Nutrition is often overlooked when it comes to following a treatment plan for bipolar disorder. While it is not as critical as medication and psychotherapy, following a healthy diet can help ensure that those treatment components are effective.

So it's important that a person with bipolar disorder makes a point of emphasizing fruits, vegetables and whole grains in his or her diet. At the same time, eating a lot of junk food that's high in sugar and low in nutrients can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate and that can lead to mood swings—which people with bipolar want to avoid. That's also why bipolar patients need to be careful about their intake of alcohol and caffeine. They should be consumed only in moderation. And while energy drinks may provide a quick jolt, it doesn't last and the crash afterwards may make you feel more fatigued than you were initially.

One final point about the need to be diligent about diet. Bipolar disorder is often associated with weight gain that can result from the depressed phase of a patient's cycle or as a side effect of medications. Poor eating habits can exacerbate those weight challenges.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 19 May 2014

Last Modified: 19 May 2014