Bipolar Disorder is  a serious illness. It can make a person’s normal moods seem extreme.
It used to be called Manic Depression. The primary symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings.

One possible cause is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain because of genetics factor.
Some evidence from high-tech imaging studies indicates that people with Bipolar Disorder have physical changes in their brains, which are tied to mood, also may play a role.

The signs and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder can be different in each person.Symptoms of phase depression include:

* Feeling sad or blue, or (down in the dumps)
* Loss of interest in things the person used to enjoy
* Feeling worthless, hopelessness or guilty
* Sleeping too little or too much
* Changes in weight or appetite
* Feeling tired or having a little or no energy
* Feeling restless, fatigue
* Problems concentrating or making decisions
* Thoughts of death or suicide
* Anxiety
* Irritability
* Chronic pain without a known cause


Symptoms of phase manic include:

* Euphoria
* Extreme optimism
* Inflated self-esteem
* Poor judgment
* Rapid speech
* Racing thoughts
* Aggressive behavior
* Agitation
* Increased physical activity and energy level
* Risky behavior
* Spending sprees  Increased drive to perform or achieve goals
* Decreased need for sleep
* Tendency to be easily distracted
* Inability to concentrate
* Drug abuse
* More talkative than usual or feeling pressure to keep talking

4 MAIN TYPES  OF MOOD episodes that people with Bipolar Disorder can have:

1. DEPRESSION– is when people with Bipolar Disorder feel very sad, sometimes this can go on for a long period of time. They may not even want to get out of bed or eat. They don’t enjoy doing things they used to do.

2. MANIA – is the other side of Bipolar Disorder. Mania may start with a good feeling, almost like a “high”
or it may make a person feel very irritable and angry. People with mania may do very risky things.

3. HYPOMANIA – is a milder form of mania. It can make people feel good. They may think they are getting more things done. But the (feel good) stage can changes into mania or depression. Hypomania is different from mania because it doesn’t get in the way of things like work or family. It sometimes is not even noticed as a problem.

4. MIXED MOOD – is when feelings of mania and depression go back and forth quickly, sometimes even in the same day.

Living with Bipolar Disorder is much like living with other medical illnesses. With proper medicine, education, and support, Bipolar Disorder CAN be treated and control .

Therapy,Taking the right medicine, Herbal Supplements, support groups, coaching, Family and friends can help.
People with Bipolar Disorder MUST manage their condition carefully.
With all types of extreme mood episodes, people with Bipolar Disorder without therapy or some kind of support are at risk for suicide.

People with Bipolar Disorder have some symptoms in common, but treatment can vary from person to person. We all have differences in body chemistry, genetics, and the way we live. So a Bipolar Disorder treatment that work for one person may not work as well for another.

Categories : Bipolar
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I found this areticle over at International Bipolar Foundation  facebook page , and had to share it with you all ,Enjoy!


From A to Zinc
By Lynn Santa Lucia

No doubt about it, the food we eat affects how we feel—from our head to our toes.

Research suggests that fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are important not only for our bodies but for our mental health, and may be useful in managing mood disorders.

In a 2001 University of Calgary study, 14 patients with bipolar took a supplement of vitamins and minerals (most about 10 times the Recommended Daily Allowance), concurrent with their meds over 44 weeks. The result: depression scores dropped by 55 percent and mania scores by 66 percent. The study’s author, Bonnie Kaplan, PhD, noted in an article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, “We know that dietary minerals and vitamins are necessary in virtually every metabolic action that occurs in the mammalian brain,” and that “deficient levels of some nutrients are related to brain and behavior disorders.”

More specifically, experts from the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation in Los Angeles report that people with bipolar disorder are more likely to have deficiencies in B vitamins (particularly B1 (thiamin), B9 (folate) and B12), vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc.

Though a direct food to mood link needs to be further researched, Kaplan and other experts, like Jukka Hintikka, MD, lead author of a 2003 Finnish study that found that higher levels of vitamin B12 in depressed patients corresponded with a better outcome in treatment, speculate that a diet rich in “certain nutrients can help stabilize mood.”

According to registered dietitian Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD, of the Mayo Clinic staff, eating a diet balanced in nutrientrich foods—that is, fruits and vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids—is critical to maintaining a healthy body and healthy brain function. “They provide energy naturally, without the depressive “crash” afterwards, like you see with sugar or caffeine,” she says.

