Bipolar Woman

female_symbol  The Bipolar Woman: Some Important Issues  woman_image

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.
    1. 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.
    2. Medication, 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.
    3. Tired? 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Hypothyroidism - 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.
    6. Mood Disorders Linked to the Reproductive Cycle in Women - General information on this relationship.



Breast-feeding information for bipolar women...