Friday, August 15, 2008

Bipolar Disorder and Depression, is there new hope?

A few days ago a young mother in our neighborhood, suffering from postpartum and Bipolar Depression committed suicide. In my early years as a counselor I came to believe that nutrition and diet has a major role in depression and mental illness. I counseled brothers who were Bipolar, yet I had known them when they were younger, and mentally healthy—normal , outstanding young men. Their diet was terrible—lots of sugar, meat, soft drinks and junk food. A very acidic diet. Now they are unable to function normally in the community. I watched with sadness the results of their medication. Constant drooling, slowness of speech, periods when they went off the medication and the ups and downs of their disorder. I wanted desperately to help them. It was then I decided that I would pursue a Ph.D.degree in Holistic Nutrition.
I have long believed that candida has a role in depression and Bipolar Disorder and I am not alone. Dr. William Crook, author of The Yeast Connection, and Dr.C .Orian Truss, author of The Missing Diagnosis and other physicians suggest this is the case, although more research needs to be done.
According to Dr. Sherry Rogers, author of Depression Cured at Last, says depression always involves a seriously malabsorptive state and gut that needs to be "cleaned out". or needs to be "fixed"as soon as possible.Celiac disease and candida contributes to malabsorption.
Yeast is a vegetable, not an animal and is a strong invasive parasite that attaches itself to the intestinal wall and becomes a permanent resident of your internal organs. It is an integral part of life. It is present in food, and is found on exposed surfaces and in the air we breathe. Candida yeast intake and exposure cannot be avoided. Only when yeast becomes dominant in various parts of the body does it begin to present a serious health problem, resulting in disease, pain, and discomfort.
Yeast can become a hardy fungus. It multiplies very rapidly, can assume long periods of dormancy and when necessary, becomes cannibalistic. Candida is very sensitive to sugars, foods and other specific substances as they pass along the digestive tract. Yeasts cells thrive on sugar and have an aggressive appetite.
Minor increases in intestinal yeast are usually not a problem, but if yeast overgrowth is left unchallenged it can change into a mycelial fungus with rhizoids (tentacle-like projections) that penetrate the lining of the intestinal tract. These projections can cause intestinal permeability and leak toxins across the cellular membranes. This can cause a disruption in the absorption of nutrients and nutritional deficiencies that can lead to reduced immunity and weaken the body’s defense systems.
Without proper nutrition, the body can’t heal or regenerate its tissues and if you
cannot digest and assimilate food, the tissues will eventually starve, states Dr. Robert Young, author of The pH Miracle.
Cleansing the body and taking probiotics, and other anti-candida measures is a step toward healing.


Cleansing the Body
You should have three bowel movements a day. To help this process, juice lots of raw vegetables—especially spinach and carrots, eat lots of fiber, take a good bowel cleanser such as Naturlax 2, drink ½ cup aloe vera juice both morning and night, and drink lots of water.
Milk thistle helps cleanse the liver and aids in enhancing bile output to soften stools. Enzymes help digest foods and speed up elimination. Alfalfa tablets aid in detoxifying the body. Magnesium and a high dose of vitamin C, (the two "bowel loosening" nutrients), help constipation.

Depression involves a state of fairly broad essential nutrient and amino acid deficiency almost 100% of the time. It is suggested that consuming carnitine and phospatidyl choline is helpful when taking a therapeutic dose of amino acids.

