Bipolar Woman: Some Important Issues
Women often have more to consider when it comes to the kinds
and dosage of various medications used to treat bipolar disorder. Pregnancy
is a particularly important time. Some of these drugs are toxic to the
early development of the foetus. In addition to concerns about toxicity
and pregnancy, there are hormonal fluctuations that occur as a woman
goes through life. These fluctuations often play havoc with a medication
regime, making some drugs become less than effective. Post-partum depression,
or even psychosis, may be the first indication that a woman suffers
from bipolar disorder. This situation occurs as the body readjusts hormonally
to a non-pregnant state, and perhaps to the demands of lactation. Menopause,
on the other hand, can disrupt long-time stability as a woman's body
adapts to the cessation of menses. For all these reasons, it is important
to be informed and you should not rely on hearsay. Stay in touch with
the relevant physicians and educate yourself to the various issues that
impact you as a bipolar woman. The Internet is a great way to do this,
but as always, discuss your findings with your medical team. Here are
some links that may help you understand the issues better.
- New Type
Of Antidepressant Safe For Pregnant Women - Research
has confirmed that at least three of the most popular SSRI's are safe
to use during pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Lactation -- an internet resource for health
professionals and other interested people, this is an excellent overview
of pharmacology as it affects the pregnant or lactating female.
Depressed? Check Your Thyroid -- By Paula Dranov
Condensed from American Health (May '94) - When This Gland Goes
Haywire, Watch Out - and that's pretty much the truth of it. I am
hypothyroid myself, and one of my most annoying problems is trying
to determine which physical effect I'm suffering is due to the thyroid
condition, the psychotropic drugs or a cold. This article may help
you sort out whether your mood swings are at least partially due to
a flakey thyroid gland.
- American Thyroid Association
(General Information) - Hypothyroidism is a condition
particularly common to women and can be a side effect of lithium.
It is wise to be aware of the symptoms of this disorder since they
often mimic other pertinent symptomology for bipolar illness.
- From the MedicineNet site, this is an excellent introduction to
the symptoms and effects of hypothyroidism. Not something anyone can
afford to ignore, hypothyroidism can kill yet is easily treated.
- Mood Disorders
Linked to the Reproductive Cycle in Women - General information
on this relationship.
Breast-feeding information for bipolar