Julie, What are the side effects of lithium? What is lithium orotate?

I want to stress that all drugs have potential side effects- even natural salts like lithium. Side effects are NOT the same for everyone. I have friends who have been on lithium for over 30 years with little to no side effects and normal kidney function.
There there are people like myself who get great relief from lithium, but can’t take it regularly due to side effects.
Common lithium side effects include a very strong thirst, lethargy and a dull feeling in the mind. It can affect reading ability and writing. Memory can be a problem as well. Weight gain and increased hunger are also side effects. The most serious side effect in my book is APATHY. This means the person on lithium loses interest in doing things that once brought pleasure. This is not depression, it is a lack of interest in life that is not about the mood.
I LOVE lithium. I would take it every day if I could. My friend and mentor Dr. Jay Carter is a big advocate for the use of lithium orotate as it is over the counter and all natural. I use it as needed, but can’t take it often due to weight gain.
Many, many people with bipolar disorder can take lithium without these side effects. The only way to know how you will react is to try lithium in small doses and go form there.
If you care about someone with bipolar disorder who refuses medications, especially if they do so as a protest against big pharma- lithium orotate is a great supplement to try. Talk with a qualified health care professional about taking 5mg of over the counter lithium orotate as a natural treatment for bipolar disorder mood swings.


9 comments to Julie, What are the side effects of lithium? What is lithium orotate?

  • Me liss a Morgan

    So the other lithium ornate, doesn’t cause weight gain? How about tremors?

    • All lithium can cause weight gain. All lithium can cause tremors. This is natural lithium in that it is not manufactured by a pharmaceutical company. But it’s still lithium with a similar profile to the lithium used by pharmacies. I find it milder and more potent, but I definitely deal with weight gain. I can’t use it as much as I would like!

      Some can use lithium with NO side effects, so it is up to the individual.

      As for tremors, that has a lot to do with dosage. I like this lithium as it has a smoother quality- that is a bit hard to explain- I mean that it works quickly for me at low doses. I can use it for emergencies without a problem.

      Talk with your prescriber about lithium orotate. You may have to do some educating yourself- but this is defiantly worth exploring. Thanks to Dr. Jay Carter for teaching me about lithium orotate. Julie

  • Michael

    lithium orotate is a great supplement to try. ? Its now a supplement? Tell that to 2 of my friends who are on dialysis due to lithium taken over many years. One will be dead within a month or so. I know you won’t allow this post on your site but don’t call this a supplement for crying out loud.

    • Hello Michael. Lithium orotate is a supplement. It may be that you are new to my work. If you have read this blog for any amount of time you would know that I consider supplements just as dangerous as regular pharmaceutical drugs in many cases. I believe that anything we put our body as people with bipolar disorder has the potential to cause harm.

      We are very, very sensitive creatures in our brains.

      Medications are a trade-off. If I had my choice, I’d never touch bipolar disorder medication again. But I don’t have that choice and my mood swings often get out of control. I choose to use low-dose lithium orotate to manage my mania because it’s something that I can use with limited side effects. I still have side effects from this lithium, but It’s simply a trade-off that I’m willing to take. There are many meds I can’t take at all.

      If you believe that lithium is dangerous, don’t use it. For many people it saves lives. We all have to know what we put in our bodies. Everyone talks so much about patient rights and bipolar disorder. This goes both ways. I have the right to take medications as I want and I have the right to talk about them in a natural and objective way.

      Just because some people get sick from with lithium doesn’t mean that other people get sick from lithium. We must find a balanced view of this medication situation. Bipolar disorder is a very serious mental health disorder that often cannot be treated through diet or lifestyle changes alone. Some of us need medications.

      • Michael

        I am not new to your work at all and I take meds and I was the one who told you that your being on 900mg of Lamictal was crazy.

    • BP Recovered

      Lithium is a natural mineral, one that our body does actually need, believe or not. The type of lithium people are getting through prescription is lithium bicarbonate, and is often prescribed in lethal doses. The same way that accutane (which is nothing more than vitamin A) is also very dangerous due to it’s toxic level, however, vitamin A is an essential vitamin, and if you take the beta carotene version, the over the counter supplement, your more likely to get safer and better results than quite obviously taking accutane which can kill a person. Lithium orotate is the much more purer version, and if taken in small quantities won’t be as harmful when compared to the pharmaceutical version. However, knowing how much your body is already absorbing, how much it needs, and IF it even needs it is a big emphasis. If your body is not in need of added lithium mineral (similar to copper or zinc) you could create an imbalance and potentially further the damage. I personally? Think it’s better to figure out what’s causing the bipolar first, and then go from there. Many bi-polars have inflammation and are typically nutrient depleted. So, finding the cause for that is where I’d begin.

      • BP Recovered

        Another thing I probably should have stressed, is that lithium in conjunction with prozac is terrible, since fluoride has a binding agent, that will make lithium bind to the fluoride and the become biologically unavailable to the body, so whatever is remaining in the lithium, is what the body will absorb. Since fluoride is found to be in prozac, it’s make the combination counter intuitive. Something to think about.

  • Lena

    I gained 9 pounds in 7 days since starting Lithium (600mg) now the Dr. cut me to 450mg. I take the capsules. My levels were good at .08. He said it’s most likely water retention, since I’m really not eating much differently or a lot and I’m not hungrier or anything. I’ve been peeing much more than usual and for longer amounts. I’m drinking slightly more than usual, but not enough to warrant all the peeing.

    Any ideas on what’s going on and what to do to get this weight off and not gain anymore? I LOVE what Lithium has done for my moods. LOVE. I feel like a whole new person and never had a drug (and I’ve been on over 20) work this well for me. I even just tried 8 sessions of ECT with no luck. However, I cannot keep gaining weight. I will have to stop taking it. I just spent the last 1.5 years losing 105 pounds and going from morbidly obese to just overweight and I feel so great about my body, physically and mentally. Anyone experience water retention? I really don’t have much other symptoms, other than some tiredness (but I think that is mainly from the Latuda) and coordination issues.

  • BP Recovered

    Has anyone considered the cause of his or her bipolar? I noticed that you said that bipolar could not be treated with diet alone, yet, there are many studies showing that there is a cohesive correlation between celiacs, epilepsy, bipolar/schizophrenia, and chronic inflammation. My bipolar was the result of a 30 year life long (undiagnosed) battle with celiacs. My ‘mania’ was pre frontal lobe seizures, and the depression was actually the result of ingesting foods my body could not digest properly. Having said that, yet, bipolar can be managed through diet, and I speculate that a great deal of bipolar is probably the symptom of some underlying health issue that is not being properly addressed. Has anyone ever asked you if you have been tested for celiacs? Or if it runs in your family. Just something to think about. Remember that they used lithium originally to treat epilepsy. I have links to those studies if you want them.