Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)

Remember I am studying Patrick Holford's book New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind and that is where all my blogging is coming from on this topic right now.

SWINGING from low lows to high highs! 

These swings can be generated by a huge number of factors - such as too much coffee, stress, hormone imbalances, food allergies and nutritional deficiencies.

How effective are SSRI's really?
There is an INCREASED RISK of suicide on SSRI’s (pg 263)
“No randomized controlled trials show that patients with bipolar disorders who receive drugs do better in the long term than those who receive no medicine… against this background, let’s take a look at the nutritional approaches…” (pg 263)

3 ways for a person with bipolar to minimize the risk of disruptive moods.
1. Take the nutrients that help to stabilize mood – helping mood swings in either direction
2. Take nutrients and herbs that help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
3. Take nutrients that promote healthy sleep patterns.

Blood Sugar Imbalances or Food Allergies
Remember the brain is almost totally dependent on glucose for its supply of energy so keeping a stable level of glucose is crucial for improved mental health.  Avoid sugar, stimulants, cigarettes and excess stress.

Omega 3 fats –definitely fish oil.   Eat cold water fish – herring, fresh tuna (in moderation), salmon, sardines and mackerel.  And to turn these essential fats into building materials for the brain what do you remember what you need? B vitamins!  Are you with me?  Did you guess that from all the other entries I’ve done?  More info about Fats and B’s is found here:  
(please note that fish-liver oil supplements are UNSUITABLE for treating mood disorders because in order to take enough of them, you will get too much vitamin A – possibly leading to toxicity)  They have yet to determine how much is optimum but generally 1.5-4 g of EPA is adequate to improve mood in patients with Bipolar.  Be sure to check the EPA not just the mg of oil.
Vegetarians can try to substitute flax seed oil, as long as they take optimum amounts of magnewium, zinc, B’s, C and biotin – all needed to convert flaxseed oil into EPA and DHA – Fish oil is ideal as it is very difficult for most to make enough EPA from flax seed or another alpha-linolenic acid.

Most of us are deficient in magnesium.  Average diet gives around 200 mg while the RDA (recommended daily amount) is 300 mg. (500 is the ODA – optimum daily amount)  Depression, insomnia, constipation and nervousness are all from a long list of magnesium deficiency symptoms.

Chronic stress depletes magnesium
A study in the US of patients with major depression found that they recovered rapidly, in less than a week, by taking magnesium at each meal and at bedtime.  (pg 246)
Food has far less magnesium than it did 100 years ago – because of refined foods but also due to chemical fertilizers – many nutrients are missing from our food supply – not just magnesium. 
Green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium because of the chlorophyll – raw nuts and seeds are a great source too.  With one tbsp of seeds, at least three servings of dark green veggies and 100 -300 mg of magnesium daily, you will ensure you are getting enough magnesium. (Do not supplement more than 300 mg total)

Broad-spectrum Multi
Best place to start is by supplementing a multivitamin and mineral.  Nutrients are synergistic – they need each other to be absorbed and to work well in the body. One study recently done in CanadaUniversity of Calgary – demonstrates how effective this is with manic depression.  A group of manic depressive adults were given vitamins and trace minerals in addition to their prescribed meds.  Over six months, on average – they halved their need for the medications and every patient experienced between a 55 to 66 % reduction of symptoms. 

 If it is high (get it checked by your doctor– high is above 10 mg/dl) start supplementing folic acid at about 1000 mcg and 500 mcg of methyl-B12

Use AMINO ACIDS and HERBS (like St.Johns wort) only under the care of a trained professional, if bipolar and on antidepressant medication.  

SLEEP encouraging a regular pattern of seven hours of uninterrupted sleep can help to smooth out the curves.  Sleeping less and less rapidly depletes nutrients such as magnesium, zinc and vitamin C.

No comments:

Post a Comment