The exact causes of bipolar disorder formerly known as manic depressive illness are unknown. Current treatments are mainly medications, which supposedly correct these imbalances. When medications fail to work, treatments can also include transcranial magnetic stimulation TMS and electroconvulsive therapy ECT. Many treatments that are approved for the treatment of epilepsy also work for bipolar disorder and other psychiatric disorders, including medications like Depakote valproic acid, Tegretol carbamazepine, and Lamictal lamotrigine. Other anticonvulsant medications are used off label very commonly in the treatment of bipolar disorder. Given the overlap in effective treatments, it is not unreasonable to question if the evidence-based ketogenic diet might play a role in the treatment of bipolar disorder, at least for some people. In support of this possibility, recent research suggests that disturbances in energy metabolism play a role in bipolar disorder, meaning the brain or certain parts of the brain may not be getting enough energy, at least from glucose.
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Bipolar disorder can disrupt every part of your life, including your job and your relationships. Medicine and talk therapy can help control the severe high and low shifts in mood, depression, and mania symptoms. You might have also considered trying alternative therapies, like diet changes. One diet in particular, the ketogenic diet, has the potential to benefit people with this condition, according to limited research. The ketogenic diet has been around since the s. Normally, carbohydrates, namely glucose, supply your body and brain with energy. The liver breaks down fats into substances called ketones, which are naturally higher in energy than carbohydrates.