Bipolar Disorder and Women’s Health

April 25, 2009 at 6:13 am 1 comment

A recent review of published literature revealed that bipolar disorder and its treatment are associated with reproductive and metabolic abnormalities in women. In particular, treatment with valproate (Depakote) was correlated with hormone changes and increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos).

The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland in the brain interact with the gonads (reproductive organs) in a feedback loop to control the production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and related hormones. The hypothalamus is a brain structure associated with emotion, which probably explains its significance in this process.

Treatment with Depakote is also related to increased risk of insulin resistance and diabetes, liver dysfunction, and pancreatitis. The use of the drug (like all medications) must be determined by balancing the positive effects with the potential negative effects.

I may be frying my liver and subjecting myself to fluctuating hormone levels, but right now, I know that I need my Depakote!

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