Endorphins are Hormones Your body releases it when it feels pain or stress. They are produced in your brain and serve as messages in your body, according to the Cleveland Clinic, so how do they work? How do we raise its levels?
Where are endorphins produced?
Endorphins are produced in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, both in the brain.
Endorphins are a type of neurotransmitter or messenger in your body, and they bind to the reward centers in your brain and carry signals through your nervous system.
The name endorphins consists of two words: “endogenous,” which means inside the body, and “morphine,” which means pain reliever. This means that endorphins are a natural painkiller. They are “feel good” chemicals, because they can make you feel better and put you in a positive frame of mind.
Types of endorphins
There are more than 20 types of endorphins in your body. Beta endorphins are involved in stress relief and pain management.
As for beta-endorphin, it has a stronger effect on your body than morphine.
Function of endorphins
Endorphins are released when your body feels pain or stress. Your body secretes it to help you survive.
When you feel pain, nerves in your body send signals to your brain, which secretes endorphins to inhibit the nerve cells that receive pain signals.
This essentially stops the pain, and helps you continue functioning, even in painful or stressful situations.
Since you naturally seek to avoid pain, you are more likely to do something if it makes you feel good.
Benefits of endorphins
Endorphins have many benefits. Studies have shown that it can help in the following ways:
- Reducing symptoms of depression, as it has been proven that endorphins released during exercise help reduce symptoms of depression.
- Helping cope with stress and anxiety while increasing endorphin levels.
- Increased confidence levels, leading to improved self-esteem.
- Contributing to weight loss, as it has been proven that the release of endorphins regulates your appetite.
- Reducing childbirth pain, as studies have shown that higher levels of endorphins helped relieve pain during childbirth.
What releases endorphins in the body?
One of the easiest ways to release endorphins is to exercise. The more you exercise, the more endorphins your body produces.
Many people feel a “runner's high” after a good run. But you don't have to run to feel this high.
Other forms of exercise that will help you release endorphins include:
- Powerful walking.
- walking long distances.
Other ways to release endorphins include:
Symptoms of low endorphin levels
Some people do not produce enough endorphins. Symptoms of a deficiency of these hormones include:
- Body aches and pains.
- Sleep problems.
- Reckless actions.
Diseases that can be caused by low levels of endorphins
- Depression: Endorphins promote the release of dopamine in your body. Dopamine is another neurotransmitter, and its release affects your mood. People who suffer from a lack of endorphins may show signs of depression due to a lack of dopamine.
- Fibromyalgia, a condition that causes chronic pain throughout the body.
- Self-harm: Sometimes people intentionally hurt themselves to deal with stress, and it gives them an endorphin rush.
How to increase endorphin levels naturally?
Your body produces and releases endorphins in several ways. In addition to exercise, you can:
- Take a bite of dark chocolate.
- Listening to music.
- Laughing with friends.
- Volunteer work.
Is serotonin endorphins?
No, endorphins and serotonin are different chemicals. Both make you happy, but they work in different ways. Serotonin helps stabilize your mood and well-being. It helps other systems in your body work as well.
While endorphins relieve pain and relieve stress.
When should I see a doctor?
If you experience the following symptoms of endorphin deficiency, you should contact your doctor, such as: