Can bipolar be treated with nutrition and exercise?

Last year, American researchers conducted a small pilot study to explore the feasibility of a bipolar treatment programme that focused on nutrition, exercise, and wellness.

Five subjects participated in the 18-session, 20-week cognitive behavioural therapy using three modules. The nutrition module discussed portion sizes, anti-craving strategies, balanced diet, and essential vitamins and minerals. The exercise module discussed the importance and rationale for exercise and how to increase lifestyle activity. The wellness module consisted of cognitive behavioural sessions focusing on making healthy decisions and increasing adherence to the other modules.

The results of the study showed lower MADRS scores, as well as lower scores in CGI-Depression, CGI-Overall, and LIFE-RIFT.  Plus, nutrition and fitness levels improved.

While this study was affected by its open trial nature and small sample size, it shows promise that a natural bipolar treatment is possible and confirms what we have known for years about the connection between physical and mental health.