Foods to Avoid When Suffering from Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a complex condition that causes unusual and dramatic mood swings. In this condition, the patient can suffer from a severe episode of depression or a manic high. They experience mood swings gradually over a period of a couple of days to multiple weeks. Sometimes, these swings are not gradual and can be felt suddenly, making it very hard for one to form and maintain functional relationships.

While there is no treatment to completely cure this disorder, medication, therapy, and proper lifestyle and dietary habits can help them manage this condition well enough to rejoin society as an active member. Food probably plays one of the most important roles in supplementing any treatment, and it is the same case with bipolar disorder. Just as there are foods that must be eaten when suffering from this condition, there are also foods that must be avoided.

Unhealthy food habits cause a host of ailments and research has stated that a poor diet can trigger episodes of bipolar disorder. If one is suffering from the symptoms of bipolar disorder, they must consider avoiding the below-listed food options.

1. Caffeine
All kinds of stimulants such as caffeine should be avoided as they can trigger mania. Caffeine can also impair sleep and lead to sleep deprivation. Due to sleep deprivation, various symptoms of bipolar disorder such as mania and mood swings, etc. can develop. According to the National Sleep Foundation, caffeine is responsible for increased anxiety and irritability.

2. Alcohol
It is essential to remember that alcohol is one of the worst things anyone with bipolar disorder can indulge in. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to bipolar mood swings. According to the National Institutes of Health, patients with bipolar disorder can die prematurely if they consume alcohol and other similar substances regularly.

3. Sugar
A higher consumption of sugar can lead to an individual being overweight and obese. These conditions can lead to intense mood swings and can also give rise to multiple other health problems.

4. Salt
If one is on lithium medication, moderating the salt intake can be tricky as the sudden change in salt intake can impact lithium levels. It is always advisable to consult the doctor before taking any such steps. According to the American Heart Association, an adult should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams (mg) of salt a day. If one cannot always control their salt intake, they must at least make sure they are always well-hydrated.

5. Fat
If one is suffering from the symptoms of bipolar disorder, they should always adhere to the heart-healthy options in their diet and try to consume the recommended foods for bipolar disorder. This means that one should opt for lean proteins and low-fat dairy products. Individuals must strictly regulate the consumption of trans fat and saturated fat in their diet.

To relieve the symptoms of this condition, one should take care to plan a healthy diet that includes all or most of the suggested foods to help manage bipolar disorder and avoid or limit the consumption of foods that can cause adverse effects.

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