Have you been feeling anxious or depressed lately? Well, there are several reasons for this, and one of them could be low levels of norepinephrine. Chronic stress, sleep issues, and diet issues could all contribute to these medical conditions.
Many people suffer from low levels of norepinephrine, which can reduce the quality of life, causing anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and stress disorders, and symptoms of depression.
In this article, we’ll explore how to increase norepinephrine levels. We’ll also show you how you can regulate it. Let’s get started!
What Is Norepinephrine? What Does It Do?
The chemical messenger that alerts your body when you’re going through a stressful situation is a hormone called norepinephrine, and it’s stored in your neurons and adrenal tissue. This naturally occurring chemical is also responsible for sending signals between your nerve cells. When you’re going through emotional stress, norepinephrine is released into your blood vessel and triggers adrenaline to react to the conditions eliciting your stress. It activates your fight-or-flight response.
Essentially, norepinephrine is mainly responsible for your body’s reaction to stress. It has a variety of functions, such as increasing arousal, reaction time, and alertness. It can also affect your mood and focal ability. In addition, norepinephrine works with adrenaline to regulate blood flow, increase blood sugar levels, and provide your body with energy.
It can lead to mental health issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), low blood pressure, and depression when it’s at low levels. So, experiencing depressive episodes isn’t always a result of sadness or grief.
Alternatively, norepinephrine can also be in excessive levels in your body. The causes are chronic stress, obesity, tumors, and some other medical conditions. Abnormal norepinephrine levels can cause intense headaches, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, excessive sweating.
How is Norepinephrine Connected to Low Blood Pressure?
Low amounts of norepinephrine can cause low blood pressure. This medical condition is known as hypotension, and it can cause dizziness or fainting spells. It could also cause extreme conditions such as brain or heart damage.
Emergency situations may arise that’ll warrant an intravenous transfer of norepinephrine into the body. For instance, norepinephrine can be administered intravenously when hypotension results in septic or neurogenic shock. Septic shock can cause inflammation throughout your body. Neurogenic shock, on the other hand, can disrupt nerve signals throughout your body. A spinal cord injury sometimes causes the latter condition.
What’s the Link Between Norepinephrine and Depression?
Low levels of norepinephrine may also induce depression  symptoms. A depressive disorder can drastically change your mood, actions and thoughts. One minute you’re happy, and the next, you feel down. Well, one of the significant causes is norepinephrine deficiency.
Your body needs increased levels of serotonin and norepinephrine production, and you can get them through serotonin-norepinephrine reputable inhibitors (SNRIs). You can also get serotonin from foods like dairy products, salmon, nuts, turkey, among many others. Alternatively, your medical practitioner may prescribe tricyclic antidepressants.
However, medications that increase norepinephrine and serotonin levels in the body tend to have some unwanted side effects. Some of them include:
- Weight gain
- Blurry vision
- Mouth dryness
Beyond the side effects, these anti-depressant medications are efficient enough to increase your body’s production of these essential chemicals.
How Does a Norepinephrine Deficiency Affect ADHD?
Did you know that low norepinephrine levels also contribute to attention disorders ? The same applies to dopamine levels. They also affect cognitive function, and when these two chemicals are in scarce supply in the body, you may have difficulty focusing, planning, solving problems, or even understanding the reason for people’s actions.
Some common medications for treating ADHD include the following:
How To Increase Norepinephrine?
The role of serotonin and norepinephrine reflects when your body feels emotional stress. Therefore, some of the natural ways to increase the levels of these chemicals will be to introduce your body to stress.
Here are eleven different ways to elicit natural norepinephrine increases:
Regular physical exercise is one of the natural ways to keep your body fit. It improves the human brain function, health and also solves a series of medical conditions. For instance, according to research conducted at Duke University, exercising regularly proved as effective in alleviating depression as other medications did.
The study results further stipulate drastic reductions in depressive symptoms when the research patients ceased taking prescription medications for depression without stopping their regular exercise routine.
Any aerobic exercise can also increase your adrenaline rush, and that’s a suitable treatment plan for depressive disorders.
