Does My Diet Have Anything to Do with Bipolar Disorder?

Alcohol, drugs, certain foods, caffeine can all have a negative impact on your bipolar disorder symptoms. Learn what can happen.

Alcohol, drugs, certain foods, caffeine can all have a negative impact on your bipolar disorder symptoms.

What you put in your body whether it be food, caffeine, alcohol or street drugs can strongly and negatively affect your bipolar disorder symptoms. Changes in blood sugar due to a diet of highly processed foods, such as white sugar and white flour, can affect your daily stability. Coffee, often seen as a treatment for low energy depression, can significantly increase anxiety and lead to sleep problems. Think carefully of what you eat and drink and then monitor how certain things affect your moods. It must be stressed that caffeine is one of the major causes of anxiety and agitation. Try to limit caffeine to less than 250 mg a day. A cup of coffee has 125 mg. For some people though, even decaffeinated coffee is too strong and coffee may have to be stopped completely.

Can I Use Marijuana and Alcohol to Calm Down?

Here are the facts. Pot and alcohol seem to help bipolar disorder symptoms for some people. They can be perceived as calming and harmless, but there is one significant way that pot and alcohol negatively impact bipolar disorder: they affect deep sleep. As you read previously, structured sleep is essential for mood management. Pot and alcohol may put you to sleep to the point of passing out, but it's not deep sleep. Anyone who uses these substances in this way knows that no amount of pot or alcohol can actually end or even greatly improve bipolar disorder symptoms. Alcohol is ultimately a depressant and pot can numb a person to a point where they cannot participate fully in life. In a perfect world, simply stopping alcohol and drugs is, of course, the optimum way to help manage bipolar disorder. There are also relationship and work problems that can be caused by alcohol and pot use. This then leads to more bipolar disorder symptoms and a vicious circle begins.

What If I Have a Problem with Substance Abuse?

Drug and alcohol abuse is a very common problem for people with bipolar disorder and yet drugs and alcohol are two of the most detrimental substances you can put in the body. There is no doubt that it will be very difficult to treat bipolar disorder successfully if you have a substance abuse problem, but changes will have to be made. If you're looking for help on this website, there is a good chance you can then look for help with any substance abuse problem you have. Don't take substance abuse lightly. Get help so that you can more effectively manage bipolar disorder.

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APA Reference
Fast, J. (2009, February 13). Does My Diet Have Anything to Do with Bipolar Disorder?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 18 from

Last Updated: June 2, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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