Probiotics for bipolar disorder mania

Bipolar mental disorder abstract psychological illness concept as a butterfly divided as one side in grey and sad colors with the other in full bright tones as a medical metaphor for psychiatric mood or feelings imbalance.

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Bipolar disorder can be a debilitating disease. Dealing with this illness is quite difficult for patients, family, and friends. The manic phases can profoundly disrupt people’s quality of life. The cost is another reason for concern, as patients can be hospitalized for days until their symptoms are well controlled. After discharge there is a high risk of relapse, so careful observation is important to prevent rehospitalizations. But what if a simple supplement could help manage these serious flare-ups?

Bipolar disorder and gut health

There is growing evidence that mood disorders may be related to overall inflammation and to changes in the microbiome, the bacteria that live in our digestive tract. We have learned that probiotics may help improve a variety of health conditions, in part due to an anti-inflammatory effect.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine designed an interesting study to determine if probiotics could help people discharged from the hospital after a manic flare-up avoid rehospitalization. The study randomized 66 patients with bipolar disorder who were hospitalized for mania and divided them into two groups of 33 patients. They gave a probiotic combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species to one group and a placebo to the second group. They asked all patients to continue taking their regular medications for bipolar disorder and followed them for a total of 24 weeks. Before the start of the study, the researchers identified which patients had higher markers of inflammation (that is, people with more overall inflammation in the body).

What this study on probiotics and mania showed

The results were striking. The rates of rehospitalization were 51.1% in the placebo group and 24.2% in the group who took probiotics. On average, the reduction in readmission was 74% lower in the probiotic combination compared with the placebo arm of the study. The most significant finding was an almost 90% reduction of hospitalization in the group with the highest inflammation score who took probiotics. Additionally, patients who took probiotics and were rehospitalized stayed in the hospital on average 2.8 days, compared with 8.3 days for those taking placebo.

The microbiome and mood disorders beyond bipolar

This study adds to the data that suggest gut flora has an effect on psychiatric diseases. We still do not know if an intestinal microbiome disarray is the cause of mania and bipolar disorder. However, this research supports an assertion that overall inflammation is associated with gut inflammation, which in turn can modulate mood disorders, or at least severe cases of mania for bipolar patients. The evidence of a “gut-brain axis principle” is more robust, especially after some studies showing that the type of bacteria that live in our bowels could cause brain inflammation. This most recent research indicates that we could potentially manage the symptoms of severe cases of bipolar disorder merely by changing the makeup of our microbiome.

What now?

A few words of caution before you buy probiotics to address mood changes. The study was small, and the selected patient population had a more severe form of bipolar disorder. Similar studies for patients with milder symptoms of depression and schizophrenia found little to no effect when comparing probiotics to standard treatment. We need a lot more data from high-quality research to change what we currently recommend for the treatment of other psychiatric illnesses.

Yet, this research still has the potential to change practice after patients with bipolar disorder get discharged from the hospital for mania. Adding probiotics to the regular medication regimen is simple, cheap, has no side effects, and appears to be highly effective.

Related Information: Understanding Depression

Recipe for spiritual and mental healing: Matthew E. McLaren

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIV

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 NIV

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

Recommended contacts for prayer request and Bible study

http://agapetemplesda.com/

https://itiswrittencanada.ca/watch/

http://www.itiswritten.com/

www.adventistontario.org

http://www.nadadventist.org/article/15/contact-us

http://3abn.org/all-streams/3abn.html

https://www.adventist.org/en/utility/contact/

http://www.imsmedia.org/watch-online/total-onslaught-series

 

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