Many people have been helped by low dose lithium.
The purpose of this page is to create a space for practitioners and patients to share their case studies and experiences with low dose lithium supplementation. It is our hope that this page will further the conversation around nutritional lithium so that this effective treatment becomes more accessible to those in need. If you have a case study to contribute, please contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
I first met Jennifer almost 10 years ago when she was 17 years old. Prior to meeting with me, she had spent the last three years in and out of psychiatric hospitals for classic symptoms characteristic of bipolar disorder. She experienced intense periods of mania with hyper-religiosity, alternating with severe depression with multiple suicide attempts. When she wasn't admitted in psychiatric hospitals, she was meeting with experts across the country in hopes of finding relief from her bipolar disorder.
While in the hospital, she was prescribed multiple medications which provided modest relief, but the side effects were intolerable. She became extremely agitated on antipsychotic medications. When she started on 300 mg of prescription lithium, she reported feeling "flat" and over-sedated, and she suffered from brain fog so severe she was unable to function.
From my clinical assessment which includes a thorough family history, I learned that her maternal grandmother also suffers from bipolar disorder. On her Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, she had no detectable lithium present. I recommended a sub-therapeutic dose of lithium, but due to her prior experience with prescription lithium, both Jennifer and her parents were reluctant, so we started by establishing a program for nutritional support.
Based on her nutritional laboratory testing, she began supplemental magnesium, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. After three months of nutritional support, her family observed modest improvement in her mood and symptoms and agreed to try low-dose lithium orotate. I started off at 5 mg and titrated up to 10 mg twice daily, for a total dose of 20 mg per day. The recovery process was gradual but steady throughout the first year on nutritional lithium. She was not hospitalized, and reported that her mood cycling drastically improved.
Jennifer was able to graduate high school and complete her college studies, and has remained free from psychiatric hospitalizations for the last decade. At present, she continues to take 10 mg of nutritional lithium and reports doing well. She does her regular blood tests and has never had side effects.
Carl, a 40-year-old male and a father of three children, struggled with a long history of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). His intrusive thoughts interfered with his performance at work, and the relationships with his loved ones also suffered. He was limited in his ability to spend adequate time with his children due to his intrusive thoughts.
Since the age of 20, he has tried every class of psychotropic medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. After nearly two decades of trial and error with various medication combinations and dosages, he found the most relief on a combination of Zoloft 200 mg and Seroquel 25 mg twice daily, but the intrusive thoughts would still interfere with his activities of daily living.
When we reviewed his family history, he shared that his parents both suffered from substance abuse disorders. His Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis also revealed non-detectable lithium. Without changing his medications, I added 5 mg of lithium orotate. Within a few weeks, he reported an improvement in sleep and a decrease in his OCD symptoms.
Over the next couple of months, his anxiety diminished, and the frequency of his OCD thoughts lessened, and he was able to return to work and resume activities without disruptions. Over the course of the year, he continued to report progress and stated that he was able to spend more time with his children and improve his relationship that was thought to be impossible before. He was appreciative and relieved that he could finally be a better father toward his children. He continues to take his current medications with nutritional lithium.
Sam, an 8-year-old boy, struggled with severe behavioral problems. His parents were often brought in for parent and teacher conferences. where teachers remarked that Samuel was precocious and intelligent, but also debilitated by his inability to focus. He was also easily agitated, aggressive toward other children, and disruptive in the classroom. Samuel's parents brought him for evaluations by several experts who diagnosed him with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Samuel was started on stimulant medications that were not helpful, and only caused him to become more agitated. He tried multiple stimulants, and experienced side effects with all of them.
When we completed the nutritional testing, his Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis showed non-detectable lithium. I started Sam on low-dose lithium, and his parents and school teachers noticed an improvement in his behavior within two weeks. Over the course of the next two months, Sam was less disruptive in class and able to participate in activities with his peers, and he lost interest in bullying other children. He has remained on nutritional lithium for two years without behavioral difficulties at school.
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