The five worst food for bipolar disorder

Whilst talking to a friend about me wanting to get out of depression, she mentioned that a little bit of caffiene may perk me up a little and make me feel better. What constitutes a little I don’t know but from what I can gather even a cup of coffee is too much. So I googled what would be too much and I just thought I’d share the worst food for people with bipolar disorder.

The fundamentals of a healthy diet include not just what to eat, but also what not to eat. You should skip these snacks that can worsen bipolar symptoms.

  • Caffeine. “Stimulants can trigger mania and should be avoided,” Fiedorowicz says. “Caffeine is an under-appreciated trigger and can additionally impair sleep,” and sleep deprivation is a notorious trigger for bipolar mood swings and mania. Caffeine can also worsen anxiety, which tends to go hand in hand with bipolar disorder and, if you’re taking antipsychotic medications, might also affect how those drugs work. Fiedorowicz adds that some over-the-counter medications — such as pseudoephedrine, found in some cough and cold medications, for instance — have stimulant properties similar to caffeine and can also trigger bipolar mood swings.
  • Alcohol. Bottom line, alcohol and bipolar disorder make a bad combination. Alcohol can negatively affect bipolar mood swings and also may interact negatively with medications. People with bipolar disorder are also more likely to become addicted to alcohol and other substances.
  • Sugar. People with bipolar disorder are at risk for metabolic syndrome, a pre-diabetes condition that may make it hard to manage blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the highs and lows that come with the sugar roller coaster could just add to bipolar mood swings, particularly mania. If you really want a sweet treat, reach for fruit.
  • Salt. If you’re on lithium, moderating salt intake can be tricky because a change in salt intake, either an increase or a sudden decrease, can affect lithium levels. Talk to your doctor about how to safely manage the salt in your diet to stay within a healthy range, often between 1,500 and 2,300 milligrams a day. Equally important when taking lithium is to make sure to drink enough fluids — dehydration could cause dangerous side effects, Fiedorowicz cautions.
  • Fat. Fiedorowicz suggests following the recommendations of the American Heart Association for a healthy diet in order to limit saturated fat and trans fat in your diet. That means opting for lean protein and low-fat dairy products when choosing animal products. You might have heard that the fat in foods could alter the way your body uses medications. Generally, your medications will still be effective, but eating a lot of fried, fatty foods just isn’t good for your heart.

2 thoughts on “The five worst food for bipolar disorder

  1. Ahhh, in general, those are things that should be limited in any diet … though I see that they given information on how it might affect people with bipolar disorder in terms of medication and symptoms nods.

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