Top Natural Treatments For Bipolar Disorder

Top Natural Treatments For Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder belongs in a strain of illnesses associated with depression. The disorder is a condition where the brain forces swift mood and energy changes, from positive mood and high energy, to stressed or depressed moods and very low energy. Often, these changes are dramatic and very rapid. Bipolar disorder stems from problems in the brain in producing mood-regulating chemicals, or overreacting to outside stimuli. Ultimately, there is no one cause for bipolar disorder.  People can develop the disorder in a multitude of ways. Scientists still work to find the root stimuli.

Natural treatments for bipolar disorder focus on reducing the stress stimuli, or suppressing the neurotransmitters in underdeveloped brain cortexes, that causes attacks. These treatments can come in the form of changing diet, or changing lifestyle. Bipolar disorder is debilitating and difficult, but no person deserves a lower quality of life in the face of such a disorder. Read on for our top choices of natural treatments for bipolar disorder—hopefully, one or more of these will help reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder:

Avoid Alcohol

No more red wine

Alcohol is a depressant that does, in small doses, suppress neurotransmitters. But, in large quantities, alcohol can confuse the brain with this stimuli interference and ultimately create more stressful situations. Then, the brain perceives even more stimuli as threats and releases the chemicals that cause manic mood swings. Alcohol directly counteracts optimal bipolar disorder treatment and may conflict with other bipolar disorder treatments. Alcohol consistently present in the bloodstream and processed by the liver can also induce depression and more constant depressive states for bipolar disorder patients.

Along with alcohol, avoid other substances classified as depressants and avoid classified drugs and tobacco. These perpetuate bipolar disorder symptoms.

Stop Stressors

Woman With Hand In Hair Looking Away Against Clear Sky

Stressors can include an imbalanced life, an imbalanced diet, dissatisfaction, or stress tied to specific people and places. Those with bipolar disorder may often feel like they cannot control these life factors, but they should remember that practicing control and slowly cutting stressors from their life can greatly reduce symptoms aggravated by anxiety. When anxious, the brain can release chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, among others, which create mood swings.

If you are not in a place where you can easily cut stressors, begin taking up practices that are clinically proven to reduce stress chemicals and reduce overall bipolar disorder symptoms. Sensory stimuli, like music and sunlight, can produce “happy” hormones like endorphins and dopamine that counteract depressive chemicals. Sunlight also produces vitamin D, a specific vitamin that helps clear the blood of disruptive chemicals.


Bipolar Disorder exercise

Studies show that a regulated heart rate and plenty of oxygen promotes regular blood pressure, relaxes muscles plagued with stress chemicals, and can even regulate the neurotransmitters that produce serotonin. Exercise, additional oxygen and warmer body temperatures can help the brain work most optimally and help regulate the body’s chemicals. Additionally, the body can more efficiently burn off adrenaline and cortisol when the muscles are warm and better oxygenated.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Baked fish

Foods that can help, over time, lower stress chemicals in the brain can assist other remedies in building up stability. These can combat or reduce future attacks.

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like many varieties of fish and tree nuts, can lower disruptive chemicals in the body and help regulate the brain’s production of stress chemicals. Oily fish, nuts, berries, legumes, and some dark leafy greens contain omega-3 fatty acids. Remember, omega-3s must be acquired over time, but a diet rich in the fatty acids can help regulate the body and reduce future mood swings.

Amino Acids

Grating Parmesan Cheese

Amino acids supplement the neurotransmitters that release mood regulating “happy” chemicals. The neurotransmitters are: serotonin, endorphin, and dopamine, among others. These keep you positive and, if or when you do experience bipolar disorder episodes, these are less severe and few and far between. Amino acids that boost these neurotransmitters include the acids S-adenosyl L-methionine (SAM-e) and taurine. Foods and herbs high in either can help boost good moods and regulate overall mental health.

Oily fish, lean meats sea plants and sea algae all contain natural taurine. The body produces SAM-e, but patients can supplement SAM-e by eating other methionine rich foods; methionine is an amino acid. Brazil nuts, Parmesan cheese, lean red meat, lean white meat and shellfish contain methionine.

Anti-Depressant Foods

Healthy mixed fruit and ingredients from top view

Certain foods combat stress chemicals and diffuse other chemicals that exacerbate or trigger bipolar disorder attacks. Just as foods containing certain chemicals can contribute to mood swings, other foods or plant extracts release chemicals that suppress stressors and stress chemicals. Many other foods, however, can help dim the neurotransmitters in the brain and reduce the amount of stress chemicals the brain produces in response to triggers. Choose foods high in antioxidants and tryptophan, or other similar nutrients.

The sedative chemical “tryptophan” is an amino acid that can suppress neurotransmitters in similar ways as vitamin D. This is because tryptophan is a natural precursor to a chemical produced by the brain’s neurotransmitters called serotonin. The body cannot ingest outside serotonin, a “happy” chemical, but it can ingest tryptophan. Tryptophan calms adults because the chemical slows blood pressure, relaxes muscles, and suppresses stress chemicals that could trigger bipolar disorder symptoms. Foods with tryptophan include turkey, cheese, chicken, bananas, legumes, and milk.

Antioxidant-rich fruits contain plant nutrients that some researchers believe assuage neurotransmitters in the same manner as tryptophan.  Blueberries, acai berries, raspberries and blackberries all contain antioxidants, as well as other fruits and vegetables that are anywhere from red to blue in color. Often, those suffering from bipolar disorder have less antioxidants, believed to be a result of chemicals produced that cause severe mood swings.

The main objective for those with bipolar disorder is achieving calm; suppressing stress hormones and neurotransmitters—and boosting positive mood-inducing neurotransmitters, like serotonin—can help patients achieve that calm. Other exercises and foods can help regulate the body as much as possible to curb or reduce symptoms of the disorder in the future. Scientists may not know a cause for bipolar disorder, but with time, patience and experimentation, patients can find some natural remedies. Do you know of any other remedies that help regulate the mind and body?

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