Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 54748

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Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar?

Posted by KarenB on February 24, 2001, at 11:49:10

When I went to my one hour session with mood disorder specialist Steven Dubovsky, one of the questions he had asked is whether I had sugar and/or carb. cravings. I responded that I did. Is this a symptom of Bipolar disorder or was he looking for something else? Anyone ever read any material to indicate this as a symptom of the disorder?

I know that when my illness is in full force, I have unbearable cravings for sweets... but I thought this was just because my diet was not as balanced during these periods because of the effects on my energy levels and blood sugar (translation: I don't want to cook when depressed or manic, so don't eat nearly as well).

Any comments on this?

Karen

 

Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar?

Posted by Noa on February 24, 2001, at 12:48:06

In reply to Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar?, posted by KarenB on February 24, 2001, at 11:49:10

I think there are a number of things that can cause sugar/carb cravings. Apparently, it is associated with atypical depression, which is the type of depression that more often occurs with bipolar spectrum illnesses. However, from my recent reading, and awareness of my own experience, I have become aware that these cravings can be associated with insulin resistance, which can also be associated with other hormonal problems such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrom (PCOS), which also can cause depression. I have many signs and symptoms of PCOS, though the lab tests were not conclusive. I definitely have insulin resistance, though, and have the intense carbo/sugar cravings that go with it. These have lessened DRAMATICALLY since 1) starting regular exercise and 2) going on oral contraceptives.

So, perhaps you might want to explore the hormonal connection, as well as the psychiatric/psychological. Some books to see are "Screaming to be Heard" by Dr. Eliz. Vliet, and "Women's Moods" by Dr. Deborah Sichel, and PCOS --I forgot the author's name--I'll find it and get back to you.

 

Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar? Noa

Posted by KarenB on February 24, 2001, at 13:20:00

In reply to Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar?, posted by Noa on February 24, 2001, at 12:48:06

Thanks, Noa. Your information is always so helpful and I love reading what you have to share. I have my favorites and you are one. I lurk much more than I post, especially lately as I have not been well. I was hospitalized (for the first time) for my illness in October...but didn't have much to say about it on the board. I love sharing what may be of help but have a hard time sharing when I am suffering. I am hurting now.

A few months ago I went on oral contraceptives to regulate my periods and hopefully take care of extreme PMS. It has only served to reduce one week of hell down to a couple of days of practical psychosis. An improvement...but certainly not where I want to be.

I have never heard of PCOS. Several months back, though, I had a sonogram to determine if I had a cyst on one or both ovaries but all they could find was "fluid," indicating that "something" had been there but was no longer. Gee... glad they cleared that up for me. I still suffer and am beginning to feel like a hypochondriac, suggesting that something definitely IS wrong with me, hormonally. I just turned 40, BTW.

Thanks again for your help. Wish I could sound more positive but it's 37 degrees here, overcast and snowing, I've had the flu for three days,got no sleep last night and I am depressed once again.

Somebody call the Waaaaaahhhhmbulance.

See, at least I haven't lost my sense of humor.

Karen

 

Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar?

Posted by Lorraine on February 25, 2001, at 0:53:22

In reply to Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar? Noa, posted by KarenB on February 24, 2001, at 13:20:00

Carb cravings are also being identified as one of the factors involved in antidepressant weight gain. I know that when I was on Effexor and gained 35 lbs I was really aware of craving carbs at night.

 

Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar? KarenB

Posted by Noa on February 28, 2001, at 9:45:55

In reply to Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar? Noa, posted by KarenB on February 24, 2001, at 13:20:00

The other book is:

PCOS: The Hidden Epidemic by Ph.D. Samuel S. Thatcher M.D.

but while I was looking it up on Amazon, I saw there was another book that got good customer reviews:

PCOS: A Woman's Guide to Dealing with
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
by Colette Harris, Adam Carey

Take care.

 

Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar? Noa

Posted by KarenB on February 28, 2001, at 12:21:44

In reply to Re: Sugar/Carb cravings part of Bipolar? KarenB, posted by Noa on February 28, 2001, at 9:45:55

Thanks!

K

> The other book is:
>
> PCOS: The Hidden Epidemic by Ph.D. Samuel S. Thatcher M.D.
>
> but while I was looking it up on Amazon, I saw there was another book that got good customer reviews:
>
> PCOS: A Woman's Guide to Dealing with
> Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
> by Colette Harris, Adam Carey
>
> Take care.


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