Archive for September, 2012

Bipolar disorder for most is a constant battle with weight gain. The gains are not only from the medications, but by binge eating from anxiety and fear, as well as American overeating.

If you are starving all the time, can never get full even when eating, then consider issues with your medications Have your MD help you address this, which could include moving to a different medication if you can be adequately treated on the new medication.

If you are a bipolar person with a weight issue, I don’t always recommend Overeaters Anon, as I’ve noticed bipolars come out of those sorts of programs feeling guilty, more neurotic, and actually more obsessed with food. Hypnosis for some can be an alternative, if you commit to it long term. A support group that is based on a particular diet (Atkins, Low Carb, and so on), is a great place to land. In those groups, the emphasis is on getting informed and managing the diet. Be sure you have good reading material on that diet.

Hunger, though is not just a medication issue. It’s a powerful drive for all. If you are in a state of hunger, there are some things you can do. Now, if hungry, and you intervene with these snacks, the difference in hunger could show up tomorrow (see this issue in any protein diet or low carb diet book). But, for today, you still want to choose a snack that is high in protein to adjust the insulin system. If you eat carbs like popcorn cakes, you’ll be hungry later. The same goes for chips. Extremely fatty foods might fill you up, but the struggle will be: how can you burn off all those calories because fats are calorie dense?

Here are some non carb foods for snacks:

1. low fat jerky that is not laden with calorie rich teriyaki sauce

2. canned turkey or tuna

3. low fat turkey, especially lunch meat

4. edible soy beans, raw

5. low carb high protein bars


Hey, I bet those power bars were made in the Powerbar factory in Boise!

6. high protein shake (found in pharmacy section of Walmart), in bottle, can, or powder form. These can be found also at most stores, including convenience stores and vitamin/health shops.


And, another resource for discounts on these products is Hey, that’s another Boise based company.

Be sure to read the labels on all foods. We posted articles this last week on different diets, as well as the Eat this not That Book series and accompanying websites. McDonalds now posts on menus carb counts on meals. This is helpful. And, it’s a bit shocking: one can have two servings of chicken tenders instead of MOST sandwiches where you’ll get the same calorie amount. It is likely even that the deep fried chicken is still lower in fat than the sandwich, as pointed out in Eat This Not That Fast Food version.

Hmmm, somehow these did not make the snack list:
nachos or chips

But, I’m SURE donuts one day will make the list. See my tongue in cheek diet at:

 and, our bipolar affirmations at Pinterest:

 Remember, if you must snack on junky food, eat a protein with that to curb later appetite. 

Good luck
Dr. Bunch

Binge Eating Disorder:


 You may have no obvious physical signs or symptoms when you have binge-eating disorder. You may be overweight or obese, or you may be at a normal weight. However, you likely have numerous behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms, such as:

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food
  • Eating even when you’re full or not hungry
  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes
  • Eating until you’re uncomfortably full
  • Frequently eating alone
  • Feeling that your eating behavior is out of control
  • Feeling depressed, disgusted, ashamed, guilty or upset about your eating
  • Experiencing depression and anxiety
  • Feeling isolated and having difficulty talking about your feelings
  • Frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss
  • Losing and gaining weight repeatedly, also called yo-yo dieting

After a binge, you may try to diet or eat normal meals. But restricting your eating may simply lead to more binge eating, creating a vicious cycle.
When to see a doctor
If you have any symptoms of binge-eating disorder, seek medical help as soon as possible. Binge-eating disorder usually doesn’t get better by itself, and it may get worse if left untreated.
Talk to your primary care doctor or a mental health provider about your binge-eating symptoms and feelings. If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to someone you trust about what you’re going through. A friend, loved one, teacher or faith leader can help you take the first steps to successful treatment of binge-eating disorder.
Helping a loved one who has symptoms
A person with binge-eating disorder can become an expert at hiding behavior, making it hard for others to detect the problem. If you have a loved one you think may have symptoms of binge-eating disorder, have an open and honest discussion about your concerns. You can offer encouragement and support and help your loved one find a qualified doctor or mental health provider and make an appointment. You may even offer to go along.


The flu season is around the corner. In fact, it’s just 30 days out. The flu makes bipolar disorder worse:

pain is more severe
illnesses with bipolar disorder may actually be more severe
dysphoria will be worse

In fact, if you have bipolar disorder or cyclothymia, the flu likely will push you down into a depression. There is the risk of developing a protracted illness, and death is the outcome for some. At minimum, those without vaccinations could carry the illness to others vulnerable……and they could die.

The flu is to be feared enough that you take care of yourself…..get a vaccination now as it takes several weeks to build up in your system.

If you get the flu shot, you also prevent vomiting, which for bipolar people could lead to
a. burning the esophagus with upcoming toxic medications
b. withdrawing from meds if you cannot keep them down
c. having to restart meds, which means you need to talk to your MD since you can’t just restart where you left off: this is particularly dangerous if you take Lamictal.

So, make it easier on everyone, including yourself.  Get the shot now.

Thanks for reading Soft Bipolar Cyclothymia News from Boise Bipolar Center.
Please see the video on preventing suicide “Stay Here” at:
Youtube Soft Bipolar Cyclothymia
Pass it on to all bipolars you know. Bipolar disorder is the leading cause of all suicides and inoculate yourself and others. Stay on planet Earth. We need you.


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ScienceDaily: Stress News

Grin and bear it: Smiling facilitates stress recovery

Just grin and bear it! At some point, we have all probably heard or thought something like this when facing a tough situation. But is there any truth to this piece of advice? Feeling good usually makes us smile, but does it work the other way around? Researchers have now examined how different types of smiling, and the awareness of smiling, affects our ability to recover from episodes of stress.
ScienceDaily: Anger Management News

Increasing dopamine in brain’s frontal cortex decreases impulsive tendency
Raising levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the frontal cortex of the brain significantly decreased impulsivity in healthy adults.

Carbohydrate restricted diets are commonly practiced but seldom taught. As a result, doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, and nurses may have strong opinions about low carbohydrate dieting, but in many if not most cases, these views are not grounded in science.


Now, whether you are a curious healthcare professional or just a connoisseur of diet information, two New York Times best-selling authors provide you with the definitive resource for low carbohydrate living.
Doctors Volek and Phinney share over 50 years of clinical experience using low carbohydrate diets, and together they have published more than 200 research papers and chapters on the topic. Particularly in the last decade, much has been learned about the risks associated with insulin resistance (including but not limited to metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and type-2 diabetes), and how this condition is far better controlled by carbohydrate restriction than with drugs. 
In this book, you will learn why: 
  • Carbohydrate restriction is the proverbial ‘silver bullet’ for managing insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type-2 diabetes. 
  • Restricting carbohydrate improves blood glucose and lipids while reducing inflammation, all without drugs. 
  • Dietary saturated fat is not a demon when you are low carb adapted.
  • Dietary sugars and refined starches are not needed to feed your brain or fuel exercise. 
  • Long-term success involves much more than simply cutting out carbs. 
  • Electrolyte and mineral management are key to avoiding side effects and ensuring success.
  • Trading up from sugars and starches to a cornucopia of nutrient-rich, satisfying, and healthy foods is empowering. 
  • Studying hunter-gathers’ diets provides clues to how best formulate a low carbohydrate diet. 
This is a great book for health-minded individuals. 
It is an excellent book for healthcare professionals. 
Best of all, it is the perfect gift for health-minded individuals to share with their doctors, dietitians, and nutritionists.