The following is information the Safe Harbor Project commonly gives out in response to questions about alternative treatments for bipolar disorder.
1. Look on our directory to see if you can find a doctor near you who will offer you drug-free alternatives.
2. If no luck, you can call doctors from www.acam.org to see if they can help you. You may need to call a few or ask the ones you reach if they know of a doctor who uses alternative treatments for mental health.
3. Amino acid treatment has been found to be successful for some. See our article at http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/aminobipolar.htm
4. Harvard did a study that found fish oil to be as effective as drugs in treating bipolar. This is discussed in numerous places on the net.
5. The Synergy Group of Canada works with a nutritional supplement that they claim more thatn 70% success rate of relieving bipolar symptoms and allowing people to discontinue medications. They are at http://www.truehope.com or at 888-878-3467.
The same, or a very similar product, is available at Evince International at http://www.equilib.us or at 800-361-1370 or 866-438-4623.
6. Serenity is reported to be an all-natural, highly effective and completely safe mood stabilizer and alternative to anti-depressants. It reportedly does not lower energy levels and has no side effects. It is reported to be effective for Unwanted mood swings, Migraine or frequent headaches, Depression, Side effects from prescription anti-depressants, Alcoholism, Bipolar disorder, Menopause or PMS, Anorexia, and Mental lows in life. Full info is at www.serenitynow.com
7. The following are common causes of “bipolar disorder”:
A. Hypoglycemia. We have more on this in an article called Conquering Anxiety, Depression and Fatigue Without Drugs – the Role of Hypoglycemia. There’s tons of info on the net on hypoglycemia and it is very easy to fix. You don’t even need to test for it: A person can try a hypoglycemia diet for 2 weeks to see if they feel better.
B. Allergies. These can be food allergies, mold or almost anything. Seasonal allergies like pollen could cause a roller coaster effect like bipolar. Food allergies can be somewhat tested for by eliminating one food at a time from the diet for 2 week or so. If you feel better, that food could be a problem for you. Wheat and milk are the most common allergic foods. Also you can be tested for allergies – see greatplainslaboratory.com. Other laboratories test as well.
C. Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco sensitivities can contribute. A very recent study shows that smokers tend to have more mental problems. You might try cutting out caffeine to see if that helps – do so slowly as quitting abruptly can give headaches. If you drink alcohol daily or almost daily, you could try removing that for a while and see how you feel.
D. B6 deficiencies are a possibility. One doctor recommends bipolars take extra B complex, which includes B6, and we saw one mother’s story of how her son recovered just from this.
E. Candida is a possibility. In the article on our site on Candida, it mentions it causing manic depression. Candida can be tested for at Great Plains Laboratory at greatplainslaboratory.com and possibly other laboratories. If you can’t afford that you can get a book on it at the library (“The Yeast Connection” or the “Yeast Connection Handbook”) and try the candida self-treatment mentioned.
F. PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is a possibility.
G. Thyroid problems are a common cause, either too high or too low thyroid. That can be tested for by a doctor. Also a self test can be done for high or low thyroid. Dr. Broda Barnes wrote a book on low thyroid called Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness in which he recommends a simple temperature test to see if the person is getting enough thyroid hormone. You take an old-fashioned mercury-type thermometer and shake it down and put it on the nightstand before going to bed (if you’re going to do it on yourself – on someone else just shake it down below 95 degrees before you take the temp). In the morning on awakening, before arising or moving around, the person puts the thermometer snugly in his armpit for 10 minutes by the clock. If the temp is below 97.8, the person likely needs thyroid or, if they’re on thyroid, they need more thyroid. The temp should be between 97.8-98.2. Dr. Barnes recommended Armour Thyroid which is natural. Most doctors don’t use this test but alternative doctors do. You can get a list of them who will prescribe thyroid based on this test at the Broda Barnes Foundation at 203 261-2101.
H. Copper imbalance could be a problem. Too much copper or an improper zinc/copper ratio. You can ask your doctor/nutritionist about this or you can try calling the Pfeiffer Treatment Center in Illinois and ask them how to test for this. They are at 630 505 0300.
I. A condition called pyroluria could exist. There’s info on this in our article 29 Medical Causes of Schizophrenia.