I found a list of other causes of low dopamine levels besides stress, including alcohol withdrawal, obesity, nutrition deficiency, Parkinson’s disease (interesting chicken and egg problem here), Restless Legs Syndrome (again, the chickens are pecking at the eggs), creativity (!!), drug use, sleep disorder, hypothyroidism, exposure to lead, arsenic, and cadmium, tyrosine deficiency, genetic issues with dopamine receptors, influenza, estrogen, and deficiency in human growth hormone (see Vilimovsky in library, soon). It’s quite a list!
It may be worth looking at creativity as a cause of low dopamine levels. I think there’s such an intertwining of cause and effect that it’s impossible to say that high creativity is a cause of low dopamine levels. The way it is described by Vilimovsky is that highly creative people may produce high levels of dopamine, but they are lacking D2 receptors in the thalamus. It is this lack of receptors that creates the highly creative brain and allows highly creative people to see connections that other “normal” people don’t necessarily see. It seems to me that high creativity would then be a symptom of low dopamine utilization rather than a cause. It’s all pretty tangled up…
I have to question the same for several of the other causes on this list. Low dopamine levels would certainly be a cause of obesity, given the symptoms that would relate to lower activity. Obesity would also be connected to nutrition difficulties. Since obesity is listed as a cause and sudden weight gain is listed as a symptom, it’s safe to say this is not a clear-cut issue.
This level of confusion removes all doubt from my mind. While dopamine levels are important in maintaining the vicious cycle of chronic pain/fibromyalgia, it may not be the triggering cause. Since hypothyroidism is also listed as a cause of low dopamine levels, there are far more questions than answers.