2013 Bipolar Update
The Bipolar Diet
If you have bipolar disorder or someone close to you has the condition, you understand how important it is to practice self-management and taking proper medications to ensure that the mood swings that characterize the mental condition are under control. Often, bipolar patients are also told to make lifestyle changes, and one aspect that could drastically improve your condition is your diet. Recent studies indicate that a bipolar diet, if healthy, could significantly aid in improving the patient's condition.
Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that affects the mood of an individual. Characterized by extreme mood swings, a bipolar patient can change from mania to depression all in the same day. Often, their loved ones do not understand the rationality behind the sudden mood swings and this may lead to the individual being excluded from many social functions.
Fortunately, there are a number of medications available to help treat bipolar patients. The type of medication prescribed depends on the type of bipolar disorder that one has as well as the symptoms present. The two episodes, mania and depression are the typical symptom episodes that are used to diagnose and treat bipolar disorder. As such, prescribed medications may be antidepressants or mood stabilizers.
While there is no specified bipolar diet, researchers and physicians alike agree that the best course of action is to choose a diet that will help one maintain a healthy weight. The best form of bipolar diet in this case would be a diet that contains few fatty foods as well as saturated fats. Such diets are associated with increased risk of other health complications such as heart disease and obesity.
When planning your bipolar diet, try to include protective foods that have plenty of nutrients. Fresh vegetables, whole grains as well as eggs are just some of the examples that a healthy bipolar diet should have. Other options that you may choose to add to your diet include low-fat dairy, seeds and seed products such as nuts.
Recent research has shown that there may be a link between fish oil and its associated supplements and bipolar disorder. We already know that fish oil can keep your heart healthy, but can it help bipolar patients? According to some researchers, the omega 3 fatty acids play a key role in brain function and may help bipolar patients if included in their diet at least three times a week.
There are some foods that you should definitely avoid when planning your bipolar diet. These include caffeine, foods that are high in salt content as well as fatty meals. Moreover, you should also look out for natural dietary supplements which may interfere with your medication. Always take the time to consult with your physician as to which foods to include in your bipolar diet.
Studies have shown that a healthy body can help an individual’s mental facilities as well. If you participate in a good bipolar diet and follow a good exercise program your body will show its appreciation and the mind will follow.