I have bi-polar. I need meds. All bi-polar meds but two have dairy in them. I can't tolerate dairy because the Celiac Disease destroyed my ability to do so. So, I can either take Lithium or Depakote. Depakote is apparently a dangerous drug with scary side affects. I've been taking Lithium for almost a year now, but I've been taking higher dosages lately and it is affecting me so bad I am not functioning well at all. Not sleeping well, my blood sugar is bottoming out at night (hypoglycemia), I'm bloated, always thirsty and dehydrated, headaches.....I have a fast metabolism so I need a higher dosage, but the side affects are limiting me to well below therapeutic levels.
I had a mini-manic episode 3.5 weeks ago. We decided 2 weeks ago to switch me to Depakote. But the health clinic only has Depakote Extended Release, so I have to wait 4 weeks for it to be special ordered because Depakote ER has dairy in it. Now, there are "safe" bi-polar meds with next to no side effects. But they all have dairy in them. The clinic I go to is part of the existing "public health care" program that Obama is trying to expand, which is the so called "Government Run Health Care". The clinics had most of their funding cut last year, so they are limited in resources. I don't have health insurance--- can't afford it---- but I get my meds and doctors visits, etc free from the public health care system (this is not to be confused with Medicare). To tell you the truth, I get better mental care without insurance than with it.
But anyway, just like last time, my manic episode was followed by a depressive episode. I have another 2 weeks to wait before I can switch off of Lithium to Depakote. I called my doctor today because my symptoms are getting worse. Apparently, there is a slow-release Lithium. Since my side effects are mostly caused by my fast metabolism, its worth a try. But then again, is it gluten free, dairy free, and soy free?
Thankfully it is.... and the order is being filled at the pharmacy now. Best news in months!