5 Foods To Avoid If You Have Bipolar Disorder

What we eat has a major impact on our physical and mental health, which is why you shouldn’t be surprised when the doctor asks you to avoid certain foods if you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is characterized by intense and unpredictable emotions; people usually suffer from cycles of episodes of either extreme depression or extreme elation, known as manic episodes. If you have bipolar disorder, you have to strive to manage your mood episodes while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is where your diet comes in; though most people remain oblivious to this fact, foods do play a major role in helping or hindering your lifestyle if you have bipolar disorder.

Since there are high chances that you’ll let your moods dictate your eating patterns, weight gain and other ailments that accompany it can drastically affect your physical health. This, in turn, can prove detrimental to your mental health. There might not be any specific diet for bipolar disorder, but there are certain foods that you should avoid if you have bipolar disorder:

  • Caffeine

If you cannot start your day without your daily dose of caffeine, you’ll have a tough time giving it up. So, you can start by reducing the amount of caffeine you consume throughout the day instead of stopping its consumption abruptly. Though the extra caffeine does help in improving your mood, it interferes with your sleep patterns. It also causes heart palpitations, nervousness, headaches, high blood pressure, or irritation in the stomach. So, the most sensible thing to do is exercise moderation and slowly reduce your caffeine consumption.

  • High-fat meals

Another habit you need to get rid of is that of consuming high-fat meals. Not only does it put you at risk of obesity, but it also doesn’t bode well with certain bipolar disorder medications. Such meals can delay the time taken by these medications to be absorbed into your system. To avoid this, discuss these dietary changes with your doctor.

  • Foods with tyramine

If you are prescribed MAO inhibitors to control your mood episodes, it is essential to not consume tyramine-containing foods. These foods can cause severe hypertension in people who take MAO inhibitors. So, eliminate overripe bananas, aged meats, fermented cheese, soy sauce, and some wines like Chianti. Also, you aren’t supposed to take any kind of natural dietary supplement when on bipolar medications. Certain natural therapies like St. John’s wort and SAM-e are believed to treat moderate depression, but they often end up interacting unfavorably with antidepressants and other bipolar disorder medications.

  • Alcohol

Have you ever thought what makes alcohol so appealing toward the end of a tough day? Well, it is a depressant, acts as a tranquilizer, and helps you get through the day or assists in any tense social situations. However, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with bipolar disorder are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence and misuse alcohol than the rest of the population. Besides, there’s a well-established relationship between bipolar disorder and substance abuse, where alcohol often triggers depressive episodes in many people vulnerable to depression or bipolar disorder.

  • Grapefruit

There are certain speculations when it comes to consuming grapefruit. It is essential to talk to your doctor before eating grapefruit or drinking the juice with bipolar medication. There are high chances that consuming grapefruit juice may increase the blood levels of many psychiatric medications used for bipolar disorder.

It is essential to consult with your doctor before you add or eliminate foods to your diet as they can react adversely when combined with your bipolar medications.

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