[Iglfa-women] Seasonal Affective Disorder -- HealthyHealing.com

Dr. Linda Page Dr.Linda.Page at lb.bcentral.com
Fri Jan 26 11:30:04 PST 2007

Dear Friends,
S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) makes you feel sad. Most of us know someone (or are ourselves) affected by the "winter blues." Wintertime means depression symptoms for an astounding 35 million Americans. Just yesterday, I read a report that researchers in England declared Monday, January 22 the most unhappy day of the year!  Unrealized New Year’s resolutions, heavy debt from Christmas over spending, cold weather and lack of motivation are all blamed for "Blue Monday." I don't know about you, but I could relate!

Light deprivation is another major cause of wintertime depression. Lack of sunlight during the winter can cause the body to overproduce melatonin, the "sleep hormone," leading to extreme fatigue, depression and the need to compensate for these symptoms with food, especially refined carbohydrates and sugar.

Are you S.A.D.? Symptoms typically begin as early as September and can continue until Spring. Body signs to watch for:

- Do you over sleep or struggle to get out of bed, even when you get enough sleep?
- Do you feel lethargic or have poor concentration during the day?
- Are you overwhelmed by simple tasks?
- Do you have unusually strong cravings for sweets or carbohydrates?
- Do you gain weight in the winter (up to 10-15 lbs.) even though your diet hasn’t really changed?
- Do you feel more anxious, or experience very low daytime energy with nighttime insomnia?
- Do short periods of sunlight noticeably lift your spirits?
- Do you experience a “summer high” where you feel elated and full of energy?
- Do you suffer from eyestrain or frequent headaches? 

Wintertime depression is a real problem that can affect your job, lower productivity, even create problems at home, but there are steps you can take to start feeling better.

Natural S.A.D. Solutions

- Make sure your diet is balanced with natural foods and complex carbohydrates from whole grains, and fruit and vegetables. Include B vitamin and mineral rich foods like brown rice, nutritional yeast, and legumes for blood sugar stabilization.
- Vitamin D therapy is a key. Lack of sunlight means less vitamin D is available for brain nourishment. Eat more vitamin D rich foods like eggs, fish, seafoods and sea vegetables (2 tbsp. chopped sea vegetables daily or 6 pieces of sushi a week is fine). Consider supplemental vitamin D 400 to 1000 IU daily all throughout the winter. This really works for people who suffer.
- Get outdoor exercise every day. Take a daily brisk walk or jog to activate your body’s natural anti-depressant endorphins. People who participate in a winter sport like skiing are less affected by S.A.D., and have much more fun.
- Full spectrum light boxes have shown clear effectiveness. A 2001 Archives of General Psychiatry study showed that 80% of people with wintertime depression experienced rapid remission from using light boxes for 30 minutes daily! Some doctors will even prescribe light boxes for their depressed patients. Depression typically begins to lift a week after photo therapy.
- Spend time in a greenhouse. Plant oxygen can really do wonder for wintertime blues and low energy. 

Whole herbs are wonderful, gentle mood elevators.

- Crystal Star Depress-Ex™ capsules with St. John's Wort produce a calming effect for mild to moderate despondency, without causing side effects like insomnia or nervousness. Take 2 caps, twice daily as needed for up to 3 weeks at a time. Rest one week before resuming. http://healthyhealing.com/product.esiml?PID=652

- Ginkgo biloba extract is another good choice. Ginkgo supports proper pineal and pituitary gland functioning, normalizing melatonin production in the body. Ginkgo also boosts brain energy, relieving symptoms like mental dullness and fatigue. http://healthyhealing.com/product.esiml?PID=714

If you're affected by S.A.D., be gentle with yourself and ask for professional help if you need it. And don't forget, springtime is only around the corner!
To Life-Long Health,

Linda Page, Ph. D., Traditional Naturopath
Author of Healthy Healing & Founder 
of Crystal Star Herbal Nutrition (Since 1978).

P.S. Remember to look for my books and whole herb formulas in fine health food stores everywhere. To find the store nearest you, visit my store locater page, ( http://www.healthyhealing.com/retail.stores.html ) or simply ask your favorite store to carry my products.


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