow. 
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          ◊◊Ω::..::.LOW DOPAMINE VS LOW TESTOSTERONE .::..::Ω◊◊
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  • Low dopamine diminishes sense of curiosity and creativity most of all. Our sense of smell will be diminished, our taste buds will nearly cease to exist. For example, an explorer who likes to travel and go through tunnels whilst enjoying the scent and creatures within has elevated dopamine or at least the dopamine is being released consistently. The arousing smells associated with our favorite foods and activities - the core 'remembrance' of these things and such is dopamine-related. Low testosterone may alter our proclivity to activities and lower our confidence - shuttling us into a world of despair - but the effects of low dopamine are much more broad-scale and low T levels do not specifically alter our taste buds or sense of smell. (at least not to the extent of low dopamine)
  • Low dopamine typically feels like a general lack of pleasure from activities, generally low dopamine is also associated with low appetite , whereas low testosterone may present with the opposite (low willpower inability to control cravings).
  • With low dopamine; we may not even be able to watch TV because everything will seem 'bland' and 'boring'...low testosterone may not affect this or it may simply alter the response to visual stimuli (such as being over-reactive, emotionally labile or having inappropriate reactions)
  • Low dopamine produces noticeable short-term memory issues , and although low testosterone may have adverse effects on memory - these are generally related to acquisition and application. 
  • Low dopamine diminishes the ability to connect with others; to feel emotions and to empathize , low testosterone may feel similar - but low dopamine is indiscriminative - meanings it is not solely based on lack of confidence or other reasons 'not to' connect with others - but an innate, inner sense of detachment. 
  • Low dopamine results in high prolactin symptoms; as such , low dopamine, even with high testosterone may still result in low sex drive.
  • Low dopamine may raise the inclination to stimulants and stimulant abuse, and although low testosterone may also lead to this - people with low dopamine levels are much more likely to get almost irreversibly dependent on a multitude of substances.
  • Low dopamine results in a noticeable social anxiety but mostly in terms of inability to communicate and connect, however, a multitude of studies have noted that low dopamine creates an anxiogenic atmosphere. 
  • Low dopamine decreases attention to detail and our surroundings; so low dopamine often feels as if there is no 'color' to anything..we may feel as though we are living 'just to live'..remember the times as a kid when we feel exhilarated by just minor attractions (such as carnival, or candy) and when playing a video game we are in complete immersement - complete euphoria? Every single thing we see is bright - we derive total excitement from everything and we simply want what we want? With low dopamine this is all going to cease to exist...there is no emotion, no invigoration, no reasons for anything - everything is meaningless. 
  • Low testosterone we may still find pleasure in things - our emotions are generally still there  - but our endeavors are shifted towards video games or childish things..we never really grow up but we still (generally) 'enjoy' things; just at a different pace and in a different emotional perspective.

 THE LARGER POINT - THE CORE CORE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LOW TESTOSTERONE AND LOW DOPAMINE 

  • When our testosterone is low our activities are a bit unrealistic - so if our dopamine is high and testosterone is low - logic may go out the window or we may develop unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others. 
  • When we have low testosterone and high dopamine - our activities are 'for' pleasure in regards to either child-like things or material things - we may go out but due to confidence issues and such - our crowd will likely be very childish..with low testosterone and high dopamine - we will be afraid to 'broaden our horizons'...we will not truly 'develop' and we will see things very Narrow....our minds remain with what we know and technically enjoy - but they never really become 'mature' interests.
  • Low testosterone thus is distinguishable regarding those 'central outlooks'.
  • With HIGH testosterone and LOW dopamine, we will feel masculinized but yet depressed. We will find that our motivation is there but it is applied to things which require no real emotional connections..we may apply things only physically and will lose our sense of humor. Low testosterone and low dopamine will both inevitably lead to a loss of personality and humor; and in this regard low dopamine is worse than low testosterone....
  • With high testosterone and low dopamine - we may become callous, impersonal, socially aversive, and may have an inclination to both stimulant addiction and 'thrill seeking' - this is NOT because testosterone is high but because of the low dopamine. High testosterone simply alters the balance so it is not as 'crushing' to have the low dopamine but nevertheless - having high testosterone but low dopamine still puts us at a disadvantage in many ways..though, it is certainly better than having low of BOTH.
  • With high testosterone but low dopamine, we may become almost 'too serious' - we may feel adrenaline fueled but we may also feel very disconnected in general - our sense of personality, wit, and humor will still be diminished. If we DO still have that sense of humor or wit - then it is being done merely to keep up appearances that there is nothing wrong...for this reason; it is speculated that there are many violent criminals who show high testo but low dopamine...
  • High testosterone low dopamine is still going to produce the same emotional and cognitive deficits but with high testo and low dopamine - we will have issues with intellectual processing...that means that very likely - our ability to analyze will be impaired and our attention to detail and our creativity will still be impaired...whereas high dopamine and low testosterone we will retain our creativity while losing assertiveness and ability to apply. This may however, not apply to 'learned' adaptations and thus for those 'set in their ways' high dopamine may be sufficient to continue to air their stubbornness.. although on average - high dopamine creates an inclination to open-mindedness and curiosity..high testosterone does not seem to create this atmosphere alone.




   PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LOW DOPAMINE AND LOW TESTOSTERONE

These are major distinguishable differences. Pay attention.

  • Low testosterone will decrease fullness and thickness  in the scrotum and will lead to either shrunk testicles or enlarged . Low dopamine does not specifically engage this change. Though often they go hand in hand.
  • Low testosterone decreases perception of confidence , and results in excessive self-criticism. Low dopamine is more of an "I don't even care how I look, whatever" feeling. Low testosterone is a noticeable self-deficit and results in extreme anxiety.
  • Low testosterone decreases muscle mass and strength , low dopamine itself may not do this - but again, they can go hand in hand. If you have high testosterone and low dopamine - your strength and mass will remain - but your waning desire to progress along with lack of muscle contractions may cause deficits.
  • Low testosterone will result in skin changes, increased acne or a sudden diminishment in acne or skin manifestations - oil production may vanish and a desire for water will increase. 
  • Low testosterone will create a 'bloated' look - and low dopamine may not specifically do this.
  • Low testosterone will diminish blood pressure control and blood pressure may rise too quickly in response to minor stress or suffer a proclivity to dropping too quickly..thus, low testosterone results in either hypotension or hypertension - and low dopamine may not specifically do this.
  • Low testosterone will diminish libido/sex drive even if dopamine is high.
  • Low testosterone will result in the abolition of erectile function even in the presence of dopamine agonists or PDE-5 inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis etc) (though other things may explain this, such as opiate use or serotonin drugs)

BLOOD WORK DIFFERENCES AND NEUROTRANSMITTER ASSESSMENT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LOW TESTOSTERONE AND LOW DOPAMINE


  • Low testosterone results in low noradrenaline and adrenaline as well as serotonin and dopamine - however, low dopamine of another etiology or high testosterone with low dopamine will not include low noradrenaline but rather high high adrenaline...dopamine helps to reduce excess noradrenaline depending on the rate of it's conversion (Dopamine-ßeta-hydroxylase determines this) - thus - high testosterone and low dopamine results in elevated noradrenaline or adrenaline; preferably..but this is not the same and depends highly on the reasons for low dopamine etc
  • Low dopamine will usually translate to low HVA (Homo Vanillic Acid) and MHPG (3-Methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol), these are catecholamine (dopamine,noradrenaline and similar hormones/neurotransmitters) metabolites, meaning, in breakdown products in urine and blood, these metabolites relate to the active and serum (blood) level of Dopamine.
    • Low Testosterone might lead to low levels of GABA; the Brain's primary inhibitory neurotransmitter, thus, low levels of Testosterone may worsen both Anxiety and Seizure disorders (Epilepsy).
    • Low Testosterone may also lead to low levels of Serotonin, and may lead to inadequate oxidation of harmful glutamate metabolites.
    • Low Testosterone seems to increase predisposition to glutamate-toxicity.
  • Low Dopamine, but not Low Testosterone, can lead to low cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels, and so theoretically, low dopamine may lead to lower levels of Aldosterone, and thus rapid loss of sodium from the blood/urine, and thus a low sodium level in blood, but high level of Sodium (Na+) in Urine. On the other end of things, low dopamine may also cause the opposite in rarer cases, high levels of Aldosterone due to decreased activation of D2-receptors by natural dopamine, and thus sodium retention; bloating, high blood pressure etc.




   LOW DOPAMINE VS LOW TESTOSTERONE IN CHEMICAL RESPONSES AND RESPONSES TO SUPPLEMENTS/NOOTROPICS

  • Low dopamine results in poor or negative response to acetylcholine-boosting supplements; because acetylcholine can reduce basal firing of dopamine in some circumstances - low dopamine is exacerbated by cholinergic substances. 
  • Low dopamine will result in DRAMATIC alterations in stimulant  sensitivity..for example, we may become hyper-responsive to adrenergics such as phenylephrine (found in over the counter cough syrups) and to asthma drugs such as albuterol. Or - we may become hypo-reactive . Furthermore, low dopamine but not low testosterone will result in very dramatic positive responses from adderall, amphetamines and ESPECIALLY dopamine reuptake inhibitors such as amineptine or bupropion...as well as herbs such as common quince (Mu Gua extract) and Catuaba. 
  • Low testosterone may not specifically alter sensitivity to stimulants in terms of subjective, self-placed assessments - but low testosterone may increase fear responses and jumpiness in response to stimulants. With low testosterone we are likely to crash easier on stimulants and the energy will be less profound and the dopamine will plummet on our crash quicker...lower dopamine may almost guarantee substances reinstatement/re-use.


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