Thyroid Function & Bipolar Disorder
There is currently an investigation on low thyroid and candida relationships connecting bipolar disorder and celiac disease. There is a clear connection between the process of thyroid hormone regulation and bipolar disorder. The problem is, this connection is only just now beginning to become evident, and how the connection works is basically a mystery. Two studies recently showed a strikingly high rate of autoimmune-caused thyroid problems in people with bipolar disorder, far more than you would expect to find.Vonk, Kupka Thyroid problems are more common in the complex forms of bipolar disorder (mixed states and rapid cycling) than in classic bipolar manic patients.Chang Signs of thyroid auto-immunity are much more common in people with anxiety and depression, particularly the forms of anxiety which don’t easily fit into typical “anxiety disorder” labels.Carta
Poor intestinal flora can contribute to depression by altering the immune system. Let’s examine this relationship a bit closer. Cytokines are produced by our immune system. In depression, there is an increase in inflammatory cytokines called IL-1, IL-6, and TNF. These same cytokines can be increased by exposure to the LPS in the cell wall of gram-negative intestinal bacteria. By increasing these cytokines, intestinal bacteria have been shown to induce depression, anxiety and cognition impairment.
Can Virgin Coconut Oil Help the Thyroid
Celiac disease, triggered by gluten proteins from wheat in susceptible people, can damage the central nervous system. The cell walls of Candida, the yeast responsible for oral thrush, vaginal infections and intestinal Candidiasis, contain the same protein sequence as wheat gluten and may trigger or stimulate Celiac Disease.
For the last ten years we have known that celiac disease is associated with hypothyroid disease, specifically Hashimoto’s Disease. About 10- 14% of celiac patients are hypothyroid. Celiac patients are about ten times as likely to have thyroid nodules. [5,6,7] Is it the same genetic predisposition making people overly prone to develop autoimmune diseases that causes both conditions? Or is it the chronic bowel inflammation that stimulates these autoimmune reactions? At this point it isn’t clear.
Since the unsaturated oils block protein digestion in the stomach, we can be malnourished even while "eating well." There are many changes in hormones caused by unsaturated fats. Their best understood effect is their interference with the function of the thyroid gland. Unsaturated oils block thyroid hormone secretion, its movement in the circulatory system, and the response of tissues to the hormone. Coconut oil is unique in its ability to prevent weight-gain or cure obesity, by stimulating metabolism. It is quickly metabolized, and functions in some ways as an antioxidant.9
Because coconut oil is saturated and very stable (unrefined coconut oil has a shelf life of about three to five years at room temperature), the body is not burdened with oxidative stress as it is with the vegetable oils. Coconut oil does not require the enzyme stress that vegetable oils do, preventing T4 to T3 hormone conversion, not only because it is a stable oil, but also because it is processed differently in the body and does not need to be broken down by enzyme dependent processes as do long chain fatty acids. Also, since the liver is the main place where damage occurs from oxidized and rancid oils that cause cell membrane damage, and since the liver is where much of the conversion of T4 to T3 takes place, eliminating long chain fatty acids from the diet and replacing them with medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil can, in time, help in rebuilding cell membranes and increasing enzyme production that will assist in promoting the conversion of T4 to T3 hormones.
More research in this area is necessary.
Omega 3 deficiency contributes to Bipolar Disorder and Depression

Omega-3s are a safe, simple, natural treatment for depression, mental health, and enhancing mood without side effects. Andrew Stoll, a psychiatrist and director of the Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory at McClean Hospital, is author of the book The Omega-3 Connection. The book is designed to educate about benefits of fish oil and help readers restore their natural balance of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in high concentrations in the brain.
Over the past century, people in the United States have largely eliminated omega-3 fatty acids from their diet, due to the huge consumption of processed foods and a low-fat diet craze.
However, there is reason to be concerned about bad fats. Some fats are absolutely required for good health, while others detrimental. The most dangerous fats are those found in margarines, shortenings, heated oils, cheese, and some meats, but we need the healing fatty acids. Omega-3s are essential for optimal function of every cell in our bodies and we cannot manufacture them internally. They can be obtained only through our diet.
Stoll, on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, was interested in alternatives for bipolar patients. He conducted extensive searches on medical research papers to find substances with properties similar to standard mood stabilizers, lithium and valproate. After he and his colleague, Dr. Emauel Severus, reviewed hundreds of papers, they pulled up one match time and again—common fish oil.
Fish oils are already known for their roll in preventing heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. They may also be responsible for protecting against arthritis, diabetes, and some psychiatric disorders. The brain requires more omega-3 and fatty acids than any other system in the body. According to Dr. Stoll, without omega-3s, the brain cannot function normally, so even the most powerful antidepressants will be unable to improve mood. For optimum health, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids should be eaten in nearly equal proportions. Omega-6 fatty acids are contained in vegetable and seed oils, including olive oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oils. Omega-3s are more difficult to obtain, and are most often from fish oil. Flax oil and seed contains some Omega-3s.
In addition, omega-3s are safe and effective supplements for pregnancy, nursing mothers, and postpartum depression. Blood levels of omega-3s decrease during the later stages of pregnancy and stay low, because the fetus receives these essential lipids preferentially (especially if there is a shortage). Lack of omega-3s can damage a mothers health after birth and cause major postpartum depression. These fatty acids are so important in cell-signaling pathways, and are vital to the function of many brain systems, including those neural systems regulating mood and emotions. Research indicates that a lack of omega-3s during pregnancy may impair development of the visual system of a fetus, and may also compromise future intelligence.
Evening Primrose is another Omega 3 that is particularly helpful for PMS (premenstrual syndrome), irritability, mood swings, and cramps.
There is some evidence that attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might be rooted in a deficiency of the omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers noticed that in two groups of children it was found that those who had omega-3 deficiency and ADHD had similarities. Both had excess thirst, greater frequency of dry hair and skin, and an increased need to urinate. When they tested the blood levels of the ADHD subjects they found that 40 percent had low levels of omega-3s.
Dr. Stoll recommends 1 to 3 grams (1000-to 3000 milligrams) of fish oil daily for health, mood, or cognitive improvement.

6 comments:

Susan said...

Thought you might be interested in this short omega-3 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIgNpsbvcVM

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Cara Mia said...

Wow, I'm so glad I found your blog! I have celiac disease and hypothyroid disorder and lately have been experiencing bipolar tendencies which are inhibiting my life. Thank you so much for your information about omega 3s and I really believe that nourishing the body will nourish the mind and vice versa.