There are many theories as to why ketogenic diets seem to be so healing and stabilizing for brain cells, some of which you can read about in this article about bipolar disorder and ketogenic diets.(link is external) I have studied, written about and personally followed a ketogenic diet for the better part of the past five years, and recommend it to my patients as an alternative and/or add-on option to medication. At the ISNPR conference, I presented a poster summarizing exciting nutritional approaches to Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment, including ketogenic diets.
Ketogenic Diets and Other Psychiatric Disorders
Earlier this summer, I wrote an article for Psychology Today entitled Ketogenic Diets for Psychiatric Disorders summarizing studies and case reports of how low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets affect people with psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia. That review includes the remarkable account(link is external) of a woman who had suffered with psychotic symptoms for 63 years before finally experiencing relief on a low-carbohydrate diet.
Although we only have a handful of published examples so far, the information within them is full of promise for people who have been suffering from life-altering psychiatric disorders and health-compromising medications.
Hope Beyond Medication
Most people don’t realize that options beyond medication exist. It is critical that we spread awareness of these potentially powerful dietary strategies to everyone who may benefit. If you know of someone who is coping with mental illness, please share these inspiring stories with them.