Symptoms and structural changes in the brain and neuronal function in people with bipolar depression relate to a lack of fundamental chemicals that provide blood flow and oxygen and reduce excitability of nerve cells (due to carbon dioxide) and reduce inflammation in nerve cells (due to ketones rathen glucose as a dietary energy source for brain cells). Therefore, simple and natural treatment options include Buteyko breathing exercises that slow down breathing back to the medical norm, therapeutic ketogenic diet, and meditation. Just breathing retraining or correct diet alone quickly and naturally reduce symptoms and reverse brain changes common to bipolar disorder without needs for medication.
Since over 90% of modern people hyperventilate (breathe about twice more than the medical norm – see the Homepage for research), we are also going to provide a solid scientific explanation why bipolar disorder has been common for last several decades and was rare just one century ago.
Bipolar Disorder which is also known as manic depression is a mental disorder that draws extreme mood swings with a person. People suffering from this disorder might experience episodes of extreme emotional highs at one point. Patients might become over talkative and restless. They also find it difficult to concentrate on this because of the numerous thoughts racing through their mind in a single moment.
On the other hand, there might be episodes of extreme depression. The patients find themselves in very low spirits. Suicidal thoughts can also creep up inside the mind. This is why mortality rates are considered for people suffering from bipolar disorder because they are much prone to committing suicide.
Mainstream treatment with medication
There are a whole host of medicines that are prescribed by the doctors for the treatment of bipolar disorder. First of all are the mood enhancement drugs. These drugs help control the extreme mood swings. Usually Lithobid, Tegretol, and Depakote are prescribed to the patients.
The next stage is antipsychotics. These drugs are used if the patients do not respond to the initial treatment. Antipsychotic drugs like Zyprexa, Geodon, and Latuda are sometimes used in conjunction with mood stabilizer drugs. Moreover, benzodiazepines and antidepressants can also help improve the mental condition to a significant degree. Some people are satisfied with this approach and effects of medication. If you are interested in a better life without meds, there are proven solutions related to breathing normalization and/or dietary changes.
Side Effects of Medicine
The drugs that we have discussed above might reduce the potency of the birth control pills. Hence, young women should proceed with caution. Also, mothers who breastfeed their children should also avoid taking such medicine because there is a high probability that the chemicals might pass on through the milk into the infant’s body.
Other than that drugs like Tegretl and Lithobid might cause swelling of the tongue, vomiting, and unsteadiness in the body.
Changes in the brain of people with bipolar disorder and their causes
Common and well-documented neurological and structural changes in the brains of people with bipolar disorder include:
– reduced cerebral blood flow (for example, Benabarre et al, 2005; Bhardwaj et al, 2010; Dev SI, et al, 2015)
– hyperexcitability of the nerve cells (Malsert et al, 2013; Mertens et al, 2015)
– increased inflammation (Rosenblat and McIntyre, 2016).
The scientific explanation of these abnormalities relate to the following clinical facts:
– Carbon dioxide is the most potent known vasodilator, and a lack of this chemical is common for modern men (see the Homepage)
– CO2 is a powerful sedative and calmative, while nerve cells experience asynchronous and spontaneous firing when CO2 levels are low.
– both overbreathing and carb-based diets of modern people contribute to tissue hypoxia, elevated lactate and abnormal biochemical environment (including chronic inflammation) in the brain (this is described on many pages of this site).
Treating Bipolar Disorder Naturally with Diet and Breathing Retraining
Once we know the main causes of the disease, the goal is to provide those factors or chemicals that are missing and eliminate those factors that contribute to disease. Meditation is an additional tool that restores normal communication between different areas of the brain.
Breathing retraining alone is a natural and powerful treatment method. The Buteyko method provides a robust set of lifestyle changes especially in relation to sleep and physical exercise while using the Frolov or DIY breathing device quickly restores normal blood supply and oxygen levels in the brain. Breathing retraining is so potent that there is a simple criteria and goal to achieve (the exact number for the body-oxygen test) that provides a guarantee to reverse symptoms and eliminate any need for medication in bipolar disorder. This goal and criteria are provided below as your bonus content. The bonus content also gives you the link to most effective meditation exercises to change your life and deal with bipolar and related emotions.
One needs to get 35 s for the morning CP test in order to be free from bipolar and its symptoms. Note that the Buteyko norm is 60 seconds for this stress-free body-oxygen test.
One of the most effective approach to meditation is here: Meditation Resources and Products, but you will need to learn numerous things from YouTube about Joe Dispenza and his approach before you start listening and practicing his meditation audio files.
Meditation and mindfulness exercises are additional tools that recently attracted the attention of researchers and resulted in several successful clinical studies on people with bipolar disorder and correlation between mindfulness practice and depression and anxiety symptoms (for example, Perich et al, 2013).
Benabarre A1, Vieta E, Martínez-Arán A, Garcia-Garcia M, Martín F, Lomeña F, Torrent C, Sánchez-Moreno J, Colom F, Reinares M, Brugue E, Valdés M, Neuropsychological disturbances and cerebral blood flow in bipolar disorder, Aust N Z J Psychiatry, 2005 Apr; v.39(4): p.227-234.
Bhardwaj R1, Chakrabarti S, Mittal BR, Sharan P, A single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) study of regional cerebral blood flow in bipolar disorder, World J Biol Psychiatry, 2010 Mar; v. 11(2 Pt 2): p. 334-343.
Dev SI, et al, Increased cerebral blood flow associated with better response inhibition in bipolar disorder, J Int Neuropsychol Soc, 2015 Feb; v. 21(2): p. 105-115.
Malsert J1, Guyader N, Chauvin A, Polosan M, Szekely D, Bougerol T, Marendaz C, Saccadic performance and cortical excitability as trait-markers and state-markers in rapid cycling bipolar disorder: a two-case follow-up study, Front Psychiatry, 2013 Jan 4; 3: p. 112.
Mertens et al, Differential responses to lithium in hyperexcitable neurons from patients with bipolar disorder, Nature, 2015 Nov 5; v.527(7576): p. 95-99.
Perich T, Manicavasagar V, Mitchell PB, Ball JR, The association between meditation practice and treatment outcome in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for bipolar disorder, Behav Res Ther, 2013 Jul; v.51(7): p. 338-343.
Rosenblat JD, McIntyre RS, Bipolar Disorder and Inflammation, Psychiatr Clin North Am, 2016 Mar; v. 39(1): p.125-137.