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Lithium & water: a passionate love affair

Being on lithium (the bread and butter of BP) means taking extra precautions to hydrate, especially after strenuous activity like exercise, or in the summertime (Texan gal here, summertime is no joke!)

The balance of lithium in your blood is affected by your hydration levels, so here are some tips for keeping those levels just right:

  1. Find something you can drink gallons of. Plain water is my go to, but (herbal) tea is great as well. I personally love peppermint. Experiment to find something you love the taste of - if flavored water helps you consistently stay hydrated, that's awesome.

  2. Get a water bottle and bring it with you wherever you go. I find I end up drinking a lot more this way, even if there are water fountains or restaurants nearby - it's nice to have a consistent source of cold, clean water.

  3. Add water-rich foods to your diet such as soups, Jell-O, grapes, watermelon, and smoothies.

  4. Be careful with your caffeine and/or alcohol intake (as you know, we bipolar bears should be anyway!). Make sure you're balancing your consumption out with the same amount of un-caffeinated/non-alcoholic liquid.

  5. Be careful if vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, as that can dehydrate you. Signs of dehydration I find pop up quick include darker-than-usual urine, muscle cramps, and dry mouth.

SUPER IMPORTANT: Be familiar with the symptoms of lithium toxicity: nausea, feeling tired, tremor, confusion, increased heart rate, seizures, and coma. Contact your psych if you believe you're experiencing toxicity.




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