The keto diet as a metabolic therapy for mood disorders?

Addicted to drugs

Can a keto diet be used to treat mood disorders, like depression or bipolar disorder? A newly published paper presents some of the research on how a ketogenic diet might work in treating various mood disorders, such as bipolar disease. Quite an interesting topic for further research.

NCBI: Ketogenic diet as a metabolic therapy for mood disorders: Evidence and developments


Ketogenic diet for mental health: Come for the weight loss, stay for the mental health benefits?

The keto diet and psychiatric medications – what you need to know



  1. Phyllis Robins
    How do I stop the keto flu
  2. Bonita
    Get your Electrolytes in balance by drinking bone broth or I like to drink Propel Water, but it does have artificial sweeteners in it. I also add Pink Himalayan Salt to my water or Crystal Light.
  3. mark
    v8.. diluted.. 3 litres a day potassium and manganese supplements and bullion
  4. Gill
    Bouillon helps. But I found Keto flu really hard and I so nearly gave up. I had some very difficult days feeling very depressed, tearful and totally unmotivated to do anything. I can only urge you to hang in there because it does pass and the sun does come out and you get energised and motivated and the weight comes off. I feel that perhaps Keto flu is a little down played because the experts started this a long time ago and may have forgotten how it felt or perhaps they did not have very serious health conditions before they started. But for those starting it I imagine it will be the biggest stumbling block and so many will give up because of this. More encouragement and support would really help those who perhaps need Keto most. This is a wonderful site but can be a little cut and dried about what to expect, and how easy everything is. I found meditation helped...a wonderful app called Headspace which is not faith based and has just bought out a helpful pack on mindful eating. All their meditations help me deal with the emotional compulsion to eat. I am less than a week past the Keto flu and feel emotionally transformed and already kgs lighter. Please please don't give up. Write off a few days, go to bed early, be understanding of yourself. Treat yourself in other ways if you can. But know it will pass. Let your family and friends know you will be needing extra support and love if you can rely on them to understand.

    Nowhere on this site is juice like V8 recommended as far as I can tell after watching so many videos and reading so much of it. Check the new mantra!

    Magnesium tablets help and drinking water. Also watch videos on the site or read success stories as it helps and don't expect much of yourself while this change happens.
    Good luck.

  5. 1 comment removed
  6. Jeffrie Story
    Thank you for encouraging those who get Keto flu. Great advice, in my opinion. I wanted to add that, at least in my experience, it may be very mild. I had 2 little episodes. With one I just plopped on the couch for the afternoon and slept, then woke up feeling fine. With the second, I drank some homemade bone broth right away, and it was gone within 30 minutes or less.
  7. Brenda
    Electrolytes lost from sweat are replaced through food, and plain water is what your body prefers for adequate rehydration. Add a pinch of salt to your food and stir into your water. That's probably why many suggest drinking bouillon/broth because of the sodium. Like previously mentioned I too hear foods high in potassium is good..
  8. Melissa
    With regards to the title of the post which suggests using the keto diet as a therapy for mood disorders, I’d like to share my experience.
    First of all, I’d like to say that I love the keto diet and I fully intend to continue eating this way indefinitely.
    I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 last September and have been eating a ketogenic diet on and off for about 6 or 7 years.
    While I realise now that I’ve been experiencing bipolar symptoms since the age of about 18 (I’m now 45) it exhibited mostly as bouts of depression and I’ve never felt bad enough to seek medical help.
    However, since starting the ketogenic diet I have to report that I’ve experienced a marked increase in periods of ‘hypomania’ (a less severe form of mania typical of the bipolar type 2 diagnosis). It’s not exactly bad, in fact I feel completely amazing during these periods of high mood, but I thought I should mention it in case other sensitive individuals are similarly affected. I know many people report feeling great in ketosis, but for me it seems to go a bit too far.
    I’ve noticed that when I’m strictly adhering to the diet I’m more likely to exhibit symptoms of hypomania: excess energy, reduced need for sleep, pressured speech, racing thoughts and a general since of euphoria. I also become very goal orientated. It’s okay short term but after a few months of feeling like this every single day, you can feel completely burnt out - and then comes the crash…
    Following a four or five-month hypomanic episode two years ago (during which time I was following a strict keto diet) I fell into a major depression lasting almost a year. This was the longest period of depression I think I’ve ever had and while I did my best to stick to the diet I ate more carbs than I did previously during this period – maybe too many to be in ketosis.
    I couldn’t say whether I was eating more carbs because I was depressed, or I was depressed because I was eating more carbs. Finding the motivation to stick to a diet is hard when you’re in that state.
    In the end, I saw a psychiatrist and I’m now taking 600 mg of lithium carbonate daily. My blood levels have been a little below the ‘therapeutic range’ but the psychiatrist is happy for me to stay on the lower dose as long as I feel well.
    Lithium can cause damage long term so if I can just take enough to dampen any highs that might be caused by the ketosis, I think I should be good.
    I asked my psychiatrist if it was okay to continue eating a ketogenic diet while taking lithium due to the shifts in electrolyte balance (I believe lithium competes with sodium and potassium), but she’d never really heard of a ketogenic diet. She was worried about ketoacidosis and just seemed really confused as to how I could possibly have any energy if I wasn’t eating carbs (?). I take an electrolyte supplement, just in case.
    Anyway, sorry for the long post. For the first time since I started taking lithium, I managed to get back onto a strict keto diet about 2 months ago and I’ve been feeling really great – but not too great ;-) My weight’s coming down nicely (lithium can cause weight gain), I don’t have any food cravings (other than for meat and veggies) and I would like to continue eating this way indefinitely.
    So, no, my personal experience is that the keto diet is not a ‘cure’ for bipolar. Maybe in combination with the lithium it will keep me on the high side of normal. Only time will tell…
  9. Cate
    i also have bipolar ( I have previously had good experiences with lithium until a bad bout of lithium poisoning) which I now manage with antidepressants as I haven't had hypomania for a number of years. LIke you, when I remove the carbs properly I get increased mood which is great as most meds cause fatigue and mental fog. Unfortunately i am easily persuaded by alcohol which leads to carbs and then i am back at the beginner again!

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