We often ignore the importance of healthy foods. However, healthy foods are good for both our bodies and our minds. This is because a healthy body ensures a healthy mind. If we deprive our body of the essential nutrients that it needs, the state of our minds deteriorates over time. We even have this notion that most people suffering from mental disorders are the ones who have healthy food deficiencies. This way of thinking is a subject for debate among health practitioners and researchers up to today.
Facts about Bipolar Patients
In order to understand a bipolar patient, someone needs to have the basic information about bipolar disorders.
- A bipolar disorder, which is also known as amanic-depressive disorder, has a genetic link. A family that has a history of the bipolar disorder produces a generation, which has an increased risk of suffering from the disorder as well.
- A bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings, which include mania (extreme highs) and depression (extreme lows). The duration in which these emotions manifest themselves may last for days, weeks, months or even years. There are no known reasons for the mood manifestations and mood swings. They are mostly triggered by some events, situations, foods and medication.
- Lifestyle choices and environmental factors can contribute to the symptoms of a bipolar disorder. Substance and alcohol abuse usually worsen the condition of a bipolar patient. Additionally, a stressful environment acts as a trigger for the bipolar symptoms, which lead to either a manic or a depressive episode.
- In some cases, a bipolar disorder is caused by the failure of neurotransmitters to function properly within our brains. Therefore, a mental illness develops.
Foods that Bipolar Patients Should Avoid
Research and studies show that certain foods are good for bipolar patients. However, there are certain foods to be avoided as well. Staying on a healthy diet certainly helps in controlling the triggers of a bipolar episode. Following are some of the foods, which bipolar patients should avoid:
- Caffeine – These patients should avoid taking coffee and drinking any beverage,which contains caffeine, such as sports’ drinks. Since caffeine disrupts sleep and alters moods, it is not recommended for consumption by a bipolar patient. Caffeine also decreases the sedative effect of medications for the bipolar condition, which causes the medications to be ineffective.
- Red meat and fatty foods can have contra-indications for some bipolar medications, which slows down the effect of such medications in treating the symptoms.
- Antidepressant drugs like Nardil and Parnate should never be taken with foods containing tyramine. This is because tyramine can cause severe hypertension, which makes it hard to control the symptoms. Tyramine-rich foods include bananas, champagne, liver, fermented cheese and some wines.
- Bipolar patients should avoid alcoholic beverages due to its tranquilizing effect, which worsens the depressive state of a bipolar patient. Alcohol is one of the main triggers for the onset of depression in a bipolar patient.
As mentioned earlier, the symptoms of a bipolar disorder may be triggered by traumatic events, manic situations, foods eaten, and environmental factors. By recognizing and knowing what triggers the symptoms of a bipolar patient, it becomes easy to control the onset of symptoms.
Even though it is a common and natural tendency to relax by drinking a cup of tea, a bipolar patient should stay away from anything that contains caffeine. It is also advisable for a bipolar patient to consult a doctor if their medications lead to negative reactions after eating some foods.
Having a clear understanding of these facts is important in the control of the symptoms of a bipolar disorder.
About the Author : My name is Jennifer C. Carillo from New Jersey. I am 34 years old and a psychology teacher at the community college in New Jersey. I have 2 lovely daughters aged 5 and 2. I work as a freelance writer for bipolarsymptoms.org which gives me a different perspective about this mental condition.