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This is a mental health disorder in which people experience episodes of an elevated or agitated mood known as "mania alternating" with episodes of depression.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Symptoms can occur with different levels of severity. At milder levels of mania, known as "hypomania," individuals appear energetic and excitable, and may be highly productive.
As mania becomes more severe, individuals begin to behave erratically and impulsively, and may have great difficulty with sleep. At the most severe level, individuals can experience psychosis.
Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes. Some experience a mixed state in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time. Manic and depressive episodes last from a few days to several months.
About 4% of people suffer from bipolar disorder.
A number of medications have been used with varying degrees of success. Lithium is a classic treatment which is quite benign and is actually a helpful nutrient at low doses, but when used at high doses can cause marked toxicity including hypothyroidism and tremor.
General Diet Advice for Bipolar Disorder
Try an elimination diet or avoiding sugar and caffeine. If the elimination diet helps, consider NAET treatment.
Recommended Supplements to Help Balance Brain Neurotransmitters
- Fish oil 9.3 grams a day. High doses of omega 3 oils can be helpful. I use a special omega 3 that allows just 2-4 caps a day instead of 16-32 fish oil caps!
- NAC (N-Acetylcysteine) 1,000 mg 2x day. This significantly improves symptoms, but give it 6 months to see the full effect. The benefits stop if the NAC is stopped.
- Magnesium 300-600 mg a day. Magnesium has effects that are similar to lithium, but without the toxicity.
- Vitamin C 750-1,000 mg a day.
Other Therapies & Advice for Bipolar
Iron excess is associated with an increased risk of bipolar disorder, so getting a screening for your ferritin level is warranted.
Interestingly, in those who do not get adequate relief with standard bipolar medications, over half had substantial improvement with high-dose thyroid (levothyroxine 300-500 mcg a day).