DRD2 Gene, Stress, and Busting Myths on Fatigue

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

There are two myths about fatigue that are popular and are generally accepted as truth by the majority of the world.

I’d like to bust both of them today.

Myth #1 is that it’s normal to feel tired a lot of the time.

Myth #2 is that fatigue occurs due to a lack of sleep or bad quality sleep, and if you fix that, you fix everything.

Society has somehow convinced itself that it’s completely normal to come back from work and be absolutely drained.

Too tired to work on your side hobby. Too tired to read. Too tired to exercise. Too tired to do anything other than sit on your couch and watch Netflix.

While that is justifiable on some days (I’ve had a couple of them myself), that shouldn’t be what normal is.

As the CEO of SelfDecode, there are a lot of times when I’m working 12+ hours a day.

Because the company is fully remote, there are also times when I stay up late or wake up early for meetings, so my sleep schedule isn’t consistent.

However, even with the long work hours and the stress that comes with being a CEO, I still have energy to go to the gym, play volleyball, socialize with friends and family, and essentially live a fulfilling life outside of running the company.

It wasn’t always like this though.

Even when I initially started working on building SelfDecode – a few years into my biohacking journey – I still hadn’t completely optimized my regimen so a lot of my days ended with me feeling too tired to do anything else.

It actually wasn’t until SelfDecode was completely built out that I was able to utilize the strength of our software to dive deeper into my genetics and discover the perfect diet, lifestyle, and supplement changes that would give me the energy I always sought after.

DRD2, Stress, and Fatigue

The Fatigue Summary DNA Report shows that Low Mood plays a role in your fatigue and energy levels.

Specifically, the DRD2 gene encodes a receptor for dopamine, a neurotransmitter that signals pleasure and reward in the brain.

This gene also plays a critical role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. So while this gene is important for your mood and stress response, it also plays a critical component in your energy levels.

This is a great indicator that, even if you’re having decent quality sleep, low mood or high stress can impact your fatigue.

Luckily, if you have the negative variant of this gene, rhodiola extracts can reduce fatigue and cognitive impairment caused by stress and burnout.

IL1B and Inflammation

The IL1B gene plays a crucial role in the body’s inflammatory response by encoding a pro-inflammatory cytokine called interleukin-1 beta.

While inflammation is a necessary process to fight off infections and heal injuries, the negative variant of this gene can contribute to chronic inflammation, caused by an overactive immune response.

This can lead to feelings of fatigue. But, a simple change to your diet can counteract the negative effects of this gene.

Sleep & Fatigue

While sleep is not the only thing that affects your energy levels, it’s still an important part that you can’t overlook.

The MAOB gene affects your wakefulness and sleepiness by breaking down dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

Dopamine and norepinephrine make us feel alert, while serotonin is responsible for feeling calm and relaxed.

When working properly, this gene helps balance out these neurotransmitters, giving you an optimal balance of wakefulness and sleepiness.

But, the negative variants break down some of these neurotransmitters more quickly, reducing your ability to get good quality sleep.

How to Increase Your Energy Levels

These are 3 genes that debunk the myths I mentioned and can help guide you to higher energy levels.

Luckily, there are thousands of more genes that will continue busting these myths and empower you to discover your new normal – feeling energized and ready to tackle the day!

In fact, our Fatigue Summary Report analyzes thousands of genetic variants to give you your predisposition for brain fog, chronic fatigue, low mood, insomnia, and so much more.

If you sign up to SelfDecode today, you’ll receive the Fatigue Summary Report, plus:

  • 17+ Summary Reports – Similar to the Fatigue Summary Report, these look at all of our health reports that fit under one health topic, combine it into one easy to read report, and give you life-changing insights and recommendations.
  • 300+ Health & Trait Reports
  • Unlimited access to Lab analyzer tool – upload your labs and track your results
  • Access to Personalized Genetics Blog – over 600 blogs that change based on your DNA
  • Personalized supplement formula – instantly created based on your unique genes
  • SNP & Gene Explorer
  • Lifestyle Analyzer
  • NEW! Ancestry – discover where you’re from and track your maternal lineage (Only available on Health & Ancestry Plan)


About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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