Lithium Levels in Those Not Taking Lithium
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Q:  Lithium Levels in Those Not Taking Lithium

Our daughter has been tested for her lithium level by her psychologist and it has been tested at 0.3. our family doctors says that the human body should not have lithium in it. can you explain this for us. she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and she is 10 years old.

Dear Brian -- 
Frankly I'm not sure what we'd find if we just looked at lithium levels in a bunch of people who weren't taking lithium.  There are some places in Oregon where there's quite a bit of lithium in the water, e.g. around Ashland, where one of the parks is called Lithia Springs.  I'm not sure how much lithium is in there, or if there would be enough to give a person, who was taking no other lithium, a measurable amount.  

I suppose this result you're describing here should raise a question as to whether somebody is trying to give your daughter lithium whom you don't know about.  But if you're pretty certain there's no way that could be happening, I'm not positive this result means anything.   Sorry not be of more use there. 

Dr. Phelps

Published May, 2003


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