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Treating Bipolar Disorder with Natural Supplements

written by: AlyssaAst • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 7/27/2010

Many of the medications prescribed to treat bipolar disorder are expensive and produce unwanted side effects. Luckily, there are many natural supplements for bipolar disorder. Treating bipolar disorder with natural supplements can often be as effective as prescribed medications.

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    Bipolar Disorder

    Bipolar Disorder occurs in numerous people world wide. The medications needed to treat this condition are often very expensive. Many people do not like taking prescribed medications, making this condition even more difficult to live with. However, there are many natural supplements for bipolar disorder that can be used in place of prescribed medications.

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    Dietary Supplements

    The FDA has strict regulations on what must be included in a dietary supplement in order for it to be approved. A dietary supplement must contain one or all of these substances in order for it to be approved: minerals, vitamins, amino acids, or herbs. These substances can be in the forms of extracts, metabolite, concentrate, or constituent for the FDA to approve.

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    St. John’s Wort

    St. John’s Wort has shown to be effective in naturally treating mild cases of bipolar disorder. This herb has shown to relieve depression in people with this condition. This can help people with bipolar disorder because depression greatly affects a person’s quality of life. St. John’s Wort also works for natural treating bipolar disorder by improving quality of sleep. It does this by increasing the brains release of melatonin at night. There is a warning against using St. John’s Wort for bipolar disorder because it may increase the risk of a manic episode and should only be used under a doctor's supervision.

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    5-Hydroxytryptophan

    5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is believed to help treat bipolar disorder naturally. It has shown to relieve mild cases of depression. It can help with the disorder because it increases the brains release of serotonin levels. Serotonin is responsible for producing a calming sensation in the body. It can help stabilize moods and sleep patterns.

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    Dehydroepiandosterone

    Dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA) is another supplement believed to help treat the condition. DHEA is a hormone that is produced naturally within the body. Many believe this supplement stabilizes moods and decreases the symptoms of depression. This supplement has not shown to cause many harmful side effects, but more research is still needed.

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    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to have a positive result for coping with some symptoms of bipolar disorder. It has shown to be effective in relieving the symptoms of depression. However, it does not seem to have any results on relieving manic episodes. Omega-3 helps the body regulate the production of many hormones, possibly relieving some symptoms of this condition.

    Although a natural supplement for bipolar disorder can help some people, it may not help everyone. There are many other treatments that can be used to treat bipolar disorder besides natural supplements.

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    References:

    “Bipolar Disorder" January 4, 2008 mayoclinic.com

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