BP Naturally

My Drug-Free Journey of Managing Bipolar Disorder


Bipolar Mood & Health Management Chart

Bipolar Health & Mood Management Tracking Chart

Bipolar Health & Mood Management Tracking Chart

Well, those who know me, know I make dry-erase charts as a profession. I had been planning a chart especially for mood management for a long time and now that I’m finally taking my treatment more seriously, I finally got around to it and I must say, the results are pretty awesome! I asked around in various BP Support Groups and dug around on the web for ideas and inspiration and this is the final products. I should probably create and instruction/suggested use sheet and I will when I get around to it, but in the meantime, I’ll explain each section here and you can print it out if you’d like.

I am making the chart available as a PDF free of charge (probably for a limited time)  and for those who want it already printed and laminated professionally with dry-erase marker included, it will be available in my Etsy Shop for $14.99 + shipping. Its the only product of its kind in my shop (I primarily make and  sell children’s educational products, lol) and as far as Ive seen, the only product of its kind available, so I hope it will help lots of you get your lives in order and on-track!

How it Works:

Section: Supplements, Vitamins, Medications & Dietary Requirements
Use the Medium Green Squares at the top of each column (in the “Items” row) to write down the name of your medication, vitamin, etc.
Use the Light Green Squares below those to record the Recommend Dosage & Frequency
Each column has 5 sections that can be used as individual dosage markers (up to 5 doses per day) and can be checked off as you take each dose, or you can use the space to record side effects (nausea), timing (taken late), effectiveness (less depression) or length of time taking (4 days), etc. Whatever fit your needs best.

Section: Water Intake
Use the light blue square (in the “dosage” row) to record how much water you need to drink per day (lets say 80 ounces)
Use the alternating white and blue squares to record separate instances of water intake, i.e. you could say “16oz, “8oz,” etc. OR if you have a set amount that you drink in (say a 16oz water bottle) you can just check off each time you finish one bottle. I included water intake because dehydration has a very powerful effect on mood stability. Read my other posts on water intake and the water intake challenge.

Section: Meals
There’s a lot of room for flexibility here, so be creative. I included this area because I very often forget to eat and I know others complain about overeating when depressed, so use it in the way that works best for you. In my case, I use the “dosage” square to write a letter above each little column below, so I have “B” for breakfast, then “S” for snack, “L” for Lunch and so on. Then I simply check off whether I had that meal today. Very simple. For others you could write in a calorie count to maintain, then record the calories for each meal, or even use the 2 orange columns to record things you want to avoid (caffeine, sugar, etc) and the white columns for your regular meals or things you want to eat more of  (lets say veggies, whole grains and protein) and just record how many servings you had each day.

Sleep, Exercise & Misc. Tracking
Use the Sleep rows to record the # hours and quality of sleep each day, the Exercise rows to record the # minutes exercising and the quality/rigorousness of the exercise each day, and the blank areas are to customize a tracking element that’s important to your treatment plan. For example,  personally, 
Im using that  as an “outdoors” tracker, meaning how often I get out of the house and get fresh air/sun, its a real challenge for me… and hopefully Ill be able to see how it relates to my moods. But I figured not everyone has that problem, so you could use it for “socializing,” “journal writing,” “relaxation time,” “prayers/religious devotion,” etc Whatever is important for you personally. 

Mood Tracking
Use this area to track your moods throughout the day/each weekIm a rapid cycler and my moods can change drastically within a single day/week, I havent found any charts that allow you to track varying moods through out the day, so I figured “morning, afternoon, evening” ought to be sufficient for rapid cyclers like me, and you can easily look and notice patterns [like Im always manic at night, etc] and hopefully make lifestyle/nutritional/med changes to normalize a bit. So the “M, A, E” stands for Morning, afternoon and evening, and the squares get progressively darker as the day progresses. There is a little key, which you may or may not need, that I’m using allowing me to record whether the mood occurred naturally, was triggered by an event (like an argument) or by my environment (like the kids are home and being wild or I went to a party, etc). You can also use the key to add in whether youre experiencing irritability or anxiety along with the mood. The color chart portion allows you to mark where you fall on the depression/mania scale… that’s pretty self-explanatory… however, if you are feeling a sense of numbness/apathy, you may want to create a special symbol for that and mark that in the green “normal” row, as there’s no special area for a lack of emotion/feeling.