Simply put, it can’t hurt to make healthier food choices every day. Here, we’ll make it easy for you with a delectable dozen “superfoods” you might want to consider including in your diet, starting today.

Avocados The monosaturated (“good”) fats in this heart-healthy fruit not only lower cholesterol but help keep the receptors in the brain sensitive to serotonin, thought to boost mood. These same fats will help lower blood pressure, another key to feeling relaxed.

Beans Of all the varieties, pinto, garbanzo (chick-peas) and mung are the greatest sources of vitamin B9 (folic acid, or folate). Studies have shown that a body that lacks folic acid has a higherthan- normal level of homocysteine, a condition that’s been linked to bipolar disorder. A cup of each will go a long way, meeting more than 40 percent of your RDA (recommended daily allowance).

Cereals Keep them fortified and whole grain. Whole grains not only add much-needed fiber to your diet, but break down slowly in the digestive tract, providing a steady stream of glucose to keep blood sugar levels stable for hours; this improves alertness and concentration. As an added bonus, whole grain cereal contains carbohydrates that trigger the release of “ahh”-inducing serotonin. To bolster your morning cereal’s moodenhancing benefits, sprinkle it with walnuts, peanuts or almonds.

Cottage cheese Not only is a good source of B12 but contains plenty of whey protein, which has been shown to decrease anxiety and irritability. A glass of milk is another way to get a good shot of whey in a hurry.

Fruit All of it is good! But a few favorites are B6-rich bananas (vitamin B6 is known to build serotonin levels) and energy boosting, vitamin C-packed pineapple (loaded also with manganese and thiamin, which help metabolize body-fueling carbohydrates).

Liver The liver of most any animal is packed with vitamin B9. Often appearing on the culinary scene as pâté, liver also shows up in sausage (liverwurst). Turkey liver provides the most folate (B9), with a 3-ounce (100g) serving reaching 173 percent of the RDA.

Salmon Raw, baked, broiled or grilled, salmon is one of the healthiest foods around. The omega-3 that shows up in abundance in salmon has been found to be necessary for healthy bodies and minds. Like mackerel, sardines, anchovies and albacore tuna, salmon also contains protein, for long-lasting energy, and tyrosine, which the body uses to create two mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. And while helping prevent mood swings, salmon is also good for your heart, keeps blood pressure down, and helps protect against stroke.

Spinach Like mother may have said, eat your greens. It especially pays to eat your dark, leafy greens—“superfoods” of the “superfoods.” Spinach, like turnip greens and collards, is not only plentiful in folic acid, but also full of vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants, for overall good health. Raw versions provide the most folate.

Sunflower seeds Sunflower seeds are one of the best sources of vitamin B9. So eat them as a snack or addition to salads. One handful will give you more than half of your daily folate, as well as magnesium, needs.

Tofu This once beguiling bean curd is now considered a pure, health-giving food of the times. Made from the curds of soybean milk, tofu is highly nutritious and an important protein source in vegetarian diets. Numerous studies have shown that the soy protein found in tofu can help lower cholesterol, helping to prevent heart disease. It’s also rich in the amino acid tryptophan, thought to be a sleep aid probably due to its ability to increase brain levels of serotonin. Turkey This protein-rich food is also high in zinc. Protein is used by the body for long-lasting energy, while zinc helps build a healthy immune system.

Turkey is also another good source of tryptophan. Try a sandwich of roasted turkey on whole grain bread —for even more zinc— to get through a long day and the change of seasons.

Walnuts Perhaps the king of nuts—cholesterol-free, low in fat, and filled with vitamin B6, vitamin E, folate and protein. And if that weren’t good enough, they also boast omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. To help keep yourself on an even keel, sprinkle them on oatmeal or a salad.

BONUS: Since enjoying a “treat” is a mood-lifter in itself, if you’re going to grab for one then choose chocolate. The cocoa in chocolate contains a source of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and phenethylamine, all related to a feeling of well-being.

Lynn Santa Lucia is the editor of bp Magazine.

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Bipolar disorder

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Bipolar disorder — sometimes called manic-depressive disorder — is associated with mood swings that range from the lows of depression to the highs of mania. When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts in the other direction, you may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood shifts may occur only a few times a year, or as often as several times a day. In some cases, bipolar disorder causes symptoms of depression and mania at the same time.

Although bipolar disorder is a disruptive, long-term condition, you can keep your moods in check by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder can be controlled with medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy).

