A Bipolar Diet?

Do you know of a specific diet that is beneficial for BP?

1262463_pear_on_a_dietHmm… A diet for bipolar disorder… That’s actually a very good question! I’m glad you asked it! Wouldn’t it be fantastical if we could eat one specific food and our moods would stabilize, we wouldn’t have any more rages, no anxiety freak outs, and we wouldn’t go on any major spending sprees that leave us bankrupt (although, I must admit, I do love to shop! Lol) It’s kind of like Alice in Wonderland. Eat this tart, you’ll grow bigger, eat this tart, you’ll start to shrink, eat a little of both you’ll be your regular size. So, for us, eat this tart, you’ll be manic, eat this tart, you’ll be depressed, eat a little of both, you’ll have a stable mood. Yes, if only the Cheshire Cat and the White Rabbit were real… *sigh*

Ok, enough of the jibber jabber-jabber. Let’s get to the point. What kinds of foods can be our tarts to stability? According to a psych nurse I talked to while on the psych ward, there is no set diet that can stabilize our mood swings and everything associated with bipolar. She did say that it is important to avoid consuming too much caffeine, as that can throw your system out of whack. Another thing to limit is simple carbs such as pop, juice, pasta and bread made with white flour, and packaged cereals. Basically anything that has no fiber. The hardest food for me to limit/avoid is sugar. Boy do I love me some sweets! And, of course, this is probably the one you want to avoid most… Eating too much sugar can cause an increase in your glucose which will give you energy and make you feel almost manic, or hypomanic. Then, as the sugar leaves your system, your glucose will drop, as will your energy. You’re likely to end up in a depressive state here. (And yes, I can personally attest to the up and down of sugar!!!) Now, I’m not saying you can’t ever eat these foods. I’d probably starve if I couldn’t have some of it! But it’s important to limit the amount you eat.

I was still curious if there was a specific diet out there, so I asked the Pdoc at the hospital. He seemed pretty knowledgeable, so I figured I’d give him a chance. He said (in his very Russian accent) “I do not dink dere is a diet for de bipolar disorder. If dere was, we would not be where we are now!” (Can you hear the thick Russian-iness there?) He did also say that if you look online, you may be able to find some hoax of a diet, but it will not work. They are just trying to get money or whatever.

So, all in all, I was pretty bummed to learn there are no special tarts we can eat to make us bigger, smaller, or regular sized – Sorry I had to be the bearer of bad news!

~God bless!!!

2 thoughts on “A Bipolar Diet?

  1. Hi Sammi,
    We have found something that works for my daughter, who has Bipolar NOS (rapid cycling). It took us years to figure this out, but her major trigger is glutamate (MSG, or any other food which is high is free glutamate–like cheese). Even on medication, glutamate can send her into a very bad state, very quickly. We treat foods that contain it like a weapon, and have removed as many sources as possible from the home. Glutamate makes her irritable and violent (like a mixed state). Caffeine is also not good, but usually results in uncontrollable laughing, rather than the dangerous, angry, state that comes from Glu. Basically she can eat anything that doesn’t have high levels of Glu, which means we had to start cooking “real” food (vegetables, homemade soup, etc.) instead of relying on eating out and preparing boxed or frozen stuff.
    I have asked a psychiatrist about this, and basically researchers are just starting to understand the role of dietary glutamate in bipolar disorder, so not much is known at this point. It is easy enough to try, and there is no harm in removing processed junk (and cheese) from the diet and replacing it with good things. Maybe someone else can benefit from what we have learned. 🙂

  2. I know it’s been a while since I posted this, but we were discussing mood disorders in my class the other day, and my professor came up with some other food tips to help manage your moods!
    Oranges and vitamin C can curb the levels of stress hormones. Not enough spinach and magnesium causes headaches and fatigue and compunds stress. Black tea may help you recover from stress more quickly. And finally, raw veggies such as celery or carrots can help release a clenched jaw and ward off stress. I don’t any of these are 100% conclusive, but they can help!

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