Sometimes referred to as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is a mental illness that manifests when a person has mood episode cycle from manic highs to very depressed lows, sometimes within seconds and sometimes over days, weeks and even years.
For more information on what bipolar disorder is and a list of the signs and symptoms, visit the National Institute of Mental Health.
Natural Bipolar Disorder Treatment
Health practitioners believe that the increase in the amount of processed foods in our diet has contributed to an increasing number of people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder. This correlation is thought to occur because processed foods contain lower levels of vitamins than we had in many food substances in decades or centuries past.
One natural treatment for bipolar disorder is to eat food rich in B vitamins, Vitamin C, folic acid and all the trace elements including Zinc and Copper. A good multivitamin supplement can help you address these deficiencies but you should also eat a balanced diet which includes fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts, low-fat dairy products, nuts, legumes and whole grains.
Another great food that helps in the treatment of depression is fatty fish like salmon rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Again a nutritional supplement of Omega-3s can also help. Scientists have discovered that the use of Omega 3 will also decrease manic episodes and prolong the time between episodes.
Other natural remedies for Bipolar Disorder include:
- Lithium has been used since the first part of the nineteenth century when researchers noticed that there was less manic behavior in areas where the water supply had a naturally high level of lithium. The medical community has used lithium every since for treatment of bipolar disorder.
- L-tyrosine is thought of as a non-essential amino acid, except that it has been found to reduce bipolar disorder symptoms. This occurs because low levels of L-tyrosine reduce serotonin in the body, which is known to cause depression. To get more L-tyrosine naturally from food, you can eat more fish, meat, dairy products, wheat and oats. There are natural supplements available for this amino acid.
Herbal supplements are available as natural bipolar treatment. These supplements can help control manic depression or bipolar disorder symptoms. Herbal supplements include:
- Lavender oils, aroma-therapy and tea which can calm the person and decreases the chance of emotional triggers. This herb helps balance neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Passiflora incarnate can provide a soothing affect. This herb also helps balance the neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Tarentula and Hyoscyamus are homeopathic remedies which can help decrease manic-depression spells.
- Acupuncture can also be an effective natural bipolar disorder treatment. It balances the body’s central nervous system, helps regulate the heart rate, sleep patterns and body temperature.
Besides natural treatments there are also some food you should avoid to aid in your natural treatment.
Foods That Adversely Affect Bipolar Disorder
An important part of treating bipolar disorder naturally is to avoid those foods and substances that can cause problems. These foods include:
- Caffeine – because it interferes with sleep
- Foods high in fat – may cause mood swings that lead to irritability and insomnia
- Red meat – may lead you to be irritable
- Alcohol – is a depressant and can cause depressive episodes or make them worse
- Sugar – is a stimulant which can cause a temporary sugar high and then when this high passes it can lead to depression
There has also been new research into how your balance and posture can affect or even indicate bipolar disorder. Poor motor control has long been seen as a symptom of bipolar disorder but now it is actually being looked at as a possible sign of the area of the brain that is affected during a bipolar episode. This has led researchers to believe there may be another possible treatment for the illness.
The research into this treatment was done at the Indiana University. They found that those who had mood and psychiatric disorders like bipolar disease, often experienced episodes where they had issues with balance, postural control which is defined as the ability to sustain your posture enough to do a skilled task like reading.
The researchers believe that the motor abnormalities might appear ahead of other bipolar symptoms, which might indicate an increased risk for the disorder or even signal the start of a manic-depressive episode.
This means that treatments that can improve motor control may also assist with bipolar disorder. An example of something that you might be able to do for yourself is Yoga. Some who suffer from bipolar disorder and use Yoga as an exercise regimen have found that it helps them ground their emotions. When they go for long periods of time without using Yoga they have more symptoms. Exercise that helps you maintain your motor control can be used as a natural treatment for bipolar disorder.