Symptoms of Lithium Deficiency

First of all, there’s a debate in lithium deficiency causing diseases.

Lithium is a mineral existing naturally, it is found in foods like grains and vegetables and drinking water. Traces of lithium were detected in human organs and fetal tissues in the late 19th century, however it remains unknown how the human body utilizes lithium until a century later.

During 1970s and 1990s many researches were conducted, and gradually discloses the secret of lithium in human body.

Some holds the opinion that low lithium intakes from water supplies were associated with increased rates of suicides, homicides and the arrest rates for drug use and other crimes, saying lithium deficiency may lead to depression, mania, violent behavior.  Some even think that lithium deficiency is related to autism occurance. However, there’s no existing research proving the opinion correct.

Lithium is used to treat mania or depression indeed, it’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1970s. You’ve probably heard that lithium is used to treat bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder was previously named Manic-drepressive disorder until 1980. However, lithium being a treatment to bipolar disorder doesn’t mean bipolar disorder is caused by lithium defiency.

Researchers from University of Wisconsin found how lithium works  in 1998. In their study, lithium plays a role in moderating glutamate levels in the brain, when glutamate is too much, mania occurs, when glutamate is too little, depression occurs.

Currently, when doctors are using lithium to treat patients with bipolar disorder, they require to test lithium level after taking lithium supplements, to manage the level of blood lithium.

As said earlier, there’s a debate. There’s no evidence that lithium deficiency causing diseases, but there’s no evidence that lithium deficiency is not the cause of certain diseases, either. So if you notice symptoms of mania, depression, abnormal behavior, violence, abuse behavior, stay cautious and call a doctor will be the right thing to do.



* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.