The clinical explanation is that exercising increases galanin production in the brain. Galanin is a peptide neurotransmitter that controls your body’s production of norepinephrine. So, of course, the more regulated the chemical levels are in your body, the better your mental health.
- Amino Acid Supplements
Folic acid, vitamins B6, B3, C, iron, and copper are essential in regulating norepinephrine production in the human body. When you feel detached, unable to focus, or depressed, you can consume large amounts of these nutrients. They’ll boost your norepinephrine levels significantly.
Dietary supplements like L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine are also excellent for efficient norepinephrine production. If you experience anxiety depression, you may combine antidepressants with supplements, but it’s best to rely on a medical practitioner to prescribe these medications for you. However, if you have bipolar disorder, be sure to mention that when getting your prescription.
- Dietary choices
Poor nutrition  sometimes contributes to low norepinephrine levels in the body. Amino acid tyrosine is essential for the production of norepinephrine. Therefore, when you consume foods with a high tyrosine content, you reduce your chances of having insufficient levels of norepinephrine. Some of these diets include:
- Lean beef
- Low-fat dairy products
- Wild game
- Coldwater fish
- Pumpkin seeds
- Lima beans
- Sesame seeds
Coffee has highly addictive effects because of the presence of caffeine in it. In addition, it can lead to an elevated norepinephrine level, and sometimes, that also contributes to its addictive nature.
Like we mentioned earlier, bursts of norepinephrine can trigger adrenaline in your body. At times, it can be exhilarating, which explains why so many adrenaline junkies rely on coffee.
While coffee may cause addiction, it’s also an excellent treatment plan that can elicit a balance of neurotransmitter levels. So, you can drink a cup of coffee daily if you’re suffering from depressive and anxiety disorders. It’s also been clinically proven to manage multiple sclerosis excellently.
- Nicotine Gum and Patches
If you have low levels of norepinephrine, you can benefit from nicotine patches and gum’s effects on cigarette smokers. Research on the impact of these treatments on mild cognitive impairment and ADHD has been conducted, and they yielded positive results.
Fasting involves putting the body under stress. You essentially deprive your body of food, sleep, or bodily necessities. Fasting is usually short-term, and the effect is an increase in the stress levels of the body. When you expose your body to stress, it can trigger norepinephrine production.
- Cold Exposure
Extreme cold exposure can also trigger the neurotransmitters in your body. Your body is under a significant amount of stress to regulate your temperature when you expose yourself to cold, which can have the desired effect of increasing norepinephrine levels.
However, it’s best to employ this treatment plan cautiously. You don’t want to expose yourself to too much cold and subsequently trigger another medical condition.
Herbs are also effective in increasing the amounts of norepinephrine in our bodies. Some of them include:
- Green tea extracts
- Gingko Biloba
- Mucuna pruriens
These herbs are also great for your immune system.
- Sleep More
Dopamine neurotransmitters are produced when you sleep. Conversely, sleep deprivation results in low production of norepinephrine and dopamine. Hence, to regulate the activity of norepinephrine and dopamine in your body, it’s best to get enough sleep. It’s also an excellent solution to some other health conditions.
- Consuming Foods Rich in Dopamine
Foods like chocolates, eggs, nuts, and omega-3 rich foods are excellent sources of dopamine. High consumption of them can provide your body with the required dopamine and norepinephrine content.
According to peer-reviewed sources , listening to uplifting music can also cause your norepinephrine and serotonin levels to increase significantly, thereby alleviating depression and mood disorders.
Norepinephrine is an essential body chemical. When it’s too low, it can cause health problems like panic disorders, anxiety disorders, drastic reduction in blood pressure levels, and a host of depressive symptoms. It shouldn’t be too high either.
In this article, we’ve explored several uses of norepinephrine. We’ve also provided 11 tips on how to increase your norepinephrine and dopamine levels naturally.
If you’ve been feeling any of the symptoms of low norepinephrine levels, then you can apply one or two of the tips we’ve listed above.
We’ll be happy to answer any further questions you have.