Medical Questions > Mental Health > Bipolar Disorder Forum

Caffeine alternatives for bipolar

Thanks and has anyone heard of yerba mate its supposed to have similar "positive" effects that caffeine has but not the negative side effects...could that be a substitute has anyone been drinking yerba mate for a long enough period to know whether it effects your bp negatively like caffeine/coffee/tea?
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replied April 13th, 2009
CAFFEINE alternatives for bipolar
I have bipolar disorder and have been diagnosed for at least 5 years. I have heard many horror stories of many different herbs conflicting with pharmaceutical medications for bipolar specifically. I personally have suffered extreme manic episodes prior to diagnosis and medication. I have also experienced the real lows. But I drink coffee now about every other day, and I never have any problems. I would stick with something like coffee or green tea, but not any herbs which might trigger symptoms. The last thing you want is to lose control of your mind, right? hope this helps, karen
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replied May 16th, 2009
yerba mate
When they say it's different than caffeine what they mean is that the actual molecule that produces stimulation is called matteine. I've drank yerba mate for 5 years. I can tell you that it's better for you than coffee, but I still get the same withdrawal symptoms. Maybe a little bit milder.
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replied May 24th, 2009
caffeine
I buy one can of decaf coffee and one can of regular and mix them together. It still gives me a little lift but not enough to make me feel crazy or jittery (plus it enables me to buy some yummy flavored coffee and have more choices than with just decaf)...I think it has to do with your individual chemistry.

One thing to keep in mind is that the tannins in tea and coffee can be sort of hard on your kidneys so if you're on a med that's hard on your kidneys anyway (lithium for instance) you have to ensure you're drinking extra water. Ditto on anything that can dehydrate you. Caffeine (and so is yerba mate) is a diuretic and you need to adjust your fluids accordingly.
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