Categories : Bipolar
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The Honey and Cinnamon Tea Diet
The premise of this diet is to drink a natural honey and fresh ground cinnamon tea twice a day, once shortly after waking and again just prior to going to bed, while continuing to eat a healthy diet during the day. As such, it is not considered a fast or a body cleanse. The combination of the two is supposed to provide some calories and nutrients, which might reduce appetite, while stimulating your body to not as readily store excess blood glucose as fat. No scientific studies have investigated these claims, so no weight loss predictions or promises should be made. The combining of honey and cinnamon is based on folk medicine, which recommended the two ingredients for a variety of ailments including infections, inflammation, arthritis, digestive problems and circulatory issues, according to “Medical Herbalism” by David Hoffman

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Melatonin to Aid Sleep

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Use of Melatonin to Aid Sleep in Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a medical and mental illness that impacts your mood, behavior and daily level of functioning. This illness causes mild to severe bouts of depression and mania or mixed episodes of both. During manic episodes, sleep deprivation may occur because of an increase in brain chemical activity associated with energy. This chemical imbalance alters and lowers melatonin production. Melatonin is important for stimulating sleep. Prolonged bouts of mania can eventually result in increased irritability, aggression and recklessness. Part of the treatment process for bipolar disorder is aimed at stabilizing a regular sleep schedule to reduce manic episodes.
Step 1
Discuss sleep concerns with your physician to obtain recommendations that suit your specific condition. Bipolar disorder is a serious medical condition, and use of melatonin supplements is cautioned to prevent adverse interactions. Melatonin can be stimulated naturally or with over-the-counter supplements; however, this is not advised without the supervision of your physician.
Step 2
Activate natural melatonin with a light box. A light box is a small contraption used to mimic outdoor light and stimulate chemical changes in your brain. When used properly, this box can regulate your sleep cycles by generating melatonin production. Light-box therapy is used for different forms of depression and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, notes “Psychiatric Times.” Consult with your physician regarding the amount of light needed to manage your symptoms. Light boxes are sold over the counter and are generally used for 30 minutes each morning to regulate your sleep pattern.
Step 3
Eat foods containing melatonin. Low doses of melatonin are in cherries, walnuts and olive oil, as well as in other varieties of fruits and vegetables. Melatonin in foods may not induce sleep; however, it does provide healthy levels of the hormone to aid in stabilizing brain chemicals associated with symptoms of irritability. Talk to your physician for nutritional recommendations of foods with melatonin.
Step 4
Change your environment. Your brain is triggered to produce melatonin upon darkness. Regulate your sleep pattern by creating a sleep environment that mimics nighttime darkness. Cover your windows with black sheets or curtains and create a sleeping area that is comfortable. Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. Do not oversleep, because this can induce a depressive episode. Aim for seven to nine hours of nightly sleep.
Step 5
Use a low-dose capsule supplement as an alternative to stimulating natural melatonin. Buy over-the-counter melatonin and follow packaging instructions for a daily dose. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that nightly doses of melatonin at 1 mg is effective for regulating sleep, but this is subject to your individual condition. Work with your physician on correct dosing of capsule supplements.

Tips and Warnings
Melatonin alone is not evidenced to effectively treat all of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Consult your physician on safety of use and other options for treating your symptoms.
Melatonin as a supplement or through natural induction is primarily targeted to trigger a regular sleep pattern, which may or may not alleviate other symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as depression, hyperactivity or insomnia.
Follow physician instructions for the best course of treatment of bipolar disorder.
The most common melatonin side effects include:
Daytime sleepiness
Other, less common melatonin side effects might include abdominal discomfort, mild anxiety, irritability, confusion and short-lasting feelings of depression.
In addition, melatonin supplements can interact with various medications, including:
Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants)
Medications that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants)
Diabetes medications
Birth control pills
If you’re considering taking melatonin supplements, check with your doctor first — especially if you have any health conditions. The correct dose depends on the intended use. For example, circadian rhythm sleep disorders are often treated with 0.5 milligrams of melatonin a day, while doses of 3 to 5 milligrams a day might be used to treat jet lag or reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. In addition, remember that melatonin is generally recommended only for short-term use — up to two months. Some research indicates that longer term use might be appropriate in certain cases, however.
If you take melatonin, choose commercial supplements produced in a lab. Melatonin supplements made from animal sources might contain various contaminants. Don’t engage in activities that require alertness — such as driving or operating heavy machinery — for four to five hours after taking melatonin.

Categories : Natural Medication
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