Some people try to relieve the burden of symptoms of bipolar disorder with vitamins and supplements. Here’s a look at what trends.
The important things first
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It is so important to note that the following supplements are a drug management addition, not a substitute.
We have indicated what research information is available on the effectiveness of these vitamins and supplements, especially for bipolar disorder.
If there are any counterproductive results, we will let you know so that you can avoid natural remedies that do harm. We’ll let you know where natural remedies are helpful.
We support holistic health and mindful drug management.
Prescribed medications for bipolar disorder are a cornerstone of treatment. But as more people learn to care about their own well-being, many find that adding other resources can help relieve symptoms.
Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that can last a few months to a few years. People often seek additional help managing two main mood swings:
- Mania. A constantly rising or irritable mood that can start out euphoric but ends with exhaustion or impulsiveness. This can lead to interpersonal, social, sexual, financial, professional or legal consequences.
- Depression. A time marked by hopelessness, despair, brain fog, slowed concentration and possibly suicidal thoughts.
Much research has been done to study fish oil and how it can be added to our diet. We already know that cod, salmon, and other fish can help treat heart disease and arthritis.
For people with bipolar disorder, we also have reports that fish oil:
However, it’s important to note that the benefits of a fish oil supplement are only effective in people who are deficient in these fatty acids, especially during depressive episodes, according to a 2015 study.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Anxiety disorder is often associated with bipolar disorder. According to a 2021 study, vitamin B1 may help relieve anxiety and irritability in some adults.
Although some people with low B12 levels report mood swings, depression, and mania, to date there has been no direct correlation between the deficiency and symptoms of bipolar disorder.
However, the vitamin – known for its energetic benefits to those who are lacking it – can be helpful if you are feeling tired with bipolar disorder depression.
It’s water soluble, which means if your body has enough of it for the day you will see that tell-tale neon yellow when you pee.
If you have a balanced diet, you are likely getting enough B12 and not needing a supplement. But poor diet can lead to low B12 levels.
Magnesium can help relieve manic episode symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and insomnia in people who are already lacking it.
It relaxes the nerves – both the neurotransmitters that convey stress and stress to the brain, among other things, when ingested orally, and the nerve endings in the tendons of your muscles when ingested orally or topically.
An older study found that people with bipolar disorder have too much of the mineral vanadium, which leads to mania and depression.
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, has been observed to protect the body from damage caused by too much vanadium.
Oranges, kiwis, and peppers all have a vitamin C punch in them.
There is a link between low vitamin D levels and bipolar disorder.
Getting sunshine easily and safely can restore vitamin D to your system. If this isn’t practical in your climate, you can ask your medical team about vitamin D supplements or even invest in a light box.
So many studies suggest a link between low dietary folic acid levels and subsequent depressive or manic episodes.
Researchers haven’t pinpointed the chicken and egg relationship yet – if a folate deficiency is causing bipolar symptoms or a folate flare is relieving symptoms – but adding more nutrients to your diet naturally can help improve cognition.
Pass these alternative remedies on
- SAM-e (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) Has antidepressant properties in some cases, but is widely cautioned against in people with bipolar disorder as it can worsen the mania.
- Ginkgo biloba may destroy the effectiveness of the drug sodium valproate (Depakote) in treating bipolar disorder.
- Johannis herbs can have conflicting reactions to prescription antidepressants. It can also increase your risk of mania.
Bipolar disorder is a long-term condition that is best managed through consistent collaboration of therapies, including:
Vitamins can help relieve symptoms, but none of these strategies can treat bipolar disorder alone.
Do you have any other open questions about bipolar disorder? You can find answers in our frequently asked questions.
Vitamins consumed in your diet and fortified with supplementation can in some cases help prevent or lessen episodes of bipolar disorder. However, we need further investigation.
People with bipolar disorder should seriously avoid some supplements such as SAM-e or gingko biloba as they can worsen mania or interfere with bipolar disorder medications such as antidepressants.
If you’re still interested in maintaining your wellbeing with the help of vitamins and supplements, the best thing to do is to bring your wish-list to your health team. Ask them if any potential vitamins or supplements on your list will counteract your existing management plan and general condition.
The fact that you are reading this means that you are diligently trying to treat your condition well. Bravo. Stay tuned and read on for more helpful information.