The nice thing about this chart is that its flexible… you can place your mark in between moods if your not quite feeling it at the level described and when you step back and look at the end of the week, you’ll see if any pattern emerge.

So I think that’s about it. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope that helps! 

Available for PURCHASE here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/153285627/mood-health-management-tracking-chart

PDF Available for FREE Download Here: BP-Tracking-Chart (Note: This is designed to fit on 11×17″ Tabloid/Ledger Sized Paper, ideally you would have it printed and laminated so that it can be used as a dry-erase chart)


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The Journey to Wellness – The Riordan Clinic



What:  Intake Appointment
Cost: $125 (I need to find my invoice, but Im pretty sure that was it)
Time: 1 hour
Who: Dr. Jennifer Kaumeyer Nd
Why: To assess my concerns, symptoms and potential nutritional needs; schedule labs; and begin designing a treatment plan

So I finally went in to see a doctor at the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, KS! I am seeing Dr. K, who is very nice and was very comprehensive for our first appointment. We discussed my symptoms, health history, experiences from childhood, general diet, health and nutrition, my concerns, habits, etc.

The environment is lovely… long winding roads surrounding by nature and wildlife leading into the building complex, the indoors was not clinical… but a refreshing, warm but modern decor with an edge of nature-nut, like all the supplements were available there in the waiting room in a mini shop-shelf configuration, as well as books/literature, a bowl of fresh organic apples, coffee, tea and the usual goodies. The exam room left something to be desired, could have been as warm and inviting as the rest of the facility, but it seemed lacking, like it needed a few plants, though the walls were all rounded (due to the dome configuration) which was a nice touch.

After discussing everything and getting an exam, Dr K. prescribed a few supplements, I got one lab done to test for pyroluria (most of the rest of the labs I got done at my other healthcare provider as it was way cheaper, Ill detail that in another post) and I made an appointment to return in 4 weeks. I felt energized after the appointment, very hopeful like I am on the right track. She also educated me on a few things, namely, it sounds like my adrenal gland is absolutely worn out, many of my symptoms indicate the likelihood of a thyroid-based source for my BP symptoms, the alopecia and thinning hair is very likely connected to the same problem, and a few other little tidbits that shed a lot of light on what Im experiencing.

So here is a list of the supplements prescribed:

Orthobiotics – 1 scoop 2x/day 30 min before a meal
Omega 3 Fish Oil – 1/2 tsp 2x/day
Vitamin D – 5,000 IUs/day

…and then when I got the Pyroluria results back a week later (in the mail) the Dr requested I add these (Ill make a separate post about the pyroluria testing):

Vitamin B-6 (P5P) – 50mg 2x/day
Zinc Picolinate – 30mg 2x/day

Naturally, Ive struggled a bit with consistency, but I recently made myself a pretty awesome dry-erase chart (another post to follow) that seems to be helping TREMENDOUSLY and which Ill make available to all of you. So I think that’s about it. I feel really good about beginning to take a more serious approach to managing my BP. I hope to share some amazing results with you all in the next few months. Cheers!

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Product: Citrus Zinger


I was thinking this might be cool for my Challenge #1… Increased Water Intake.

Looks like I’d need to drink 2+ bottles per day to meet my 60+ oz requirement, but that seems totally doable and this makes the addition of lemon a bit easier.  Now, I’ve read that it’s important to squeeze the lemon fresh with each new glass of water… so I wonder if taking say an hour or so to drink this would mean I’m missing out on important enzymes and such. Not sure. But I do like how this is totally encapsulated and mess free… no messy sticky juices all over the place and nothing going to waste. What do you think? Just another unnecessary gadget or a good way to keep me focused on the challenge by having a dedicated tool to achieve it?


You can see my Challenge #1 Post about Increased Water Intake  HERE.

And here is where to buy the CITRUS ZINGER.

