Dealing with Bipolar Disorder - Natural Treatments and Useful Supplements

Dealing with bipolar disorder can be carried out in a number of holistic and natural ways, in addition to therapy and conventional medicine.

Nutritional supplements have been used to treat the disorder in conjunction with medication and therapy sessions, with good success.

  • Amino acids - Added amino acids in the diet not only help to build protein in the body (including in the muscles, bones and skin), but also help manage brain function and stave off depression. The body produces a limited amount of amino acids, while others must be obtained through dietary means.

  • Folic acid and vitamin B12 - The body uses both these nutritional necessities to manufacture serotonin and other neurotransmitters, so they may be helpful in dealing with bipolar. Some recent evidence suggests that especially manic patients tend to have folate deficiencies. Both mania and depression patients have shown deficiencies in vitamin B12, though bipolar patients demonstrate less of the deficiency in controlled studies.
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    A note about Dealing with Bipolar Disorder - Natural Treatments and Useful Supplements

    In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

    In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

  • Gaba amino butyric acid supplement - Patients suffering from insomnia may benefit from this supplement in dealing with bipolar, which fights the stress, anxiety and nervous energy that can rob an individual of sleep. Some patients have reported limited side effects, such as numbing of the hands and feet and shortness of breath, so dosage should be determined by a qualified alternative medicine practitioner.

  • Lecithin - Found in fatty foods, lecithin helps stabilize moods, supports development of the brain, and can be an essential nutrient especially for growing children. The nutrient supplement can be mixed into smoothies, and should be kept refrigerated to preserve freshness.

  • L-tryptophan - An amino acid used by the body to produce serotonin, L-tryptophan functions as a chemical messenger which plays an important role in brain function; this is thus another potentially useful tool for dealing with bipolar. In many cases, patients saw marked improvement in their depressive episodes, though those that experienced acute mania saw fewer benefits until the dosage was increased.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids - Increasing attention has been paid to the importance of omega 3’s in a healthy diet. Many bipolar disorder sufferers appear to have lower than normal levels of omega 3’s, and should benefit from an increase in dosage through supplements or revisions to diet to include omega 3-rich sources like cold water fish or nuts. Omega 3 fatty acids are not only useful and important for dealing with bipolar disorder, but also a host of other serious diseases.

  • SAMe - Another amino which impacts serotonin, SAMe appears to significantly lower incidences of depressive episodes. In higher dosages, it acts like an antidepressant, though some bipolar patients have cycled to a manic episode while using dosages between 500 and 1,600.

  • Taurine - An essential amino acid, taurine helps relieve anxiety and controls excess energy or hyperactivity. It has a naturally sedating effect, so dosage should be monitored so as not to inadvertently trigger a depressive phase.

  • Tyrosine - Another amino acid, tyrosine helps treat depression. Some studies have also shown tyrosine to improve concentration, alertness, and memory retention. If a patient has high blood pressure, tyrosine may not be recommended for dealing with bipolar, as larger dosages may lead to hypertension.

  • Vitamin C - Some studies have been conducted investigating vitamin C and its benefits for dealing with bipolar disorder. Vitamin C helps reduce vanadium in the body, and bipolar individuals who consume a vanadium-reduced diet appear to function better than those who do not make any dietary changes. Vanadium, a trace mineral nutrient, may thus adversely influence bipolar disorder. Elevated blood and hair levels of vanadium have been reported in people with mania and depression, and one effect of the bipolar medication lithium is to interrupt a biochemical action of vanadium in the body.

    Summary of Natural or Alternative Bipolar Treatment

    What are some other elements to consider in dealing with bipolar disorder naturally? In summary, an alternative bipolar treatment should include psychotherapy that helps the patient and family understand and deal with the disorder, thus assisting in managing and minimizing mood swings.

    Other Energy Psychology techniques can be used to decrease stress, trauma, anxiety and other triggers that can bring on a mood swing or cycling between mania and depression. The therapy should also focus on self acceptance (to minimize the guilt that can be exacerbated during depressive episodes), as well as self discipline (to assist during manic episodes when self control becomes difficult). Family therapy can be helpful to all parties so that a strong network of support remains in place during a potential crisis.

    With respect to diet, known triggers like caffeine, alcohol or excessive sugar and preservative intake should be limited.

    Episodes can also be managed through mindfulness meditation, regular exercise, focus on creative pursuits, and perhaps development of a spiritual path. All these elements can work to decrease the frequency and intensity of the manic / depressive episodes.

    Some alternative and holistic practitioners have used light therapy to balance circadian rhythms, and ‘dark therapy’ in the evening hours to induce normal sleep patterns which can be disrupted by manic episodes.

    Combined, these various remedies and treatments for dealing with bipolar disorder should help bring relief to a great extent.

    Read More: More on Bipolar Disorder | Natural Health Remedies for Various Ailments and Conditions | Home Page | Site Search

    Are you married to a bipolar spouse or in a relationship with someone suffering from the disorder? Click here for a help manual that you may need.

    Click here to learn more about the 4-step "Joy Equation" to help cure your depression without drugs.

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