“Most behaviour change requires a certain amount of skill and desire by itself is simply not enough” Brian Colbert
“My first recommendation to someone with Manic Depression would be a full consultation with a nutritionalist” … who will “give you a personally tailored nutritional strategy to help relieve your symptoms” Patrick Holford .
“If mood changes are not owing to any drug intake (caffeine, alcohol or cocaine), the possibility of food allergy or hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) should be carefully investigated. If your blood sugar levels are in serious imbalance, severe mood swings can result”. He also discusses the condition pyroluria which is linked to depleted B6 and zinc.
“A hyperactive thyroid can induce mania, while an underactive thyroid can trigger depression, so thyroid function is well worth investigating”. Lack of light and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) can lead to Depression. A light box might be a good investment. Under the guidance of a nutrition therapist he mentions the use of of amino acid tryptophan. If a person is on medication they would need to watch out for any contraindications when it comes to taking supplements at the same time.
Eating oily fish or taking fish oils can have benefits for the brain, heart, skin and immune system. There are 2 types of Omega-3 fats. DHA and EPA. EPA can help with Depression. Flaxseed oil is a vegetarian alternative .
High homocysteine levels in the blood can increase the likelihood of suffering from Depression.
“Several important, mood associated vitamins and minerals (folate, vitamins B12 and B6, and zinc) are responsible for the conversion of homocysteine to the non-harmful cysteine”… “By embracing the concept of biochemical individuality, that every patient is different. That their genetic, biochemical and nutritional status impacts how a person feels, and how, in turn, they are treated, we are able to make well informed decisions about how to help” James Greenblatt MD .
“Both cytokines and inflammation have been shown to rocket during depressive episodes, and in people with Bipolar, to drop off in periods of remission”….”A diet rich in trans fats and sugar has been shown to promote inflammation, while a healthy one full of fruit, veg and oily fish helps keep it at bay. Obesity is another risk factor, probably because body fat, particularly around the belly, stores large quantities of cytokines” … “stress, particularly the kind that follows social rejection or loneliness, also causes inflammation, and it starts to look as if depression is a kind of allergy to modern life – which might explain its spiraling prevalence all over the world as we increasingly eat, sloth and isolate ourselves into a state of chronic inflammation” . Curcumin which is a component of turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and also Omega-3.
Allergies can cause mental and physical health symptoms. An allergic reaction can lead to inflammation in the body.
“Several studies have also found an association between the receipt of antibiotics and an increased incidence of psychiatric disorders, perhaps due to alterations in the microbiome” . “While animal models focus on the bacterial composition of the intestinal tract, studies to date in individuals with psychiatric disorders also point to the possible role of viruses and fungi”.
Sometimes people with mental health difficulties may have resorted to unhelpful coping mechanisms in dealing with their problems eg drinking too much. Dual Diagnosis is a term used to refer to cases where a person has both a mental health issue and addiction issues. This usually leads to a worsening of symptoms. Alcohol can fuel Manic Depressive symptoms. It can make the highs higher or the lows lower.
The person may need assistance in dealing with such a problem and needs to want to stop or want to change their habit. There is help out there for people who want to make such changes so that they can have a better quality, more productive life e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings . You don’t need to be an alcoholic to attend such services. There is also a good Allen Carr book on how to control alcohol .
My own journey
I found writing this blog helpful as there is so much information out there we can get lost. This has helped me pull that information together. It will inspire me as I move forward. I am currently taking a magnesium supplement as I suffer with insomnia . I know that I have a problem with inflammation in my body and I’m working on it. I noticed after my last antibiotic that my mood went a bit ‘high’. I took a course of probiotics, which doctors should recommend.
Sleep is a big part of healing and recovery and I need to make it a priority. I need to stay self-aware of anything that can impact the quality of my sleep. I found this interview between sleep expert Dr Guy Meadows and Dr Rangan Chatterjee helpful . I’m also taking Krill oil and have changed to a more vegetarian based diet, while reducing dairy. Mental / physical health requires daily work and dedication. But the idea of becoming healthier, more balanced, with more energy to get through the day is a good motivator.
 500 Health and Nutrition Questions Answered by Patrick Holford, 2004 ~
 Can a Simple Blood Test Solve Depression? Testing for Homocysteine Can Help in Depression Treatment by James Greenblatt MD
 Is depression a kind of allergic reaction? A growing number of scientists are suggesting that Depression is a result of inflammation caused by the body’s immune system ~
 The microbiome, immunity, and schizophrenia and bipolar ~
 Alcoholics Anonymous ~
 Allen Carr’s Easyway to Control Alcohol, 2009 ~
 Magnesium – How it affects your sleep ~
 Episode 11: Good Sleep Habits and Sleep Misconceptions with Dr Guy Meadows ~
* The Breakthrough Depression Solution: A Personalized 9-Step Method for Beating the Physical Causes of Your Depression, James Greenblatt MD, 2011
* New research suggests gut microbiome plays a role in Bipolar ~
* Action plan for Bipolar ~
http://www.foodforthebrain.org/nutrition-solutions/bipolar-disorder/action-plan-for-bipolar-disorder.aspx (magnesium is discussed)
* Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being ~
* Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with recurrent self-harm. Hallahan et al 2007 ~
* The Feel Good Factor: 10 Proven Ways to Feel Happy and Motivated
by Patrick Holford, 2010
* Antibiotic exposure and the risk for depression, anxiety, or psychosis: a nested case-control study
(Recurrent antibiotic exposure shown to increase risk of anxiety & Depression)