Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But there is good news: bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings—from overly "high" and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression.
Signs and symptoms of mania (or a manic episode) include:
A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with three or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, four additional symptoms must be present.
Signs and symptoms of depression (or a depressive episode) include:
A mild to moderate level of mania is called hypomania.
Sometimes, severe episodes of mania or depression include symptoms of psychosis (or psychotic symptoms). Common psychotic symptoms are hallucinations (hearing, seeing, or otherwise sensing the presence of things not actually there) and delusions (false, strongly held beliefs not influenced by logical reasoning or explained by a person's usual cultural concepts). Psychotic symptoms in bipolar disorder tend to reflect the extreme mood state at the time.
CAUSES OF BIPOLAR
To understand why various health problems can cause the symptoms such as mood swings, you need to understand how imbalances in body affect the function of the brain.
Brain Inflammation: Inflammation is a significant factor in Bipolar Disorder; inflammatory conditions such as periodontal disease, autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease can trigger the excitatory neurotransmitters such as Glutamate to become over stimulated.
When the immune system is activated by inflammation, it triggers the production of regulatory proteins known as cytokines. These peptides activate the hyppthalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA), creating a stress response.
Neurotransmitter Imbalance: Mood Swings can result from imbalances in the levels of chemical messengers in the brain called neurotransmitters. The emotions we feel are based on the release of neurotransmitters.
Impaired Methylation: Methylation is a vitally important metabolic process which occurs in every cell of the body. This process, by which a methyl group (consisting of 1 carbon and 3 hydrogen atoms) is transferred from one molecule to another, is important to the manufacture of DNA and RNA.
Street Drugs and Certain Prescription Drugs Can Cause Depression: Prescription drugs, such as antihistamines, anti-hypertensives, anti-inflammatory agents, birth control pills, cholesterol lowering medications, corticosteriods, tranquilizers, sedatives and antidepressants, have all been found to cause mania and depression in susceptible individuals. Alcohol is a depressant, increases adrenal hormone output, interferes with many brain processes, and disrupts normal sleep cycles. Nicotine stimulates adrenal hormone secretion, including cortisol. Caffeine causes anxiety, panic disorders, depression, nervousness, palpitations, irritability and recurrent headache in sensitive individuals. Drugs like Ecstasy damage the serotonin transporters.
Testing for Causes of Bipolar
In order to properly treat your depressive symptoms, it is important to know exactly which cause, or causes, are responsible. Lab testing can narrow down the source of the problem and help to determine the course of treatment which will most effectively address your individual needs.
Natural Treatment For Bipolar
Treating the Health Problems that Cause Mood Swings
Once you have determined the contributing factor or factors causing Bipolar symptoms, your health care adviser can work with you to design an individualized treatment which focuses on correcting deficiencies and imbalances, removing allergens, detoxifying the body, and increasing digestive health.
Your care regimen may consist of one or more of the following elements:
Be Proactive - Get Healthy and Prevent Mood Swing Symptoms.
If you suffer from Bipolar or any other mental health complaint, adopting a healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward achieving a natural cure for depression by relieving your symptoms and improving your overall sense of well-being.
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