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Challenge #1: Increased Water Intake


So let’s begin the challenges and begin simply. I do not expect this to have a huge effect on my BPD symptoms, but several studies have shown that dehydration does, in fact, have a significant effect on mood, not just in BP patients, but in all people, and especially in women. Since I know I am dehydrated most days and I do suffer headaches, poor concentration, kidney pain and am prone to UTIs, I figure this is a good place to begin. My goal is to drink 50% my body weight in water (in ounces) per day. So, since I weigh 120-125 lbs, I plan to drink 60+ ounces of water each day, insha’Allah (God willing). I have done some research both online and in books about the effects of dehydration on BP and have drawn my parameters from this research. I’ll list resources at the end.
So, who is going to take the water challenge with me? 


  • I will drink approximately 60+ ounces of water per day.
  • Our water, in Wichita, is not fluoridated, so I may be drinking tap water, though, when possible (and preferably) I will try to drink as much spring water as possible.
  • I will drink at least 16oz 30-60 minutes before I eat each morning.
  • I will avoid caffeinated drinks (though not quit completely, that’s a whole other challenge, lol) as they are known to dehydrate tissues, which is counter-productive.
  • I will add 1/4 – 1/2 of the juice of a lemon to my morning water and drink it warm. (This aids in digestion, adds vitamin c, and helps level out the pH… all indicated in several studies to aid in BP symptoms, amongst other things). I may add pure, raw, organic honey… hey, I don’t know how much I’m gonna like the taste of this stuff, lol.
  • I will avoid drinking water during meals (which impedes digestion) and will, instead, try to drink it throughout the day.
  • I will keep track of my approximate daily water intake and differences in physical and psychological symptoms throughout this challenge.
  • I will continue this challenge for a minimum of four (4) weeks and will make adjustments, as necessary, along the way.
  • If I notice improvements in my health/symptoms, I will continue this program as I add in additional challenges to find the combination of adjustments to aid in the management of my BP symptoms.
  • The challenge begins tomorrow morning. September 18, 2012.
Pretty easy, right? I often go days without drinking water, it’s awful. So this is a big deal for me. And the headaches and depression are always quick to follow. When that happens, I usually drink coffee in order to curb the headache and lift the depression which further exacerbates the dehydration. Vicious cycle. So, here’s to a step in the right direction. CHEERS!

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Just to Start…

This is where I will list the various methods I intend to try out in order to manage my bipolar disorder (under the “METHODS” category, surprise!). The list will be updated periodically as I receive suggestions, do research, and make progress. I will add the relevant links to info about each method + links to my progress reports as each method is tried out. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to post, guys, and if you want to try a a technique/remedy out with me, just let me know. Id love to work with someone and have a BPBuddy!

My technique will be to try out a natural remedy, coping technique, or management method for a set number of weeks, 4-6 weeks ideally. I will make at least weekly posts about my approach, experience, and progress with each method I try out. I will also be sure to not lapses I have in utilizing the approach properly. etc. My goal is develop a lifestyle complete with proper nutrition, exercise, stress management and supplements, if necessary, to manage my BPD in a manner that allows me to live a balanced, healthy and happy life. Lofty goals indeed, but I am determined and convinced that it’s possible.

I will trying out methods that I learn about via research, recommendations, etc. I am not a doctor and I am not under the care of a physician, so do not take any of my advice as actual medical advice. You are witnessing my own personal experience here as it fits with my lifestyle, personal health, and manifestations of my condition. How you or your body and mind will react to these different methods and treatments depends on your own condition, lifestyle, and present state of health and may vary tremendously. However, I think the key to any natural treatment is finding the right balance and being consistent. So if you do try out some natural methods for managing your BPD, keep those things in mind.

I will be trying out dietary changes, supplements (vitamins and minerals), stress management techniques (like meditation, deep breathing  and yoga), stress reduction (keeping a schedule, reducing responsibilities, changing the layout of my home), exercise, sleep regulation, daily journaling, mood tracking, and faith-based exercises (Islamic – Duaas, Dhikr, Study, Consistent Prayers, etc), and anything else I come across that seems promising.

Feel free to ask questions and make suggestions! Cheers!