The Treatment of Bipolar Disorder with Herbal Medicine
The emerging scientific evidence and clinical practice suggest that some patients with bipolar disorder also have underlying digestive problems, which cause inappropriate immune and inflammatory responses. These processes can lead to psychological problems1,2. These patients may suffer bloating, gas, acid reflux, allergies, thrush, constipation and/or diarrhoea, loud bowel sounds or abdominal discomfort.
To ascertain the cause and the extent of any underlying digestive problems experienced by patients with bipolar disorder, non-invasive tests are carried out in a medical laboratory. Once these problems are diagnosed and treated, patients usually notice an improvement in their condition. Their mood becomes more stable and their overall health improves. (Please click the "Read More" icon on the panel below)
Some of these patients started life with a poor gut flora. After taking an extensive case history, it is often evident that the patient may have inherited a poor gut flora from their mother, who may also suffer digestive problems. The maternal grandmother may also have suffered digestive disorders. The patient may have gone on to suffer recurrent infections in childhood because their immunity was impacted by their poor gut flora4. There is around 70-80% of the immune system in the digestive system and scientific evidence demonstrates that it is adversely affected by poor gut flora5. These recurrent infections were invariably treated with antibiotics, which further damage the gut flora6.
After antibiotic therapy or prolonged stress, space in the gut flora is created through the death of the commensal (beneficial) bacteria. The pathogenic (bad) strains of bacteria and also yeast can overgrow unchallenged. It is these organisms that can cause the digestive, immune and behavioural problems. In fact, there is ever increasing evidence that the gut and brain communicate and that an imbalance of the gut flora can cause psychological problems. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Patients with medically diagnosed underlying digestive problems may report anxiety, depression, mood swings, poor sleep, vivid dreams and/or nightmares.