Bipolar Disorder: Various Treatments
Disorder: Nutritional approach
Treating bipolar disorder with prescription medications may be a necessary first step to get the symptoms of this disease under control. However, the drugs used for this health
are indeed strong. For that
reason, many people search for gentler, more natural approaches to tempering
the episodes to provide some type of relief.
good place to start, surprisingly enough, is with nutritional
approaches to bipolar disorder are definitely gaining in popularity for two
very good reasons. The first is
that the side effects to prescriptions drugs are often harsh.
And the second reason for popularity of nutritional approaches is
simple: it works.
perhaps the most remarkable of discoveries, made just a few years ago,
involves the role of essential fatty acids in alleviating symptoms.
Several studies have affirmed the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty
study followed 30 people with bipolar disorder who were given Omega-3 fatty
acids for a period of four months. In
that time they experienced fewer mood swings and had fewer recurrences of
either depressive or manic episodes than the group given the placebo.
nutrients which medical science is just now recognizing include folic acid
and other B vitamins, especially vitamin B12.
The body uses both B12 and folic acid in the manufacture of serotonin
and other neurotransmitters. It's
already established that a deficiency of either of these can prompt
depression in an individual. But,
now studies say that a deficiency of folic acid may also be related to the
manic episodes of bipolar as well.
studies suggest that those with high levels of folic acid in their systems
respond better to lithium treatment. In fact, a double-blind study showed
that those who were given an additional 200 mcg of folic acid resulted in a
clinical improvement in their condition.
The group not given folic acid showed no improvement.
C, already known for its beneficial effects on the immune system, may also
help with manic and depressive episodes. A double-blind study discovered
that following the administration of three grams of this nutrient, those
experiencing either a depressive or a manic episode were greatly improved.
a similar vein, many are now beginning to find their bipolar symptoms lessen
when they avoid certain foods. Even
individuals who previously didn't think they possessed food sensitivities
discover that when they avoid certain foods.
Gluten is probably the most common food people cite being sensitive
to. This protein is found in
grains like wheat, rye, oats and barley.
Others report when they steer clear of chocolate, their symptoms are
not nearly as bad. Casein – a
protein found in dairy products – triggers symptoms in yet other
you eliminate all of these and still find your bipolar symptoms have not
improved, then evaluate what you eat and drink.
If you are consuming anything with aspartame, try eliminating this
artificial sweetener from your diet. It
appears to intensify the mood swings of bipolar disorder.
if you suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, which can reduce the
glucose supply to the brain, you may very well find that your symptoms may
increase in severity. This can
contribute to the manic and depressive episodes.
Disorder: Maintaining a Healthy
bipolar disorder is not a health condition that you can self-treat, there
are some simple measures you can take to help minimize your episodes and
effectively manage your disorder on a long-term basis.
stress levels is a vital management technique.
This can be done with ease by creating a sensible routine for
yourself and augmenting this with some healthy habits, including exercise, a
healthy diet, and regular sleep habits.
to several studies presented within the last several years, those
individuals who experienced disruptions in their normal daily activities –
especially in their sleeping and eating habits – found themselves more
susceptible to developing new episodes of mania and depression. They were also more vulnerable to experiencing more relapses
in their symptoms. Experts agree: those
who maintain a predictable routine handled their bipolar symptoms much
individual with this disorder should develop skills to cope with stress.
While the majority of us think of stress as being exposure to bad
situations, there is such a thing as "good" stress.
Events that give you joy can be just as difficult to manage as
traumatic, unpleasant events. Exposure
to stress can intensify both manic and depressive episodes.
shows, in fact, that in 60 percent of the cases, the first time a major
depressive or manic episode occurs it was immediately preceded by a
significant stressor. Moreover, the more mood swings a person experiences,
the more vulnerable he is to developing future relapses. Not only that, but relapses may diminish the effectiveness of
you are an individual and react differently to circumstances, you'll
discover that there are certain activities that may be chronic stressors in
your life. Learn to identify
these, pay attention to your ideal life rhythms, and then create a list of
what you consider to be your triggers.
Ideally, it would be great to share this list with your family and
close friends; they can help you in trying to maintain a low-stress
important aspect of a daily routine for anyone with bipolar disorder is the
necessity of keeping some semblance of an adequate sleep routine.
Individuals with bipolar disorder appear to have a central nervous
system that "commits errors."
The body's hypothalamus regulates our internal clocks.
In individuals who suffer with bipolar disorder, this clock is
difficult to regulate. Once the
rhythms are disturbed – and it doesn't take a great deal to disturb the
rhythm of a person with bipolar disorder – it triggers a set of reactions.
Disturbed patterns then affect the individual's schedule for not only
sleeping and waking, but a host of other routines as well.
Disorder: Herbal Treatments
have been used since the beginning of time to treat a variety of health
problems, and today many find it an amazing natural tool in the treatment of
bipolar. There are a several
herbal remedies that may help you manage your health condition.
before you embark on any new regime, you should always consult with your
health care practitioner to inform him of your decisions and ensure that
none of the herbs you're taking will interact adversely with your current
herbs that help in the treatment of neurological disorders are known as
nervines. Some of these have
proved to be of immense help in alleviating the symptoms of bipolar.
Other herbs, though they may help alleviate some of the signs of this
condition, could be, in the long run, hazardous.
The key to understanding which herbs you should – and shouldn't use
– is education. Before using
any herb for bipolar disorder, you need to understand everything about the
possible side effects. In fact
before you enact any of the following recommendations, visit your
professional herbalist. She can
provide you even more detailed information on these natural alternatives.
black cohosh herb, also known as Cimicifuga Racemosa or squaw root,
depresses the central nervous system. Those
with bipolar disorder as well as various auto-immune conditions often use
this as a sedative. It also
possesses anti-inflammatory qualities.
Researchers believe the active ingredients in black cohosh may bind
to the estrogen receptor sites, which may stimulate hormonal activity.
common herb for bipolar disorder is gingko balboa. The extract of the gingko tree and a supplement more
routinely linked with an enhanced memory, this plant may prove useful for
bipolar. This is especially
true if your medications have diminished your sex drive.
Gingko works, it appears, by increasing the flow of blood to all
parts of the body – including the genitals.
This accounts for its effectiveness increasing sexual desire and
individuals who suffer with this chemical imbalance turn to damiana, also
called turnera aphrodisiaca to help relieve their depressive episodes.
Damiana has also been used as an aphrodisiac.
But, be careful when using this potent herb.
Its natural energizing quality may be dangerous for those with
there's one herb, that individuals with bipolar should try to avoid.
It's St. John's Wort -- hypericum perforatum.
While it's popular for it reputed ability to relieve depression, it
also has the potential to interfere with some medications.
adverse reactions have been noted when St. John's Wort is sued with certain
classes of antidepressants, especially monoamineoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The use of this herb has been known to provoke manic episodes
in some people with bipolar and are sensitive to light.